I own far too many food contraptions at this point, but until my birthday last week not one of them was a meat grinder. Enter the Weston #10 Deluxe Heavy-Duty Meat Grinder. And last night, with two big Missouri Legacy Beef roasts thawed, I took it out for a few laps.
I used one flat iron roast and one chuck roast. The flat iron is also known as the blade steak, given its proximity to the animal’s shoulder blade. It’s well-marbled and quite tender – I thought this would be a good counterpart to the beefy chuck roast but didn’t do any research on this.
After breaking the roasts into roughly 3/4-inch cubes they went into the freezer and I began setting up the grinder outside on the deck.
(Brief aside #1: It was at this point that Mrs. SMEs said “Congratulations. You’ve taken the world’s easiest dinner and made it complicated.”)
When grinding meat it’s important to maintain as low of a temperature as possible to control bacterial growth. Most recipes have you grinding into a bowl set into another bowl of ice – I figured the 15 degrees outside would suffice. Unfortunately, when attached to the railing, the front of the grinder barely hung over the 2×6. Our fresh-ground hamburger would be rappelling down a treated support post before being caught, hopefully, in the bowl. Hence, the need for a meat slide.
I tore of a length of wax paper, shimmied one end beneath the grinder foot and another in the bowl. Meat slide. Win for me.
(Brief aside #2: It was about this time that I received a wicked stink-eye from the wife, inside entertaining the kids. In front of the fireplace, I noted to myself, but oh well.)
I commenced grinding, stuffing small handfuls of cubed meat into the hopper and coaxing them into the spiral assembly while I cranked away with the handle. The spiral drives the meat forward against a blade – spinning in time – which cuts the meat just before it heads out the die. While something of an effort, it worked pretty well, actually. And kept working and kept working…for about 20 minutes. By the end I’d ground some five and a half pounds of hamburger. Most went into freezer bags; I held a pound or so back for dinner.
It tasted a lot like hamburger. A good, beefy hamburger with a robust texture for sure, but nothing mind-blowing. I’ll try again with some other cuts, or maybe move onto fresh sausage. Hundred bucks says it coincides with a wifely work trip.