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??


Lisa Babcock 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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