Grinding Beef

Santa brought Mrs. Esquire a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas this year!  I was also a winner, as Santa’s Elf sweet-talked the Macy’s lady into throwing in a free meat grinder attachment.  Tonight I tackled home ground hamburgers.  The punchline of my first spin with the grinder: I should have remembered to K.I.S.S.  Keep It Simple, Stupid.

I started by sauteing onions, pepper, and garlic in olive oil.  As that simmered on the stove, I cubed some chuck.

I salted and peppered the beef and marinated it in the fridge for about 30 minutes with the saute, some fresh thyme, and a little worcestershire sauce.

So now the real fun begins.  Time to get the Kitchen Aid cranking.

First impression on the meat grinding: woah, this is a lot of work!  I kind of expected the beef to just churn its way out in nice little tubes.  That wasn’t the case at all.  It was a really, really, really slow go.  The butcher recommended three passes through the grinder; the manual recommended two.  I fully intended to do three, but I gave up after two.

After the beef was ground, I mixed in some shredded cheese and formed the patties.

If you look at these patties with a careful eye, you can see trouble on the horizon.  There’s no structure to the patties.  They are very tender, but almost kind of watery and sloppy.

The trouble hit when I went the flip the burgers for the first time.  Let’s just say I left lots of beef on the grill and in the coals.  It was touch and go for eight tense minutes.  When it was all said and done, I had some very tender, if slightly misshapen, burgers.

Next time I’ll skip all the fanciness and just grind some beef.  Hopefully that works out a little better for me.

Happy New Year, readers!

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About bbqesquire

I'm a Scandinavian Plaintiff's lawyer from Minnesota living in California. Despite that background, I've become a weekend warrior on my Big Green Egg. I've started this blog to share my successes, failures, and experiments with anyone who cares to read about them.

5 responses to “Grinding Beef”

  1. Jena says :

    Matt, saw your photo on FB and thought I should comment. We are big fans of the same grinder at home (made two separate batches of pork belly sausages over the weekend!). Cube your meat, marinate as you wish, and then about an hour before you are ready to grind, toss it into the freezer. If you will be handling it a lot in the processing (i.e. stuffing it into intestine casing), we keep bowls of ice out to keep everything cool. You can also toss and egg or some old bread crumbs in the ground meat at the end to give it better structure. I promise, the results are worth it!

  2. Jena says :

    Our first batch looked off too. I think nothing else we make requires meat locker temperatures, and therefore we just did not think about the temperature making such a huge difference in the product.

  3. griffinsgrub says :

    She’s right. Temperature really makes a ton of difference. Heat is your enemy and will give you a “meat paste”. Place meat in your freezer for 30 minutes to an hour before starting. And take all the metal parts, like the blade and grinder plate and put them in the freezer as well. Hope that helps you on your next batch.

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