First of all you might wonder … why does she bother? There’s such an array of ground meats available at the grocery store, it’s much easier to buy it there. Can’t argue that, but I’m one of these people who wants to know exactly what meat is in her mince and not have to worry about the “mystery meat” element! My level of quality control also allows me can cut away and discard any nasty bits that I don’t want in the finished dish. I can’t digest beef very well either so don’t eat it, but I like to make meatloaf, chilli and meatballs and have discovered that ground boneless, skinless chicken thighs make a wonderful alternative with succulent results. I always eat organic but have never found ground organic chicken thigh meat at the store. When I make a Bolognese or shepherds pie for my beef loving husband, I’ll buy a big chuck roast and grind it for the recipe. So here’s my reasons, I hope you’ll be tempted to give it a go yourself!
The Food Grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer makes the job quick and easy. I always place this attachment in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before I start as it helps keep everything really chilled which is important when mincing meat. Keep everything as cold as possible to prevent the meat and any fat in it, from warming during processing (especially important when dealing with poultry).
If I haven’t said it enough already, please remember to Chill! Chill everything. Before you place the meat in the grinding attachment, the meat should be cut into strips (about 1″ x 4″ to 5″) placed on a baking sheet and put in the freezer for 30 minutes. The meat will be partially frozen when it comes out and this makes the whole process easier while it’s being fed through the attachment.
Always work in small batches and refrigerate the ground meat immediately until you are ready to cook. For best results and more importantly food safety precautions, all minced meat should be cooked as soon as possible. Once you take raw meat from it’s solid form to being minced, it begins to deteriorate so please keep this in mind.
Cook’s extra: If I find a great deal on meat at my supermarket, it makes sense to stock up. If I know I’ll be turning it into ground meat for a future recipe, I cut up the meat into strips (as above), freeze it completely, wrap well in freezer bags and store in the freezer. Then it’s all ready to defrost to a semi frozen state and grind up.