This past week I loaded my freezer up with ground beef. We were able to get 40 lbs of lean ground beef through a local food distributor that brings a variety of fresh form the farm items at a great price. This is the same place we got the peaches the week before.
So here she was, 20 pounds of 93% lean ground beef...2 HUGE chubs! Yikes! I knew I better get to work because we were having refrigerator issues so I knew I needed to get it into the freezer.
Ground Beef: First thing I did was cut one of the chubs in half and wrapped up 6 equal portions (just under a pound each) to have available for a recipe. In order to avoid freezer burn, I double wrap them in plastic wrap and then place them inside a Ziploc freezer bag. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step.)
Whew, 1/4 of the way done! That was easy!
Base: The other half of the chub I popped into a pan along with a cup of water and browned it up to create a ground beef base. To this base I also added 2 finely chopped onions and green peppers. That was the only seasoning I added. This base will be great for a quick meal of tacos, sloppy joes, pizza, etc. All I need to do is throw this already cooked meat into a pan along with some seasoning and serve. This will save a big step on a busy evening.
After I browned up the meat, I spread it out on a large baking sheet to cool. Once it was cool, I divided it into 1 pound portions in Ziploc bags. I squeezed out any air and then laid them flat and placed the in the freezer. Once the bags were frozen, I placed them in a larger gallon size freezer bag to further protect it and to keep them organized in the freezer.
Meatballs: Next, I cut off about a third of the 2nd chub and placed it in a large bowl along with a pound of spicy pork sausage (what I had on hand). I added a few eggs, bread crumbs, seasoning and onion. I mixed it up and formed it into meatballs. I laid these out on a baking sheet, popped them in the freezer until they were frozen (a couple of hours) and then put them in a Ziploc freezer bag. Again, I laid these plat in the freezer bag so they can be stacked easier and the bags take up less space.
Hamburger Patties: Okay, more than 2 hours in and I looked up and there sat 7+ pounds of meat that I still needed to deal with. I was exhausted. Yet, I forged on. The remainder of the meat was made into quarter pound patties. I again, laid them out on baking sheets, froze them and then placed them into large Ziploc freezer bags.
Overall, it was a great day and I am so excited to have all this great meat ready for our busy school and activities schedule. Now I hope I can come across a great sale on chicken so I can put together some go to chicken meals too!