I was given a KA stand mixer as well as the grinder attachment back in July and I've been talking about making my own ground beef ever since. The reply that Griffin made to the Home Ground Hamburger thread, where he linked to a post on the best combination of meats for making your own ground beef, got me of the dime. The "winning" combination iin the article Griffin linked to was oxtail, sirloin and short ribs. Now where it is Labor Day today none of the butcher shops were open, which meant oxtail was certainly out of the question. I went with the combination that was said to be next best: beef brisket, sirloin & short ribs. This is could get at my local yuppie market. I'll let the pictures take over from here and discuss the results at the end.
The three meats were short ribs (top left), sirloin strips (bottom left), & beef brisket(right). Two of the three meats were already cut in strips, which is what I needed and so there wasn’t much additional prep required.
I weighed out the amount of meat I was going to grind up, I was going to grind up 2 pounds of meat. The ratio I was going to use was 10 oz. short ribs, 10 oz. sirloin & 12 oz. brisket.
The pieces are all in strips and are off to the freezer for 30 minutes.
The grinding attachment is installed on the mixer and the strips of meat are back out of the freezer.
This is the end of the first of the two grinds I was going to do.
For the second grind I got “clever” and used the smaller grinding disk which proved to be a mistake. The fat got hung up trying to pass through the smaller opening and clogged. All was well after I switched back to the grinding disk with the larger openings.
My wife wasn’t feeling well and decided she would have her burgers later so I tossed on two 1/3 pound burgers for me. The Egg was set for direct grilling with the cast iron grate in place and was at 600 degrees.
The burgers have just been flipped after 5 minutes, which was intended to give me medium. I forgot the fact that grinding my own beef allows me to go lower. Next time I will do 4:30 per side which should give me medium rare.
I put cheese on the burgers at the 4 minute mark and pulled them at 5 minutes. I gave the buns a quick toast while the burgers rested.
The burgers are resting and the buns have just come off the grill. Time to eat.
I kept things simple. One burger would get Dijon mustard and the other some SBR Hickory & Brown Sugar BBQ sauce.
The burgers were medium and had good texture. They were still somewhat moist on the inside and had a crispy outer crust. Frankly the taste left a little to be desired. The 73/27 burgers I’ve been getting at the supermarket have a “more beefy” flavor than these burgers did.
I liked the version of these burgers with the SBR BBQ Sauce better than the ones with the mustard-a surprise to a mustard based life form like myself.
All in all this was a good learning experience.
-Using the grinding attachment was quick and easy.
-Freezing the meat for 30 minutes helps it grind better.
-I should only use the coarse grinding attachment for ground beef. The fine attachement clogs with the fat.
-I need to remember I don’t have to grill burgers to medium when using my own ground beef.
-The burgers had a good texture that was easy to form into patties and pleasant to eat.
In the not so good department:
-There is no way I can see of determining the fat content ahead of time. The meat I bought today seemed to have lots of fat, but the resulting burgers did not shrink as much or have the flavor of the 73/27 burgers I’ve been buying at the supermarket.
-I need to try some other blends, perhaps find oxtail as suggested in the link Griffin found.
I learned a lot today and though it wasn’t a failure, it wasn’t a total success either. Bottom Line: it was fun and that is what hobbies are all about-learning & having fun.