My Aunt Kathy makes this amazingly yummy cranberry salad during the holidays. She’s made it for decades, I believe. I know when I was little I always looked forward to the white covered dish with the blue square design, because that (usually) meant Cranberry Salad lay hidden within. Sometimes she would put something else in there instead…a crushing disappointment. I remember one time she shared that the secret is using one of those old fashioned hand grinders, not a food processor, because the texture is better…more “rustic” I’d call it. Food processors make everything uniform in shape, this puppy cranks out wonderfully random chunks of texture. I love it!
My husband’s grandmother has one, and I borrowed it one year to make Aunt Kathy’s Cranberry Salad and never gave it back. Not because I’m a thief though, I’m just forgetful! One day, my mom surprised me and gave me one she picked up at an auction, for something like $2. I couldn’t believe it, it was in excellent shape and she only paid a couple of bucks for it. Awesome bargain shopping mom!
I’ve wanted to try making my own ground beef for a while, but a couple of things kept me from it…I wasn’t really sure how to do it, I feared it would be a humongous pain to clean the grinder, and flashbacks from years ago when I used an electric meat grinder to grind venison. Blech. I don’t want to talk about that. At ALL.
Today was a great day to give making my own ground beef a try, since I wanted to make something with hamburger for supper but didn’t want to go to the butcher shop and spend money. I was blessed to receive a bunch of good quality meat (as in local, grass fed) from a friend who was cleaning out her freezer to make room for the annual meat order she does, so I got out a chuck roast to thaw in the morning. Then, I searched online for “how to grind your own hamburger with an old fashioned grinder”…turns out it’s pretty straight forward. Cut the meat into chunks, freeze it a bit, then grind it. What was I worried about then? Ok right…
So, here is how you use that cool antique grinder your Great Aunt Tilly left you…
|I got about eight cups of chunks and a couple nice meaty bones for
broth out of my chuck roast. I’m just guessing at the weight, seemed
like a couple pounds or so by the feel of it.
|I couldn’t remember if I read you should grind it more than one time or not,
so I ground a tiny bit twice. The piece on the left was ground twice, it looks
less “chunky” than the only-one-time-through piece.
|This is Chloe, “the quicker picker-upper”. She is always ready to lend a
tongue in the kitchen and knows right where to station herself when I’m
cooking. She was a big help today with helping me clean up ground beef mess.
This was a bit labor-intensive, but worth the effort. I couldn’t believe how tender this ground beef was! We’ve been wanting to try the Mythbusters method of tenderizing meat with high explosives, but grinding it ourselves is probably a much more legal and safe way to do it. Some day, though…
I used this ground beef to make Home Ground Burgers with Caramelized Onions for supper and have decided that when I want to make hamburgers, I’m going to make my own ground beef. It was seriously that good! Next time, I will add a bit more seasoning. The test burgers were terrific, and I didn’t think they needed anything but salt and pepper. The full sized burgers needed a bit more salt…but I’ve been over-salting stuff lately so I didn’t want to overdo it. Easier to add salt than take it out!
Do you have an old-fashioned hand grinder? What do you grind with it?