Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cooking Ahead ~ Freezer Cooking

Tonight, after dinner, I had a little bit of a break from the baby. My husband played with her for a while, so I could get some stuff done in the kitchen.

I only had about an hour, maybe a little more, and I think I used my time well to get a lot accomplished.

Lisa, at
Extraordinary Life, talks about preparing and freezing Ground Beef Base. Since we purchased 5 lbs. of ground beef the other day, I decided to give this a try. In the past, I would separate the raw meat into 1 lb. portions and freeze each pound separately in freezer bags. It never really occurred to me to cook it first.

I already used 1.5 lbs of the meat for burgers on Monday. Meatloaf is on the menu for Thursday, so I mixed up and shaped a meatloaf using another 1.5 lbs.

That left me 2 lbs. of ground beef to work with. A perfect amount to try this out for the first time. I browned the meat and added some diced onion and diced red bell pepper. I wanted to add celery and carrots too, but after checking the veggie bin, I realized they had spoiled. I really need to work on planning my meals better to avoid waste.


After draining the meat base and letting it cool, I evenly distributed it into 2 freezer bags and they are now in my freezer. Now, when I plan my weekly menu, I can plan to use the mixture in tacos or hamburger helper or any other meal that calls for browned ground beef. This will make meal time a lot easier, especially on a busy day of doctor appointments, or just a day home with a fussy baby near dinner time.

It didn't take long to get that done and I also managed to clean up the kitchen too!

Oh, the meatloaf for tomorrow is still un-cooked. It's in the fridge in a foil pan (covered) waiting to be popped into the oven at meal time! How easy is that??

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Ground beef base is one of those things you may just find is too convenient not to keep around. I know my sister was initially reluctant but is now hooked!

~Alison~ said...

I decided to take your word for it and bought 5 more pounds of ground beef when I went to Aldi's today!

This time, I made sure I got my carrots and celery to add to it, since the stuff in my veggie bin had spoiled. I'm going to add some zucchini too, diced finely. I did that a few weeks ago and really liked all of the added veggies.

Sneaking in more veggies and stretching a pound of ground beef at the same time!

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