A couple of years ago my father-in-law gave us his “Ward’s Best” (yes, Montgomery Ward) electric grinder that he’d had since the ’70s, and I’d put it into storage with a plan to use it “someday”. I’d been thinking about grinding my own burger meat for awhile so last night I got it out, figured out how it works (the instructions are missing, naturally), went to the store, and came back with a 1-3/4 lb. English-cut chuck roast. I cut the roast into pieces small enough for the grinder feed tube, seasoned them with plenty of salt and pepper, and let them sit in the fridge overnight. After reading that ground chuck is usually around 80% lean I mixed in the fat from 3 thick strips of bacon this morning, just to be safe.
While the charcoal caught fire Mrs. Chicken and I ran the beef through the grinder, and I’ll be darned if it didn’t work just like when them fancy TV chefs use one![;)] I formed the beef into burgers with as light a touch as possible and grilled them, melting a piece of farmer’s cheese into each one along the way, and put them on grill-toasted buns.
I’m now completely sold on grinding my own beef for burgers. They really turned out tender and juicy with excellent flavor, and seasoning the beef ahead of time really made a difference. I’ll probably stick with the store-bought ground beef for tacos and other recipes that call for the meat to be completely cooked, but from now on if I’m making burgers and have the time I’m doing it myself!