Ever since I started the whole meatball thing, I’ve played with the idea of getting a meat grinder. Something simple, small, and easy to use. And, most importantly, not so expensive.

Done.

Seriously, before we moved to Texas, I had not even thought about ever buying a meat grinder. Clearly, Texas is doing something to my head.

But, I do have a pretty nice meat grinder now.

We have a lot of meat in our freezer right now (don’t ask, that’s a different story), and I figured that a good way to use some of it was to grind it up and use it that way to liven things up a bit. That was entirely hypothetical on my part, but it turns out that it works well in practice as well as theory. So far.

It’s a cute little machine. Hand-cranked, which is fine for a couple of pounds of meat (I did ¾ of a pound, and it took me less than 15 minutes, including cutting up the meat). The machine also has three pasta blades, so you can bet I’m going to be trying that out in the future. It’s not a lot of variety (spaghetti, linguine, and rigatoni), but it’s a start. Not sure when I’ll get around to doing that, because it will be a bit more of a production than just cutting up some frozen meat and popping it in the feeder.

It’s also a fun little machine. I used a fine grind, which made the meat a little mushier, but I thought the texture was alright. It made for a very tender meatball.

Of course I made meatballs! What else was I gonna do with it?

Crockpot beef meatballs in a chiptole-tomato sauce over brown rice with corn and zucchini. A little on the spicy side; wish I’d had some queso fresco to throw on top of it, but we made do with sour cream. Would definitely be nice on a cold, winter day. Clearly, though, the highlight here is that I made those meatballs entirely from scratch.

Alright, not entirely. Mostly. Don’t worry – I don’t intend to start raising my own meat. Or butchering it, for that matter. I don’t have enough room in the kitchen for that. Also, that looks like a lot of work. I’ll leave it to the professionals.

But grinding my own meat? Yeah, I got that covered.

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