Saturday, August 27, 2011

Freezer Cooking: Ground Beef

I love being able to go to the freezer at the spur of the moment and have it loaded up with a variety of dinner options.  As hard as I try, meal planning generally doesn't happen until after 4pm and the kids are complaining that they are hungry.  If I am especially lazy, we end up eating spaghetti or quesadillas because they are quick easy and great go to meals.  I love when I go to the freezer and can pull out a chicken dish or beef dish that has a bit more panache!  You know, cuz we are fancy!  hee hee!

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!

2 comments:

  1. Very cool Lori. I don't think I've ever cooked up so much beef before, but I def have done some of what you did, and it sure does save time.

    I really need to make meatballs, duh, that is so easy, and yummy!!

    Thanks for walking us through it Lori!

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