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going from whole to ground - tips?

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going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby JessiL » Fri May 24, 2019 2:02 pm


Hi all, it's been a while since I've posted, hope all are doing well!

So my 3.5 year-old (human) has been doing the picky pre-schooler thing recently, and often refuses meat on the bone. But she has yet to meet a sausage she doesn't like! So I think I'm going to try making our own rabbit sausage.

Any tips? Is there any way to speed the process of going from whole animal to ground? Am I really just going to have to debone with a knife and ideally invest in a quality meat grinder?

And if anyone has any particular recipes to suggest, I'm all ears! Unfortunately she also really strongly prefers cased sausages, I probably can't start out just doing loose bulk sausage...

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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Homer » Sat May 25, 2019 8:42 am


We have a Cuisinart stand mixer that gets used almost daily. Bought a meat grinder attachment for it and love it. Comes with 2 sizes of sausage stuffing tubes. I buy the casings at our local meat market but can be had online for less. Mixer is less than $300 and gave ~100 for the grinder.

Great for making bread using the "hook". A whisk and flat paddle are also included.

SM-55BK

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$65.00 on ebay! https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cuisinart-Large-Meat-Grinder-Attachment-NEW-in-Box/163694185889?epid=1285572052&hash=item261cef0da1:g:CGMAAOSwzZBc3t0e&frcectupt=true

We chose the Cuisinart 12 speed stand mixer over all the others because it has an all metal gear train. I saw to many reviews of the "others" where they failed in that area. We've been pounding on ours for about 12 years now and love it. You can't go wrong.

edit: That plastic spill guard on the mixer causes more trouble than it was worth. It pops right off and now lives at the county dump somewhere. ;)
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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby alforddm » Sat May 25, 2019 3:37 pm


Yep I have the same thing with a Kitchenaid. I just bought the one they had at Walmart which turned out to the smallest one. One of these day's I'm sure I'll burn it up but so far it hasn't happened and I've had it for a couple of years. Hubby promised me he'd buy me another one if I kill this one since I use it so much. :lol: 8-)

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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby JessiL » Wed May 29, 2019 1:00 am


Thanks all. I'm about 2/3 of the way through on my first trial batch. I ended up borrowing a buddy's Cabela's meat grinder (he is a big time hunter), and once I figured out how to assemble it, it made short work of the 4.25 pounds of meat I pulled off of two mature culls. I just deboned them by hand, skipping on doing the front legs but making sure to strip every last bit of backstrap possible. It took me about 15 minutes per animal, but I'm sure with a little more practice I can get that down to 10 minutes or so. I usually just joint my rabbits, it's been a while since I've attempted to debone.

So now that meat is sitting with an additional 2 pounds of ground pork and letting the flavors from the "white Polish" sausage seasoning mingle. I'll stuff it into hog casings tomorrow, hopefully after borrowing that same buddy's crank sausage stuffer.

So far, so good. If it continues to go smoothly, and if the final product is tasty, I think I'll try to keep doing it again. We do have a vintage Kitchenaid stand mixer, I'm not sure whether it will be worth it to save a few bucks by getting the grinder attachment or if I should just go for a stand-alone grinder. Anyway, I don't think I'll mind front-loading the prep work if it means I can end up with something that is quick to cook - and guaranteed to be eaten by the preschooler and toddler. It's getting a bit old, being the primary person who eats rabbit other than the loin... especially when I have 11 litters out with their moms, ready to start getting processed in another 4 weeks.

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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Homer » Wed May 29, 2019 6:45 am


Sounds like you're well on your way to cornering the sausage market Jessi. :) There are tons of seasoning mixes out there to try. Most contain enough to make 25# of goodness for about $4. Enjoy!
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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby JessiL » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:23 pm


Quick update...

Sausage making went well enough. I think for future rounds I'll try putting in some straight-up pork fat rather than just fatty ground pork - the final product was a little dense and could become dry if you aren't careful in cooking. I think we'll try another round or two before fully committing. The work wasn't too bad, but my kids aren't quite as enthusiastic as I had hoped. Then again, I pretty much fed them sausage daily for nearly a week, so even they might have hit their limits!

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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Homer » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:39 pm


Sorry about that, I should have suggested Putting some fat in. I had the same experience the first time I made it too. I get fat scraps from my local butcher and put in 15% by weight. Makes all the difference in the world. I put all the seasoning I'm using in a batch on the fat and then send it through the grinder first, then the pork followed by a piece of bread. That cleans the last dab of pork out and when I see bread come out shut it off. :)

edit: Sometimes I add a little water to make it work better when stuffing the casings too. I usually make about three pound at a time and put in about 1/8 cup is all.
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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Green2Rabbits » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:22 am


Homer wrote:edit: Sometimes I add a little water to make it work better when stuffing the casings too. I usually make about three pound at a time and put in about 1/8 cup is all.


I use to work in the smoke house of a sausage factory that would make our own brand sausage and help make the major brand sausage.

Yes there was a little water added to the meat (along with fat) so when it would cook it wouldn't become dehydrated. Although being a professional set up most of the actual cooking was done with steam then when it was nearly done it was just dry heat to finish it off.

Good tip though don't feel it's wrong to add a bit of water that's how the ones you buy in the store come.

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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Homer » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:29 am


Agreed, I use a little water to help disperse the seasoning. It makes it a lot easier to send through the sausage stuffer too when making links.

If you don't know about it here's a great site for all things meat: https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/
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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Zass » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:02 am


We eat a lot of ground rabbit, not just as sausage. It can be used anywhere you would use ground chicken, pork, or turkey burger. (dumplings, ravioli, pasta sauce, meatballs, you name it!!)

I have a meat grinder like your friend's, and I like it because it takes down whole large game animals in short order. It's definitely worth owning.

When I do the rabbits, it's usually whole litters at a time. I break them up by taking the thighs, loin (backstraps,) and wings(forelegs) off to cook separately, and then I de-bone and grind the rest. Sometimes I de-bone and grind the thighs too, if I want more burger.

We make sausage too, the internet is full of recipes!! I can't add more advice on that than has already been said.

We always remove the glands on our rabbits that are near the base of the tail, and the ones in the fat globs on the legs. I truly do believe that effects the taste, especially with older male rabbits. (This is something not everyone does, I started as a habit from dressing other types of game, and 7 years later, I still swear by it.)

You can add organ meats to a sausage grind, heart, liver and kidneys.

As for the parts I didn't grind...
The loins(backstraps) are a special treat for us. Those get frozen in big packs (silverskin removed,) to eventually be breaded and deep fried for "bunny nuggets" or "bunny strips."
Almost everyone likes this mild-tasting boneless white meat, especially dipped in their favorite sauces.
(Kid crowd pleaser.)

Those forelegs are too much of a pain to de-bone, but they do make good "bunny wings" if oven baked until crispy. Butter garlic bunny wings are even better when left in the fridge overnight.

Thighs can get a bit chewy, so for those I de-bone, hit with the meat mallet and some tenderizer and the popular seasoning of the day, and just grill. The grilled thigh is usually eaten up right away, but leftovers could theoretically be used anywhere you would use leftover chicken.

So to sum it up...Yep, you are pretty much stuck de-boning the whole rabbit if you have fussy kids. :lol:

Or if you just like to get fancy with it like I do, but that's OK!
As you have seen, there is a LOT you can do with de-boned rabbit, and it doesn't take very long once you get the hang of it.

The leftover bones can make a good stock, but it takes a lot of them compared to chicken bones.
Alternately, I like to freeze the de-boned carcasses, and then feed them to the dogs.

I hope I've given you some ideas. :D

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Re: going from whole to ground - tips?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby hotzcatz » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:28 pm


alforddm wrote:Yep I have the same thing with a Kitchenaid. I just bought the one they had at Walmart which turned out to the smallest one. One of these day's I'm sure I'll burn it up but so far it hasn't happened and I've had it for a couple of years. Hubby promised me he'd buy me another one if I kill this one since I use it so much. :lol: 8-)



Yup, if you got it at a big box store like Walmart, then it's not really a Kitchenaid. If you can find an older one which was made by Hobart, although still branded as 'Kitchenaid' you'll find out why they became such popular machines.

The Kitchenaid at Walmart may still be made by Kitchenaid, most likely, anyway; but the mixers there are a special run just for Walmart and they will have cheaper parts. Stamped instead of machined metal, cheaper versions of stainless steel, bushings instead of bearings, etc., etc. When there's a tool I want and I expect that it will be heavily used and I want it to last, I'll buy it from a higher end source, not a big box store.
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