Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

Ground Beef
Since I work full time and don't get home until 5:30pm, I am always looking for ways to make dinner faster. I've started making something out of my ground beef as soon as I get it home from the store.
Some ideas are:
  1. Meatloaf--I usually make up three meatloafs and then freeze them. I discovered last time that I can mix up the ingredients, then divide it into three ziploc freezer bags (I used to use a TON of plastic wrap--silly me!), squish the bags into three loaf pans and freeze them in the freezer--uncooked. (You want to freeze them in the pan so the meatloaf will fit in your pan when you go to cook it.) You can take the bag out of the pan after the meatloaf has frozen. When you want to cook the meatloaf, take it out of the bag--you may need to run some hot water over it to loosen is from the bag, put it in the pan to thaw. I usually put mine in the oven on time bake in the morning with aluminum foil (sprayed with pam so it doesn't stick) and set my oven for time bake so when I walk through the door you have meatloaf ready. :o) I also usually throw in some baked potatoes to cook with the meatloaf.
  2. Make hamburgers and freeze.
  3. Cook up a lot of taco meat and freeze it in amounts for meal time.--I add lentils or black beans to increase nutrition and stretch the meat.
  4. Make up meatballs to freeze--these I cook before I freeze them. I cook them on the broiler pan in the oven. I make a double batch and there is not hardly a millimeter of space unused on my pan. I then freeze them in a ziploc bag.
  5. Cook up a bunch of the beef and leave plain to use in recipes. I have found that I can cook up enough ground beef in one skillet to divide out for three meals. I put enough water in the skillet to go about 1/2 way up on the pan, this decrease the fat content even more.
I hardly ever freeze ground beef anymore unless it has been made into something or cooked. It really doesn't take that much time, but it sure make meal prep easier! :o)


Sarah said...

Isn't it satisfying to pull prepared food out of the freezer instead of a big hunk of meat that has to be defrosted and cooked first?

Becky said...

Most definitely!