A couple of years ago, the price of ground beef, even the cheap fatty stuff, hit over $3 a pound and it just started to get too expensive to afford. Therefore, we decided to look into replacement ground meats for our foods, with the added bonus that other meats were healthier. But you go and try to buy ground turkey, chicken or pork in a one-horse town at an affordable price. Just ain't happening. So we decided to invest in the KitchenAid Mixer (the wife wanted it more to start making bread) but we also got the grinding attachment. It's rather expensive (we dropped $50 at Wal-Mart for it) but it pays for itself in the long run. Now we could grind up our own selections without paying the $4-$5 a-pound grinding convenience fee. Now when turkeys go on sale for under a buck a pound, I pick up a couple and grind them up. I like a mix of white and dark meat, for added flavor, so I usually toss in a couple of chicken thighs with every breast. You can pick up the cheaper pork cuts and use them for your ground pork. As an added bonus, this goes much easier when you have 2 people working together, one doing the cutting and one doing the grinding so this turns into a cooking date / quality-time activity a couple can do together outside of the bedroom.
In prepping your ground meats, you can set yourself up some time-saving before you put it initially into the freezer. I do have standard selections of straight ground meats for future use, but I also combine my meats for specialized meals (Hamburger patties, meatballs and even meatloaf) and have them pre-formed to reduce cooking prep time on the back end. This recipe will work for any of those choices.
Amount of ingredients is proportional per 1 pound of meat. Mixing meats is recommenced for additional taste sensations. For larger portions of preparation, increase proportionally.
1 pound of ground meat (chicken, turkey, pork or beef)
1/2 cup of standard breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan (highly recommended over pre-grated options)
2 TBSP of Olive Oil (makes meatballs more moist and yummy)
2 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP Soy Sauce
1 TSP Garlic Powder
1 TSP Onion Powder
1/4 TSP Black Pepper
Finely diced Green Pepper and Onions can be added to the meat if so desired. Finely diced is the key. Anything too large and it will affect the bonding of the meat, especially when cooking.
Add other additional seasonings to taste. If you want spicy, add paprika, cayenne, etc.
Mix well, form into patties, balls, or loafs, then freeze. Individual patties can first be put into standard sandwich bags then mass frozen in quart freezer bags to save the cost of using unnecessary expensive freezer bags. Expect that meat will last at least 6 months.
Feel free to share your experiences and enjoyment.