The category includes dishes that use meat that has been minced by hand by chopping, though typically cooks these days take that to mean ground.
Ground Meat Dishes offer the cook the ability to flavour and form the meat in ways that large pieces of cut meat don’t. They used to also be more economical than cooking large joints of meat, but ground meats can now often be just as expensive.
In Western cooking, the default ground meat is beef. Other popular ground meats include pork and veal, and in recent years, turkey and chicken.
Dishes made from ground meat typically have the meat pressed together to form a slab or a ball, such as a meatloaf, hamburger patties, Italian Polpettone, Swedish meatballs, etc.
Other prevalent uses in Ground Meat Dishes include the ground meat being used as a filling. Examples include in dumplings, steamed buns and meat pies; in wraps such as a taco; in pouches such as empanadas and Cornish pasties; or in a layered dish such as lasagna or Amish Potato Haystack.
The ground meat may also be presented “loose”, in a sauce such as an Italian Bolognese sauce or a south-Asian Keema curry dish.
On rare occasions, if the ground meat is beef, the dish may simply include raw beef. Examples include Steak Tartare, Danish Tartarmad, Ethiopian Kitfo, etc.