Tom PapoutsisTom Papoutsis is a “Firehouse Chef” that currently holds the rank of Lieutenant with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Tom’s experience in the Fire Service spans over 29 years, 19 of which have been with Fairfax County. The bulk of his firehouse culinary expertise has been practiced during his tenure there. He was a national finalist in the 2004 Tabasco Cook & Ladder Competition finishing in the top 10 of the nations Firehouse Chef’s, and traveled to New York City to compete in a cook off with his peers. He has also been placed on the “charity” auction block several times to prepare meals for the highest bidder. Tom likes to specialize in Italian and Greek cuisine being of the same heritage, but also enjoys preparing Asian and of course “Good Ole American” foods as well. He concentrates on entrées but also has a few hors d’oeuvres and dessert specialties as well, such as his versions of Bruschetta and Amaretto Cheesecake. For the past year he has been studying the practice of making homemade Italian deli meats and sausages. Tom’s motto: “It’s just cooking, not rocket science, take a chance…..you might like it!” Residing in Chambersburg, PA with his wife JoAnn, twins Jonathan & Katie and “Buddy” their Golden Retriever. Tom enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing, woodworking, raising his children and helping form today’s youth while volunteering with son Jonathan’s Cub Scout pack. Tom can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
Lieutenant Tom Papoutsis: Lieutenant Tom Papoutsis, we are back. First thing we are going to do, we are going to put our meat grinder together, so we can get started grinding this meat. If youve ever seen one of these things, you dont know what its for, its got this little cap on in the end; this is actually the motor drive that comes off of the motor. What we are going to do is we are going to loosen the screw, and if we pull this cap off right here, there is an actual little motor drive that, what we have is we have a square drive that this fits onto. This is the actual meat grinder, it comes with -- you have two different grinding plates. We have a coarse and a fine, and this is your actual blade thats used.
Now, also in here, is an auger. This is very important. The auger is what actually pulls the meat down through and runs it through the blade through this. Now, when you use any piece of equipment like this, it is very important that you do not, absolutely, positively do not stick your fingers into this hole. Thats why they gave you this. This tool is actually two-purpose, its used to take this ring off, this end. It has a handle on it, so you can actually push the stuff down in. If you were to get your fingers down in there if your fingers are long enough, this thing could actually grab your fingers and take it in. So, dont put anything, but the actual stuffer into it. Keep your fingers away from it.
Now, what I have done is, we are going to start out; we are going to use the coarse grind, to start out with. You can see we have a coarse grind and a fine grind, with smaller holes, bigger holes. We are going to start out, we are going to use the coarse. So, all is I have to do is drop that plate in, as such, we put the ring on, hand-tight, spin it on, go hand-tight with it. This is going to fit in here. Now, you are going to have to turn it a little bit, to what, you feel it attach, and then we just turn it, and push, and it will slide right in place, lock this down, and we are ready to go.
Also we need to do, at this point, is trim our meat. We get a bowl, we are going to take this bowl off, or we could actually use this bowl to catch. I am going to use another bowl to catch it, so we are going to set this on the side, well get rid of it for now, and well go with our other bowl. But, when we come back, we are going to start trimming the meat, getting ready, and we are going to grind this meat up, and get it ready to go.