Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ground Beef

One of my favorite things about my KitchenAid mixer is the power takeoff on the front.  You can grind meat, make sausage, roll pasta, shred or slice veggies and a bunch of other things with the right attachment.  I have been grinding much of our hamburger for years now.  It is great knowing exactly what is in my ground meat.  It also tastes great, is cheaper, contains as much fat as you like, and makes me more confident about cooking a burger to medium rare .  

The parts to the grinder include the big chute, corkscrew thing, a blade that kind of looks like a nija's throwing star, two grinding plates for fine or coarse grind and the cap to keep it all together.    

 Here is what it all looks like on the machine.  Very easy to assemble and clean.  I like to keep everything very clean and cold if possible.  I will often keep the 2 bowls in the freezer until needed.  

A chuck roast is great to use but really most cuts with a little fat in them can work.  Each time I am at the grocery store I keep an eye out for any meat that has a good marbling of fat like the roasts above.  It also has to be $2 or less a pound.   

To start I partially freeze the meat or in this case partially thaw it.  This makes it very easy to cut  into even strips that grind well.  It also helps keep uncle Sal Monella from coming to dinner.  

The whole process goes very fast.  I use the big hole grinder plate for the first pass of the meat and the smaller hole one for a second pass of the meat.  This is where two bowls come in handy.  Remember to keep things very clean and cold if possible.  If you wanted to make sausage at this point you would run the ground meat (likely pork) with the some spices mixed in and without the grinding plate or blade on.  Instead you would have a pointy funnel like thing in its place to help drive the meat into a casing.   

I usually pack the meat into one pound balls and freeze.  You could also make up patties for easy grilling.  
 Putting what it is and a date on the packages comes in handy when you find it at the back of the freezer in a month.
I like to do a lot of make at home kind of things.  Most are just fun to try or so much work I only do them once in a while.  Making my own ground meats however is so fast, so easy and so much better than what you get at most stores I do it whenever I find meats at my $2 a pound price point.  

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