Thursday, July 2, 2009

Don't Beat Your Meat...

...Grind it!

If you're used to supermarket ground beef, you're in for a revelation when you start grinding your own meat at home. It's not scary, just keep your fingers out of the way! There are lots of advantages of home grinding:

The first advantage of grinding your own meat (aside from being kinda fun) is above all, freshness. The quality of your finished dish is automatically multiplied simply because you have freshly ground meat. You'll be surprised how light and fluffy the meat can be. I know it sounds funny to say that meat can be fluffy but, just believe me.

The second advantage of home grinding is that YOU get to pick and choose the cut of meat you want to grind. As you'll see below, I'm using brisket which has plenty of flavor (fat). Try to use something that has at least an 80/20 ratio of meat to fat. If you're looking for even more flavor and juiciness, look for cuts that will yield 75/25 or even 70/30 ratio. You could use anything from the standard chuck or sirloin to something a little more specialized like flat iron or brisket.

The third advantage that I'll mention is that you can more safely cook your burgers to medium, medium rare, or even rare. I was a little too hungry and I ate my burger before I took a picture, (sorry) but if it's been a while since you've had a fresh, medium rare burger you're in for a real treat! Keep everything cold, keep everything clean, and a medium rare home ground burger isn't as risky as it sounds.

It may not be everyday that you grind your own beef but I think it is most certainly worth the time. If you have a Kitchen Aid or a Cuisinart stand mixer, you're halfway there. Now all you need is a meat grinding attachment that matches your machine. So if you're looking for a 4th of July treat to yourself and your guests, try out a home ground burger!

Raw beef brisket ready to be cut into cubes and ground.

Ground brisket from our grinding attachment on the Cuisinart mixer.

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