my first experience with a mixer attachment

My beloved snapshot digital camera died in earlier December and I have struggled to find a replacement I am comfortable using.  I have finally found one, however it is a cell phone.  It takes amazing pictures so I cannot complain. 

Last weekend, my husband bought me a meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid.   WP_20130202_002   It has been a long and horrible week here so I didn’t get an opportunity to use the attachment until yesterday afternoon.  My tri-tip roast was pre-cut and trimmed and awaiting me in the refrigerator.

WP_20130201_002 There it is, installed and ready to grind my tri-tip into delicious ground beef.  I grabbed the precut beef, took a sip of tea, and prepared to venture into the land of grinding my own meat for the first time.  I was pleasantly surprised at how simple the entire process was and how juicy.  Seriously, was not prepared for the occasional blood spatter from the grinder, but to be perfectly honest, I was secretly pleased.  The meat was juicy and deep red, all signs of good, healthy, fresh beef.  I used the course grind setting.  I prefer a courser ground beef for meals like spaghetti or chili.WP_20130201_005

The 3.5 pounds of tri-tip easily gave us four meals for future use.  WP_20130201_008 Three of those meals where placed in cling film and placed in the freezer.  WP_20130201_009 The portions are uneven on purpose, different meals require different amounts of ground beef.  Super Bowl Sunday I am probably making chili from scratch, completely from scratch that is, and it will get the largest portion of meat.  Chili requires good meat and beans to end up as the perfect bowl of flavor perfection.  Hopefully, my first attempt at scratch chili ends up being worthy of the delicious meat I will put into it.

The last portion I set aside and grabbed some love, aka bacon, from the refrigerator.  WP_20130201_006 

I then used up the three slices of bacon left in the the refrigerator.  I then proceeded to grind the bacon into the ground beef.  I placed the bacon and beef into the freezer to cool for about 30 minutes.  After disassembling, again surprisingly easy, and washing the grinder I changed the extruder to the fine grind option and proceeded to put grind bacon and beef into a delicious mixture for dinner.  I chilled and reground the mixture another time.  I wanted to ensure that there was a good incorporation of bacon into beef and vice versa.

The burgers were delicious, sorry no pictures they smelled too good to stop and snap a photo.  My husband was moaning in burger ecstasy before I even had a chance to take a first bite.  However, I have to agree with his assessment.  The burgers were amazing.  Juicy, no bacon sliding off, deep bacon flavor, and fresh.  The burger were small (about the size of my palm) and not very thick, they didn’t need to be large to be amazing.  It will now be a rare thing to go out for burgers and I know we will not be purchasing ground beef anytime soon.

Here are my tips for efficient use of the grinder attachment:

  1. Trim silver skin and fat from meat – how much fat to trim is personal preference
  2. Colder the meat is the better it grinds – not frozen solid, but definitely very, very cold
  3. Bacon – trim most of the fat, it tends to clog the grinder as it warms up.  Thick slices will probably be easier to work with than thin (aka normal bacon)
  4. Small, thin cuts of meat work best

Overall, I am more than pleased with the grinder and my results.  I am looking forward to chili tomorrow, pictures and results on Monday.