For recipes that call for a variety of ground meats, you typically want to make sure they’re well incorporated, with no big chunks of the individual meats clumping up your final dish. In the case of meatloaf, which uses both ground pork and ground beef, mixing the meat well is easy – you just get in there with your hands. It’s really the best way to get the job done.
But when you’re making a dish that requires adding ground meat to a hot saute pan, getting in there with your hands isn’t really an option. Not for me anyway! So I just use a potato masher instead, and it does the job wonderfully in just a minute or so. So when I’m making bolognese, I get a finished pasta sauce with a great consistency without burnt hands or big messy prep bowl. Next time you’ve got a recipe with several ground meats, give it a try!