It's been a busy and productive weekend so far... Friday I did grocery shopping and picked up a double package of roasts at our local membership warehouse and got our freezer stocked with more packages of freshly ground beef and hamburger patties. Yesterday I did a secondary shopping trip for the things I can't get or won't buy at a membership warehouse and then spent the afternoon making two batches of fresh homemade mozzarella cheese, 2 batches of ricotta cheese from the whey, freezing a batch of sliced strawberries and dehydrating a batch of strawberry fruit leather. (Add in some laundry and dishes in there somewhere too and then made dinner!)
I did actually remember to snap some pictures on my phone yesterday while I was doing the meat grinding so I could post it on An American Housewife.
Why do we grind our own meat? First: the safety. Cuts of meat like steaks and roasts are least likely to be infected with bacteria (such as e Coli). Store bought ground beef can have meat from hundreds of different cows in it. More likely to be contaminated. Second: the taste! We feel the flavor simply cannot be beat. Also, we know it's 100% pure ground beef. No fillers. No preservatives or additives! Third: The cost. The price of ground beef has gone through the roof in the last five years or so. Although roasts are expensive as well, I still come out ahead when I compare the costs; especially when I get lucky enough to find good deals on the roasts to begin with. Since I'm freezing everything for future use, I have the opportunity to shop sales, watch for new mark downs and buy when I know it's a good price.
Note: I use a very (very) affordable meat grinder. No big name, no bells and whistles. (Weston Products Weston Brands Grinder and No.5 Stuffer, White) As a matter of fact, my husband saw it on clearance at the hardware store (Lowe's) and bought it. I didn't even know I wanted one... until I started to use it. Now I never want to be without one. For a couple years now I've made our own ground beef but also I use it to make amazing chicken, spinach and feta sausages and ground chicken for enchiladas, etc. I also use a food vacuum (another buy my husband spied on clearance during a Lowe's shopping trip!). It is a very no frills, inexpensive food vacuum. You can of course freeze in freezer Ziploc or similar style bags though!
Set up the grinder, a bowl to put it in and slice your roasts (I like chuck roast for best flavor) into 1-2 inches pieces
Form the meat into 1 or 2 pound packages or into hamburger patties
For hamburger patties I season the meat in the bowl and mix well with my hands before forming
the patties. We like this when we grill them later as they are ready to go - no seasoning or preparation needed.
We just pop them onto the grill, cook, and serve.
I food seal ours in packs of 2 or 4 patties.
From two small/medium roasts I got 13 hamburger patties and 2 packages of ground beef.
Products related to this post (if you can't find them locally, are available through Amazon):
Weston Products Weston Brands Grinder and No.5 Stuffer, White
Weston Electric Heavy Duty Grinder, Silver
2 8"X50' Rolls of FoodVacBags Vacuum Sealer Bags - Make Your Own Size Bag!
Weston Products Weston Brands Vaccum Sealer, Harvest Guard Portable, Black