A Beginner’s Guide to the Perfect Meat and Spice Pairings


Cooking may seem like a very complex thing to do, especially when you aren’t really someone who cooks much. So how will you be able to pull off cooking really good meat? Well, the answer is to understand what spices go well with what kind of meat. Before you proceed to read, note that we will not be mentioning the basic pepper and salt. To learn more about this, keep reading below.

1. Beef

Beef probably has the most flavorful profile among all the meats. Because of this, you will need a spice that can stand on its own versus the beef, but something that would not overpower it. Depending on the cut of beef, you may also want to use different flavorings. Some parts are fattier than the others, which could lead to a different way of absorbing or releasing flavor.

We found that the best spices that go with beef are more herbal and have earthy tastes. Spices like onion and garlic, sage, and thyme are often the best choices. For beef dishes with sauce, however, you can opt for a sweeter approach. Flavors like star anise or red bell pepper will go great for your beef dishes that contain some sort of sauce.

The important thing when using spices for beef is to avoid overseasoning it. Beef itself is already savory, and you can even get away with just using salt and pepper for it. So if you end up overseasoning it, you will end up with this flavor-heavy mess, and the natural taste of beef will get lost.

2. Pork

Pork is almost the same as beef, except it does not come off as strong. It has a milder flavor, but most of the time, it can withstand pretty much the same spices that is put into beef. Of course, you don’t have to put in the same amount as you do with beef since pork isn’t too strong.

However, many people prefer their pork to be sweeter. So, spices like juniper berries, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and even allspice are preferable. It goes well with the mild flavor of pork, and it often gives pork fat a sweet crust that you will fall in love with. The juiciness of pork plus the sweet spices will be the perfect bite.

3. Veal

Working with veal is often daunting for most people. However, it really is not difficult. Lighter spices and herbs are perfect for veal to achieve that earthy and fresher taste.

Many people like to add a squeeze of lemon and some parsley to their veal. This gives it a fresh, almost minty taste. Basil is another good choice for a sort of sweet but kind of peppery taste that would not usually go too well with other kinds of meat. We find that veal needs a good spicy-like, minty kick to really churn its flavors out.

4. Chicken

The perfect canvas for spices is chicken. Chicken alone tastes very bland, so it’s perfect to play around with using spices. Most people will put multiple spices, and when the chicken is cooked, you get this whole explosion of flavor.

Depending on what you are cooking, almost any spice would go with chicken. From smokey paprika to citrusy lemon or even earthy rosemary and dill—all of these will make the perfect chicken dish. Just be sure to avoid clashing spices that end up a hot mess in your mouth.


Cooking is a science, and you just need to understand the basics to be able to experiment. Now that you are more familiar with the spices and how they can be combined with meat, you should be ready to get cooking.

Wondering where to buy high-quality seasoning and spices in the USA? You can purchase some from us at Castle Foods. Say goodbye to boring dishes with no spices by connecting with us because we import a wide variety of spices. Contact us to learn more