I heard somewhere that the average hamburger patty contains the DNA of around 1,000 cows. Wow that's gross! Today I am going to show you how to grind your own hamburger at home. The taste is far superior to commercial burger, and you KNOW what's in it.
Step 1: What You'll Need
Bacon--one strip per pound of beef
Beef--I shop around and buy what is on sale, any cut of beef will do. Just remember the more fat, gristle, or silver skin the more work there is in step 2. It's waste and you wind up with less burger.
Bacon--Most commercial hamburger is supposed to be a mixture of lean beef, tallow, and water. Tallow is a firm, flavorless fat that collects around the spine of the cow, it is used to bind the burger keeping it's shape after cooking. Bacon is used to replace the tallow, holding the burger together and tastes way better than plain tallow. Water is weight that evaporates during cooking, you pay for it but you don't eat it.
Meat Grinder--Hand crank, electric, doesn't matter. I got lucky and have a Kitchen-aid with a grinder attachment.
Step 2: Clean and Prepare Meat
Remove any fat, gristle, or silver skin. It doesn't have to be perfect but the cleaner it is the more you'll notice a difference over store bought. Once cleaned cut into strips, roughly 1x1 inch. If using hand grinder you may want to make them smaller, not sure never used one, but after you grind the first strip you'll know what you can or can't grind. Assemble your grinder following it's instructions.
Step 3: Grinding the Meat
I like to start with a strip of bacon, to grease everything up inside the grinder. Then poke the meat in one piece at a time. Adding a piece of bacon after several strips of beef until everything is ground into large bowl. Be careful of fingers and neckties, you don't want that in the beef.
Note-- Air bubbles tend to form inside the grinder causing meat to fly. I use the saran wrap on the end of the grinder is to keep the meat off my walls. Held in place with a rubber band.
Step 4: Second Grind
Now we get our hands dirtier. You'll see pockets of bacon in the burger, mix it into the burger a little better. If you want to add seasoning to your burger this is the time to do it. Using the butcher paper to help, roll the burger into a tube or log. This simply helps you pack the ground burger back into the grinder. Taking small handfuls, grind it again, using the same bowl as before.
IMPORTANT--After the first handful be ready to catch the burger that comes out and put it back through the grinder. Why? There is still meat in the grinder from the first grind that needs to be ground again.
Step 5: Finished Product
When done, pack the burger together in the bowl. Pour onto new sheet of butcher paper, divide and store however you want.
When cooking the burger, you will notice there won't be a lot of grease in your pan, you probably won't have to drain it like store bought burger. There will also be no foaming and bubbling during the cooking process because there is no water. I used to work at a meat shop and the recipe for burger called for one gallon of water for every 20 pounds of burger. So that's approximately a third of what you pay for. That's expensive water.
My family loves this, my wife won't eat any other burger. Plus, you get the bacon flavor built in, there is only the DNA of one cow and one pig, and no floor scraps. This usually only takes about 30 minutes to do five pounds. So it doesn't have to be an all day chore to get fresh burger.
Remember make it with love, you are feeding it to your people, we can't all be vegans but we can try a little harder. Enjoy!