Grind Your Own Meat
May 8, 2011
[Elaine]

 

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.  
 

Article originally appeared on The Italian Dish (http://theitaliandishblog.com/).
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