Screw electricity. Get some exercise and cook at the same time. Crank it up!
This 1886 design is so perfect that it is still being made today, and has become the standard meat grinder. (This one has the 1886 patent date on it.) Though this is the hand crank version, there is a pulley available that can be used to hook this up to an electric motor. I happened to see one in use during a cooking show set in Cambodia, where an entire sausage factory was being powered by just one of these grinders.
One of the benefits of this being the standard is that one can be had on the cheap, and I paid fifteen bucks for this one. Someone had put the cutter on backwards, which had made it non-functional. I re-ground and sharpened it, and put it back on the right way. There are also innumerable attachments.
Here’s a vintage grinder plate, a used one, and a new one. The one with the large holes is used with the somewhat deadly looking sausage stuffers, which allows anyone to go crazy making sausage. That’s why I have intestines in my fridge, aka sausage casings.
There’s an even larger version of this, the #33, which is handy if your name is Dr. Lecter.
This little one hundred plus year old food grinder has become my favorite. Simple and easy to clean, it’s everything a food processor isn’t. I have even managed to assemble a complete set of cutters for this beauty.
Yes, that really does say “nut butter cutter.” It works like a charm. The others grind meat like no body’s business. I also have a giant Enterprise #22, which is large enough to run a small sausage factory. I’m only going to use it for whole pork shoulders from now on. Buy one of these off of Ebay while you still can, if you’re into old school and sustainability.
Vegans, don’t read this. An animal was killed and eaten as part of this story.
You know that the following narrative is true, because no one could possibly make up something as crazy as this. I also doubted the following quote from Joel Salatin, aka “the world’s most famous farmer,” but now I have incontrovertible evidence that it is true:
The indigenous knowledge base surrounding food is largely gone. When “scratch” cooking means actually opening a can, and when church and family reunion potlucks include buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken, you know our culture has suffered a culinary information implosion.
Hyperbole? Here’s what happened during my last weekly trip to the Whole Foods Market in Mountain Brook, Alabama.
Thrifty person that I am, I play every angle imaginable when shopping, as long as there is no compromise on quality. I rarely buy any meat other than chicken at Whole Foods, as our local butcher, Brickyard Meats, regularly has local grass fed beef and local pork. They were mostly wiped out on my last trip, and all I scored was some slices of fresh ham, which I marry-nated in a Saumure Anglais, which I believe means something like “English brine” or “English pickle.” So if I wanted decent beef, it was Whole Foods or bust. I was headed to the wealthiest zip code in Alabama, and one of the wealthiest in the South.
Apparently I exuded a false air of respectability, as I was picking out a good chunk of beef from the Amazon Prime specials display, because a young woman with a small child trailing behind her, decided she wanted to know what I was buying.
MBH (Mountain Brook Housewife): “What is that?” She was wearing a Patagonia down vest, zipped up to her neck, even though it was sixty degrees outside.
ME: “It’s a chuck roast.” I pointed at the label while I answered her.
MBH: “How much is it?”
ME: “This is the regular price, and this is the Prime price.” I pointed at the two signs that displayed the prices in large numbers.
MBH: “Could I make beef stew out of that?”
ME: “It would make excellent beef stew or a roast. I’m making a roast.” That answer was a mistake.
MBH: “Could I cut it up?”
ME: “Yes.” I was mentally debating whether or not I should make a run for it.
MBH: “Will they cut it up for me here?” Apparently she had a knife-less kitchen.
ME: “Probably, if you ask the people down at the meat counter.” Those poor suckers.
She made a bee line down to the meat counter, and as I walked by, a tall woman with a butcher’s apron was explaining to her that they had stew meat already cut up in the meat display. I decided it was a good time to head to the restroom. Later, I peeked at her cart while she was checking out, from a safe distance away. There was no stew meat in it. In fact, it appeared that she had nothing but prepared, processed food in there. I had to feel sorry for the poor kid.
MBH had just confirmed one of the most notorious jokes about a Mountain Brook housewife. What is the best thing they make? Reservations.