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Apr 6, 2010 09:32 AM

Vegetarian with a meat grinder

I have a vintage 1970/80's Braun stand mixer with a meat grinder attachment that has never been used. Can I use it for something other than meat?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. Sometimes people use them for making guacamole. You could use it for grinding softer nuts. You could puree fruit for sorbet but you'd have to strain the pulp before using it for sorbet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kayakado

      I use a meat grinder to make prepared horseradish. Guacamole in a meat grinder would be so overkill. You can mash it with a fork

      1. re: kayakado

        I would never attempt guacamole with a meat grinder. Way overkill. If you are looking for liquid guac, try a blender. At least it won't spatter all over the place.

        Given the age of this thing, I think you might be better off forgetting it. Meat grinders are really meant for meat, as they force the material through small holes where it is chopped into miniscule bits by a blade. This kind of thing will choke with things that have a lot of fat (cheese) and will pulverize nuts. I just don't think it is worth ruining good food to have the satisfaction that you are actually using it. Just my two cents...

      2. Cranberries and oranges for that ubiquitous cran-orange relish at Thanksgiving.
        My Mom made piccalilli (a type of pickled garden relish) with the grinder.

        Here's her recipe, passed to me and I've never made it, but her recipe was good to eat:

        4 quarts pickling or Kirby cucumbers
        4 green peppers
        4 mediums onions
        1½ cup salt, kosher or pickling
        1 gallon water
        1 quart cider vinegar
        4½ cup sugar
        2½ tablespoon pickling spice
        ½ tablespoon celery seed
        ½ tablespoon mustard seed

        Finely grind the cucumbers, peppers, and onions. Mix salt and water and add vegetables. Soak for 12 hours. Drain well. Mix vinegar and sugar and bring just to the boiling point, then place spices in a cheesecloth bag and add. Add drained vegetables and bring just to boiling. Remove spice bag. Pour relish into sterile jars, seal, and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

        Aside from that, there's not a ton of applications. Cooked chick peas for falafel or hummus, breadcrumbs; make sure the bread is very dry, as it will jam in the extruder blade ( I had this experience.) Whole canned tomatoes for sauce, that's about all I can think of. Grind an onion for a vegetarian meatloaf, along with other types of beans.

        Back in the dark ages, before food processors, we used the grinder attachment on the big Hobart mixer for vegetables like onions, carrots and celery for soup or sauce base mirepoix and adding to coleslaw.

        Here's a link with an earlier discussion, same subject, not so many suggestions:

        2 Replies
        1. re: bushwickgirl

          My mother swears that only the grinder gives the correct texture to cranberry-orange relish. She used her manual, hand-cranked grinder for it when I was growing up, tried it in a food processor when she got one, and went back to the grinder, which she also uses for her (vegetarian) mincemeat.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Yes, sometimes the old hand tools are the best. I think the original cranberry-orange relish recipe, circa early 1960's, was developed to be made in a hand grinder, anyway. That's how I remember my mom making it as well.

            I find the FP overprocesses the cran-orange mix if you're not careful to pulse frequently, and the hand-cranked grinder avoids all that.

        2. As bushwickgirl points out, this was asked a few months ago, and I said at the time, "not much" -- forgetting falafel falafel falafel! Bittman's recipe is my favorite, and the grinder is a great way to get the correct texture. I didn't own one when I didn't eat meat, so I forgot about how nice it is now.

          And now that I think of it, I bet you could come up with some very nice vegetarian patties of all sorts (lord, I hate the term "veggie burger") by grinding soaked beans, nuts and vegetables. You'll get a different, more uniform texture than the food processor, without the danger of making puree.

          I'd say "experiment."

          2 Replies
            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Yes, great suggestions! I'm especially looking forward to trying out some veggie burger combos! thanks everyone!
              (I thought I remembered seeing a previous posting, but couldn't find it when I was searching for it--sorry for the redundancy!) .

          1. coarse ground root vegetable/potato hash. yum, with a fried egg on top, if you're ovo.

            1. I haven't tried it yet but I hear they are pretty good for "chopping" onions.