Fresh Ground Beef From Your Kitchen
Did you miss me? Boy, when Kenny and I take on a project, we take on a project! Don’t know if it’s our age or what, but transforming an old kitchen is a big step and our top cabinets are finally done with much more to do. We picked up a can of Rust-Oleum Countertop Coating in a wheat color and did one very small part of the countertop to see if we liked it, and now we’ve decided it’s too light and are opting to go darker (better for me, as I tend to be a clutz in the kitchen, won’t show all my mishaps so bad, ha ha!).
But I did want to get something in before the week ends and decided, since we had ground up some fresh chuck roasts this week, I decided add a little story on the pros and cons of grinding your own meat. As some of you might know, I like my steaks and hamburgers kind of on the rare side and husband has to have his deader than a door nail! Many moons ago, I had to get my kitchen certification and my daughter was getting hers too. When the subject came up of making sure your hamburgers were done to a certain temperature, my daughter piped up about how I ate my burgers rare, thinking she was funny or a real smart A**. As I was desperately trying to defend my supposed bad habit, I explained that I only ate those burgers at home and that I ground my own beef. Upon hearing that, the instructor quickly responded that, because I did my own grinding, the possibility of getting sick on my “burgers still mooing”, was highly unlikely. The reason for this was because I only use pure beef and my grinder is well-cleaned after every use.
That’s a lot of beef!
You see, when buying hamburger in a store or from a butcher, they do not always clean their grinding machines before grinding a different type of meat which can cause cross contamination and sometimes they even let the machine sit for awhile before doing another batch, letting possible bacteria build up in the machine. I even told a butcher one time that we ground our own and he said he wished everyone would do the same thing, out of the mouth of a butcher!
Another factor in grinding your own meat, is that there will be no fillers in it and you can control the amount of fat. I like lean beef and I never have to drain the grease from the pan before adding more ingredients. To get more weight, a lot of the parts of the beef that can’t be sold is also processed and added so they can get more weight for the final product hence, more profit for the store! And then there is that date factor, as soon as we grind our chuck, it’s bagged into 8 ounce packets (easier for using in recipes as most call for a pound or pound and a half), stored in freezer bags and straight into the freezer. Of course, there is a ritual, enough burger left out for dinner that night!
Plenty of ground meat for all kinds of recipes!
Now let’s figure the cost factor. We are fortunate to have a store that puts boneless chuck roasts on BOGO and that’s when I buy it. Ground beef in grocery stores is expensive any more because they have to buy the machines, pay the butcher and package the meat themselves (all except Wally World and I wouldn’t touch their meat, no no!). This week I paid about $2.70 a pound for our ground beef with no fillers, it’s extra lean and very, very fresh. Kenny and I grind it together and we have fun while doing it, and it takes very little time if you have an electric grinder. Grinders can vary in price, I use an Elite 500 watt grinder, but if you grind meat often, it’s better to not cut costs and get a middle priced machine that can run from 80 to 150 dollars. Not to worry though, you get your money back in no time if you use a lot of hamburger or sausage and shop the sales! Another money factor is the possibility of a little too much fat, you know, the fat they put on the underside of the roast and you don’t see it until you open the package? Well whenever that happens, I simply cut some of the fat out and freeze it for making homemade beef stock.
Re-fried taters and fresh hamburger..are you drooling yet?
Another thing I have found with our own fresh ground beef, I don’t have to use it within the guidelines of how long you should keep burger frozen, ours can last easily for 12 months and it still tastes just as fresh, imagine that! I’m not sure of why on that one, maybe it’s ground fresh, no fillers or maybe just because they want you to throw everything away too soon so you go and spend more money in the stores! And one additional tip, slightly, just slightly freeze your roasts before grinding, will help it grind easier.
Well folks, I’m being summoned to the kitchen for more KP. I will try to get a couple of posts in next week. Have a great weekend and enjoy!