No matter how obliging your neighborhood butcher is, sometimes it's just handy to grind your own meats at home. If you don’t have a meat grinder on those occasions, you can use your food processor instead. It's only suitable for small batches, but it's a relatively quick way to prepare enough meat for one meal.
Start by cutting your meat into reasonably uniform cubes, ideally 1 inch but no more than 2 inches in size. This provides the opportunity to remove excess fat and any pieces of gristle that might prove troublesome to chew. Spread the meat evenly on a sheet pan and freeze it for 15 to 20 minutes, until the meat has firmed up at the edges but is still slightly soft. Pulse it in small batches, no more than a half-pound at a time, until it's the right consistency.
Why You'd Do It
This method entails a bit more work than just buying your ground meat, but it has some clear benefits. For one thing, you get to control important variables such as the fineness of your grind and its percentage of fat, and you also have the option of working with especially flavorful cuts such as beef chuck or pork leg if you choose. It's also handy if you're gifted with game from friends who hunt, or simply wish to turn your planned pot roast into hamburgers instead.
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