With all of the diet changes happening in my life right now, I’ve become very aware of what I am putting into my body. A month ago, I came down with a bad stomach bug after eating some homemade turkey burgers. While I can’t exactly pinpoint the problem food, I am certain it was the ground turkey I got at the supermarket. Since then, I’ve been grinding my own meat at home. Now I did happen to experience a fair amount of weight loss from the stomach bug, so perhaps I should continue on eating the supermarket ground meat? Really, I’m just two stomach bugs away from my target weight. But, I’d rather not use up any more sick days at work for the same issue. Also, it always seems like ground meat products are in the news wrapped up in some sort of scandal: recalls, salmonella, E. coli, and even horse meat! So I’m going to stick with grinding my meat at home. And let me tell you, the process couldn’t be easier. Continue reading for the method.
Before I share with you my process for grinding meat at home, I want to tell you about some of the other benefits. First, you will have complete control over the type of meats you add to your dish. Try switching up your everyday burger with a mix of ground beef and ground bacon. Grind up some turkey leg meat and chicken thigh meat for a flavorful poultry blend. Second, the process results in a product with superior texture compared to supermarket varieties. When making burgers or meatloaf, the loosely packed meat will help keep your meal moist and juicy. My last benefit only applies to red meat. Since you know exactly what’s going into your meat blend, you can cook it more on the rare side without risk of food born illness. And if you start with super high quality beef or lamb, you can even eat it raw!
Here’s how you can make ground meat at home:
- Start with fresh meat. I’m going to use chicken as an example.
- Cut chicken in 1-inch chunks and transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet. Be sure that the chicken pieces are not touching each other. You don’t have to be overly precise here.
- Transfer baking sheet to the freezer and freeze the chicken for 20 minutes. This will help the food processor cut the meat cleanly.
- Working in batches, add the partially frozen chicken cubes to a food processor, and pulse until the desired consistency is reached. For dishes like beef tartar, you’ll want a more coarse grind. For the Chicken Larb pictured above, a more fine grind. Transfer ground chicken to a clean bowl. The amount of batches will depend on how much meat you are grinding. For 1 to 2 pounds, I usually process in 3 batches.
- Pick through the ground chicken to see if any larger chucks remain, and regrind those pieces.
- Use the ground chicken immediately or freeze until ready to use.
That’s it! So safe and easy.
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