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GROUND MEAT

Homemade ground meat While it is naturally economically sound to process the cheapest parts of animal carcass into ground meat, unfortunately in many countries this practise only seems to be an excuse to use the most inferior and badly trimmed, even dubious body parts or additives in commercially produced minced meat.

In order to produce mince of top class, one should only use topside roast/top round roast/inside roast, silverside roast/bottom round roast, knuckle roast, or top sirloin butt roast of the animal. In Finland, the best-quality ground meat, sold as paistijauheliha (literally "roast/joint ground meat") must be ground from these parts only.

Minced meat dishes have a long history in the culinary tradition of the Nordic countries. While previously chopping and mincing meat was a laborious task performed mainly in wealthy households by servants using special knives, the introduction of mechanical meat grinders enabled meats used in making sausages, meatballs and patties to be easily ground into a finer texture, making these dishes more accessible and widespread.

The mince used in various Nordic dishes must be extremely finely ground, and as store-bought mince is often much too coarse-textured and poorly trimmed, resulting in rough and dry meat with grizzly bits once cooked, being very unpleasant to eat, it is better instead to buy a whole piece of meat and trim, cut and grind it oneself.

Below you will find instructions for grinding your own beef mince. The holes in the grinder plate used must be no bigger than three to four millimetres in diameter. If you do not own a meat grinder, you may mix coarsely ground or finely chopped meat in a food mixer until the texture is fine enough. This method is actually often used in preparing the famous Swedish wallenbergare  —  Wallenberg steaks.

large piece of beef topside/top round/inside roast (preferably fresh, not frozen)
or
silverside/bottom round roast
(
or knuckle roast or top sirloin butt roast)

Cutting meat for grinding Trim the roast by cutting off any possible layers of silverskin, excess fat, veins/arteries, tendons/sinews, etc.

With a sharp, sturdy knife, cut the piece of roast into thick, chunky slices, and these into smaller pieces, removing any remaining fat, silverskin, etc (see the picture above right).

Grinding meat Make sure your meat grinder  —  whether electrical or hand-powered  —  is fitted with a grinder plate with holes no bigger than three to four millimetres in diameter.

Push the meat through the grinder (see the picture on right).

For an even finer texture, you can grind the resulted mince a second time.

Use the ground meat in various minced meat dishes, like, for example, meatballs or patties, hamburgers, stuffed cabbage rolls and Wallenberg steaks.

Use the ground meat at once, or store tightly wrapped in refrigerator for up to one day, to be on the safe side, as ground meat will spoil more rapidly than whole, untouched pieces of meat. Provided that the roast you used had not been previously frozen, you can freeze the ground meat in portions.

Recipe source: "traditional recipe".


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