Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Grinding Turkey

I've heard turkeys go on sale after Thanksgiving.  I never saw evidence of this in my local stores.  However, I did find turkey on sale for $0.59/lb after Christmas. 

So my parents bought my husband and I an 11lb turkey.

What does one do with an 11lb turkey??  It's just the two of us and while we would like to have parties, we likely wouldn't serve turkey at one.  After a brief discussion on how we would likely use turkey, we decided to grind the whole thing up.  (Actually, our plan was to make sausage, but we wanted to mix beef heart with the turkey and didn't have time to get to the store that sells it).

11lbs of fresh, raw turkey
 First, we portioned it.  We discovered turkey bones are much thicker and tougher than chicken bones.
the turkey meets the cleaver. The cleaver's name is dexter.  no joke. it's engraved.
Then we ground it. I love our grinder attachment for the Kitchenaid. Because turkey meat is so lean, we ended up grinding in some of the skin based on a recipe my husband had read for making sausage.  After seeing it all ground up, I probably would have put in slightly less skin. However, the leanness of ground beef heart will probably balance it out when we make sausage. 
all ground up and lightly salt and peppered

Then we bagged it.
I really need a scale.  I tried, but I know the portions are all over the place.
We got 8 bags of meat with roughly 1lb in each bag.  So far, we're planning on making meatballs and sausage.  We're still thinking about other meals we can do with ground turkey meat. 

vacuum sealed, labeled, and dated

After grinding everything, we took all the bones, sauteed them, and boiled it with leeks to make broth.  We didn't quite have a big enough pot and really we should have made two batches of broth, so we ended up with a super concentrated broth. 

I looked into canning the broth, but I only have a water bath canner.  Due to it's lack of acidity and bacteria that could be present in the meat, I would need a pressure canner to safely can the broth.  My alternative is to just freeze it.  After we refrigerate the broth overnight, we will skim off the solidified fat and pour it into muffin tins (after I measure how much each muffin tin holds!).  After freezing those, I'll vacuum seal them and keep them frozen for future use.

I'm excited. 


Scott said...

I like the idea of freezing the broth in muffiin tins. Nice!

Julie said...

It worked out well! Turns out they hold just over 1/4c. of broth, so I underfilled them a bit. This way, they had room to expand and I could group 4 into each vacuum pack and use a cup (or quarter there of) at a time.