The Best Ground Beef For Dumplings Needs An Extra Grind

Everyone may have their personal preferences, but a good dumpling usually has a moist and cohesive filling, with vegetables mixed in seamlessly throughout the meat. For this very reason, the best type of ground beef for dumplings is fine, not clumpy. While chunky ground beef works perfectly in a Bolognese sauce or on chopped cheese, it can be too coarse and uneven to add to the delicate wrapper of a dumpling.

To ensure that your meat filling achieves a smooth texture, you should grind it. Yes, you heard that right; when making dumplings the quality of your ground beef and even the fat percentage are secondary to the texture of your ground beef. Sure, a higher fat content may help keep your beef from becoming too tough, but it won't prevent clumps from forming as you cook. If you're following a dumpling recipe with precooked ground beef, you should add this extra step for the best texture and flavor.

How to prepare the best ground beef for dumplings

After stir-frying the minced beef in a pan, give it an extra pulse in a food processor or grind it manually with a potato ricer to break down the chunks that have formed during the cooking process. It'll give you a more even meat filling that is easy to chew through. The best way to achieve moist, soft ground beef isn't to try to grind your beef before cooking it, but after browning it. Ground beef is prone to turning rubbery under several different circumstances, whether it be from over-massaging it or overcooking it. This occurs because as moisture is lost, the muscle fibers contract and turn into dry clumps of meat. If you grind up your meat finer, you can help prevent this from happening.

Good beef dumplings are extra juicy and soft on the inside, yet they do not crumble. The finer the texture of your ground beef, the more evenly the flavors and vegetables will be distributed in your dumpling. If you skip this step, your dumpling might not turn out juicy, and you will end up with bites of isolated meat chunks. So whip out a blender or a potato ricer and break down your cooked chunks of ground beef before adding them to your dumpling wrappers. You can also use this tip for any dish that uses a flavorful meat filling — think eggrolls, empanadas, or lasagna.