I was able to make use of Jeff's sister's christmas gift, which was a pasta maker attachment for the KitchenAid stand mixer. The attachment doubles as a meat grinder, and after reading reviews of the product online, I think that will be it's only use in my kitchen. (The reviews for it's intended use were mostly negative, something involving the pasta sticking to itself too much and poor design. The reviews regarding the meat grinder function were all shining, however.)
For the meat, I chose a USDA choice beef chuck eye steak. It was recommended to me by my butcher because of how much fat was in it. Jeff thought it looked nasty, but that's because he can't stand the idea of fat in meat. (Not a bad thing as far as being healthy goes, but without fat some things about cooking just aren't possible.) I put the beef into the freezer for about ten minutes for it to harden up before I cut it into long strips (they varied from 1/2 inch to 1 inch), then put those strips back into the freezer for 20 minutes to harden more. I set up the attachment with the larger of the two meat grinding inserts, and noted that the instructions recommended two passes through the grinder for a better distribution of the fat. Unfortunately, it didn't mention whether we should pass it through the smaller insert or the larger insert the second time.
When the meat was nice and hard, I put the stand mixer on setting 4 (as per the instructions) and fed it the strips of meat. After a few moments of anticipation...holy crap, it's ground beef! It was pretty quick, too. I was able to put the meat through in about 5 minutes. I decided not to give it a second pass, because of the final product; I figure if I were making something smaller, such as a hamburger, I would give it a second pass. I only needed a pound of the beef, so I packaged the leftover pound and a half into different bags for later use.
There was a small amount left over from that, which Elizabeth suggested, "Why don't we cook it right now?" "Ok!" "Wow, every time I say something like that to my mom, she thinks I'm nuts." "So, this means that I'm cooler than your mom!" I figured it would be a good way to gage what the meat actually tasted like, in comparison to any other ground beef the both of us had previously tasted. She sautéed the beef in a small pan, and let it cook in it's own fat. The meat had a very rich flavor.
I combined the ingredients with the freshly ground beef, and folded it in my microwave safe bowl. I cooked it using the same instructions as my previous microwave meatloaf dish, in hopes that it would cook the same.
It turned out amazing; just as flavorful and tender as when it was baked for an hour and a half.
Michael the Microwaveable Meatloaf
Ingredients (Serves 2 or 3)
1/3 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 1/3 teaspoons parsley
2/3 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 teaspoon ground sage
2/3 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/3 teaspoons garlic powder
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2/3 teaspoon dry mustard
In a microwave safe bowl, combine eggs, milk, and worcestershire sauce.
Stir in crumbs, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, sage, chili powder, and garlic powder.
Add beef, and mix using a spatula.
In the microwave, cover and cook for 10 minutes on high.
Mix ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Spread over the meat and return to the microwave for 5 minutes, uncovered.
Let rest in the microwave for 10 minutes before serving.