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Just bought a Meat Grinder - what now?

OK Chowhounds:

I just got a Meat Grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid...besides the obvious - grinding my own burgers and cheese and bread crumbs - what else should I try out......any pate' recipes?

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  1. ooooh, exciting! you can totally make your own sausage! i'm currently obsessed with Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn's "Charcuterie".


      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        I've never ground meat in my Cuisinart....has anyone tried this method?

        1. re: howboy

          It's do-able, but you really need to control your variables (cube size; total volume of meat vs spinnable space) to get repeatable results. (I was surprised to see Bittman recommend up to 2" pieces). It's easy to over-chop, giving a pastier shorn product that compacts more densely upon cooking. But then again, for something like potsticker filling that can be just what you're after. Perhaps the most common analogy is to think about how variable green peppers are when run thru the food processor: part mush and part larger.

          I was sort of surprised to see Bittman recommmend it, but he's going for the largest possible audience, and very few home cooks have a KA grinder, so from a "build a following" perspective, he's better off recommending a tool that more cooks have, ie a food processor. Just remember that emulsified sausages like hot dogs go thru a slow and constant rotating blade that, except for speed, is very close to a food processor and very different than a plated grinder.

          Texture is everything. For burger meat, I like to grind first thru the coarse plate, then run it again thru the finer plate. (I mix both moo-meat and oink-meat).

          OP, there are lots and lots of wonderfully creative ideas for other uses for the KA grinder in previous threads. A CH search for (kitchenaid meat grinder) has lots of fun stuff, as does (kitchen aid meat grinder).

          1. re: FoodFuser

            thanks FoodFuser - i will search this weekend - i just discovered that i lost my attachment screw knob and had to buy one off ebay - so this is a project for next weekend.....

            but i totally agree about texture - i have heard and seen people make ground meat in the processer - but it seems wrong - i really don't want creamy jelly burgers....ew.

            i am totally psyched to mix moo and oinks meats (and maybe a little baa too!) and use fresh instead of the supermarket roulette i play when i but the "meatloaf mix".....

            thanks :)

      2. My Swedish Mom uses hers to grind up ham for ham salad sandwiches on Swedish rye bread or her amazing ham loaf -- makes me want to sit up and beg!

        1 Reply
        1. re: onebite

          hi. can you please share your mom's recipies for the ham salad and ham loaf? i have been trying to find the perfect ham salad (closest to my aunt's we don't have the recipe for) :-)

        2. I still mainly use it for ground beef. The thing I like about it (aside from being fresh and knowing exactly what I'm eating) is that you can mix your meats a bit. For example, I like a little ground pork or sausage in with my burger meat.

          Also, things like ground pork, veal and lamb aren't as hard to come across any more (store here can't be relied upon).

          1. Bet no one else would say this one.... Ceviche! Ground fish makes for some of the best tasting Ceviche around... but people usually like chunks or "sashimi fillets" better for visual appeal.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              I would use it to grind up these vegetable when I make this relish called chow-chow.

            2. thanks you guys - i am so trying all this stuff - LOVE Mr. Bittman for that article - thanks Sam - and I am totally going to look for Ham Salad recipies......im totally reeling - thank goodness its going to be a long weekend :)

              1. My old-fashioned-bought-it-in-a-hardware-store one works well for ham salad, tuna salad, egg salad and chopped liver. I've also used it to actually grind meat, too, when I wanted to add a little pork to a meatloaf, or such. It's particularly good for working in some quantity, as my mother found out when she was trying to feed hordes of my teenaged friends.

                1. Ground raisin cookies! I'm sure you can find a recipe somewhere online - need to get my grandma's recipe. So moist & chewy & delicious.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Schmitt

                    ooooh - omg - ground rasin cookies sounds amazing....off to google am i.......


                  2. You will find that if you use the plate with the larger holes, it's very difficult to grind too fine. I use that plate for grinding for chili and burgers for the grill. If I want meat for a meatloaf or stuffing sausages I'll run it through the large plate and then the small one. I would also recommend that you purchase the Fruit/Vegetable Strainer Model #FVSFGA to go along with your grinder. It will increase the utility of your grinder ten fold. You can make excellent tomato puree, and all kinds of fruit purees and sauces. I actually use that more than I use the grinder. It's really nice with tomatoes because it pulls the skins and seeds off and out and you are left with a very fresh tomato puree that reduces down to a wonderful sauce.

                    1. I use mine for potato latkes.

                      1. prepare a slab of corned beef, toss the leftovers in the grinder, and produce some great ground meat for corned beef hash.