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As a result of a promotional offer from a mail-order meat company, I receive 1lb of Wagyu ground beef each month. I have experimented with it in various dishes. It makes an excellent burger. Great flavor, and not sensitive to overcooking (doesn't get tough or dry).

My question is about other dishes that feature ground beef but aren't "about" ground beef, like chili, seasoned ground beef for tacos, red sauces, etc. In those dishes, I have found that despite the presence of other strong spices and ingredients, the resulting dish is very "beef forward". For example chili made with Wagyu ground beef almost tastes like a burger with chili topping. Is there something about my technique that is leading to this? Can I make this into an ordinary chili, or is it really reserved for burgers?

(In most of these dishes the ground beef is browned, and then drained, retaining whatever the usual desired amount of beef fat is for the rest of the dish. Even so the Wagyu ground beef (which isn't marked with a leanness percentage) doesn't seem that much fattier than ordinary ground beef.)

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  • there's probably more fat, even if you drain most of it; and fat is a good conductor or flavour. – Max May 10 at 0:54
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    Have you tried less wagyu compared to normal beef? – Willeke May 10 at 8:08
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    Hi Ben, I have trouble seeing a question here. You explain you have established that, to your taste, the taste of Wagyu beef is more pronounced than you like, except in burgers. This is a simple observation; what is your question? – rumtscho May 10 at 13:06
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    Some prefer beef forward chili. You could take advantage of that strong flavor of the beef to double the amount of onion and garlic in the chili and increase the other flavors because you know the stronger beef flavor will stand up to it. – Todd Wilcox May 10 at 14:28
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  1. Yes, it will be more beefy than what you might be used to.
  2. Whether it would be "too" beefy depends heavily on your taste.
  3. If you're worried, add more spices and/or cooking liquor.

I sometimes use wagyu (or U.S. angus) mince when I make Chinese dishes such as mapo tofu, and I feel that both are too beefy than what I'd like (compared to the meat of Chinese breeds, which is quite bland). The solution is very simple too: just add more Shaoxing wine and minced ginger & garlic than usually add. In your case, if you're making chili for example, you'd just add more onions (or shallots), garlic, and wine than usual. Be careful about the excessive fat, though: it's a good heat conductor, so you might want to cook your aromatics for a bit less time, otherwise you'd overcook them.

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