How to Ground Pork

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Ground pork is a versatile ingredient used to make homemade sausage and a wide range of other recipes. When added to other ground meats like beef and veal, ground pork adds complex flavors to old standbys like meatballs and meatloaf. Good ground pork requires a great deal of fat in order to maintain its flavor, so use a fatty pork shoulder cut like Boston butt. Grinding pork at home lets you control quality and add your own seasonings.

Cut the pork shoulder into 1-1/2-inch to 2-inch strips with a chef's knife. For easier slicing, cut against the grain by passing the knife across the lines of muscle tissue visible in the meat.

Place a batch of raw pork strips into your food processor up to the line that designates maximum capacity. Unless you have an industrial-sized food processor that fits all of your meat, you must work with small batches.

Sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat. If unsure how much to use, start with a generous pinch of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper per pound of meat. Sprinkle additional seasonings over the pork according to specific recipes.

Pulse the meat in your processor in five-second intervals, stopping every few seconds to gauge the grind size. Grind the meat until you reach a consistency similar to ground beef. Take care not to over grind, as pureed pork shoulder is difficult to salvage in any recipe.

Remove the ground pork, put it in a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Add more batches to the bowl as you finish grinding.

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