Freezer “Cooking”: The Ground Meat Project

Once upon a time for Christmas I asked for a Kitchen Aid Mixer meat grinder attachment.  And…I received one!  Little did I know when I first asked for it a few years ago that it would become a near necessity.  The news has become riddled with stories of contaminated ground meat, meat that isn’t from the animal its advertised, and ground beef cut with dog food (wait…that was my sister’s personal experience).

Needless to say, I am now a bit leery of ground meat.  And dare I not say, “pink slime“?  I’ve been unable to eat at the golden arches since.  (Brief pause here to shudder repeatedly)

Now that I’ve got that out of my system…I’ve been off of the freezer cooking bandwagon for a bit.  Namely because my freezer is a bit…umm…full.  And the outdoor freezer is a bit…umm…full also.  I had a few roasts (I still think there are a few more in the outdoor freezer) of beef chuck and a pork loin that were taking up a lot of space.

And…I have tourtierre on the meal plan for Sunday.  While perusing the reduced meats at the store the other day (I can’t remember if it was Kroger or Albertson’s), I happened to look at the ground pork (as in my eyes ran over it…stopped dead in shock…and ran back over it in a nearly whiplash motion).

Now, to review:  I pay no more than $1.99/lb. for a pork loin.  Or I don’t buy it.  Period.  Ground pork is packaged in 1 pound packages and usually not produced in the store (something about a health regulation regarding grinding beef and pork on the same machine–yet there’s no problem with cutting meat with dog food or something equally disgusting?).  I can expect it to be a bit more.

What I’m about to tell you gets scarier when you think that it would take two pounds (and thus two one-pound packages) of ground pork to make tourtierre.  The grocery store had ground pork ON SALE for $6/pound.  The new regular price was $8/pound.  No.  That’s simply not gonna happen.  I don’t care if I have to mince it by hand; it’s not gonna happen.

So, while Muffin was taking a bath, Josh cleaned and set up the grinder attachment on the mixer.  I divided the pork loin into (roughly) one-pound increments with the intent of putting 2 pounds worth in a bag, labeling it with “tourtierre,” and placing it in the indoor fridge for use on Sunday.

As we ground nearly 16 pounds of meat (and had Muffin join us for the beef portion of the evening), it really isn’t surprising that it took nearly three hours to grind the meat.

But I now have 1 2-pound package of ground pork, 3 1-pound packages of ground pork, 4 just-over-a-pound pages of ground chuck, and 6 three-quarter-pound packages of ground chuck (so that I can put two packages together and make enough for meatloaf).  And I know it’s real meat and what animal it came from.  And that it’s not treated with ammonia.

That’s good enough for me.

Here’s the photo montage of images of Muffin helping.  Don’t mind the hair; at that point, it had been a long day.

Muffin with the glove. He eventually upgraded to two.

Muffin listened very carefully and followed the safety procedures that we set in place (dropping the meat only in the feed tube and not sticking his hand or fingers in the feed tube).

While Muffin fed the meat to the “Meat Machine Factory,” as he called it, I sliced the next pound of meat. Josh pushed the meat down the tube using the plunger and monitored to make sure Muffin was following the rules set forth by us. He also bagged the meat on the bags I had tagged.

The thing that looks like a key in the foreground is the thing to shove the meat down the tube, safely.

Muffin receiving his second pair of gloves.

This activity was definitely Muffin Approved!

This activity was definitely Muffin Approved!

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One thought on “Freezer “Cooking”: The Ground Meat Project

  1. Pingback: Summary Sunday: LFam’s Exploits This Week | Full Happy Muffin and Mama: The Blog

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