Grass-fed beef chuck roast
I haven't bought ground meat in the grocery store for years. I got to the point where I just didn't trust what was being ground up - it could be a package full of meat trimmings, for all I knew (and probably was). Would you eat that? Would you want a hamburger or meatball made of that? Then when all the contaminated hamburger meat recalls started happening, I knew I didn't want to ever buy ground meat again.
Meatballs made with a mixture of ground pork and beef
I already had a KitchenAid mixer, so I bought the meat grinder attachment. I couldn't believe how easy it was to grind my own meat, fresh, at home. I knew exactly what went into that ground meat. I buy grass-fed beef from a local farm here in Michigan. It's organic, hormone-free and humanely raised. If I take a steak and put that through the meat grinder, I get the healthiest ground beef I could probably buy anywhere. I can trim as much or as little fat from it as I want.
You will be surprised, too, at the texture of the ground meat. It is light, fluffy and totally unlike pre-ground meat. This makes for lighter meatballs and hamburgers. If you buy a nice chuck roast and grind it up yourself and make hamburgers from it, I guarantee they will be the best hamburgers you've ever made at home.
You see the indentations I put in the center of each hamburger?
Those make it so that the hamburger stays flat as you cook it,
instead of rising up in the middle and becoming misshapen.
I use about 6 ounces of ground meat for each hamburger
Take control of what is in your ground meat. I made lasagna this weekend and I ground my own beef and pork to use in it. I don't just buy a package of "ground pork". I can pick which cut of pork I want to use in my meat mixture - I may buy a pork shoulder or even a pork tenderloin, for a lean choice, and grind that up. But I know exactly what's going into my ground meat if I grind it myself.
The KitchenAid meat grinder attachment will run you about $40. I've used mine for years and it still performs great. The motor does the work for you. If you don't have a KitchenAid mixer, you can buy meat grinders at a wide range of prices. Norpro make a pretty basic hand-crank meat grinder for about $50 - $55. If you don't want a hand-crank version, Lem makes a powerful meat grinder for about $300.