I cooked up some good-quality minced beef yesterday with salt, onion, and breadcrumbs. (I wrapped it around hardboiled eggs and baked it.) I didn't use any pepper because I have allergies, and I didn't like the way it came out - it was bland and had a faint meaty "off" taste even though I knew it was fresh enough.
I don't insist on it being hot and spicy, but what could I use to give it flavour? What is a good replacement that will flavor meat the way pepper would? Or at the very least, what spice or combination of spices would cover up the faint off taste? I know that medieval cooks used to use spices to cover "off" flavours in meat, but I think they were ones we use in sweet dishes now.
Tomato is not an option for me sadly but onion and garlic are fine.
I hope you can help, I'm finding this really intriguing. I'm learning a lot about what pepper does just by going without.