Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: How I Used 40 Pounds of Ground Beef

Blogging rule:  Write when the event is fresh in your mind. 
What I'm doing:  Trying to decipher my handwritten notes and remember what I actually did.  
One of my new favorite mantras:  Brains are not for remembering.  Brains are for thinking. 
My new resolve:  Blog before I forget!

Back in July, I brought home 40 pounds of ground beef from a Zaycon event (in the spirit of full disclosure, that is a referral link).    I mentioned my purchase in a blog post, and I promised to share just how I was going to use that much meat.  My freezer is now well-stocked with plenty of meals!
 
The ground beef came in 4 ten-pound chubs.  I used one of the rolls to freeze hamburger patties.  I simply sliced the meat and froze between pieces of parchment paper.  That gave me 40 patties.  

Using half of another chub, I made 6 pot pies.  I used this recipe from the blog, One Hundred Dollars a Month. That is a good recipe! I've taken it to a mom just home from the hospital, and I've served it to a bunch of hungry missionaries, and both times, it received rave reviews.  Although the recipe says it makes 5 pies, I got 6 out of it.  I used 1-1/2 quarts of gravy, rather than 5 jars.  I also found that the cooking time was closer to 1-1/2 hours from frozen, as opposed to the 45 minutes-1 hour suggested. 

With 8 pounds of the remaining ground beef, I made frozen lasagnas.  I'm not going to link a recipe for this, because the recipe I used seriously underestimated the amount of noodles needed.  I ended up improvising quite a bit, and while the end result tasted fine, I'm going to try a different recipe next time.  (If you have a favorite freezer lasagna recipe, I'd love to hear it!)

I didn't intend to make quite as many frozen burritos as I did, but the recipe just kept filling more and more tortillas!  I adapted this recipe from Money Saving Mom. I basically multiplied it by 4, except I used 1 #10 can of refried beans, 1 #10 can of enchilada sauce, one large onion (diced), 2 pounds of sharp Cheddar cheese (grated), and 108 tortillas!  

I used 7 pounds of ground beef to make The Pioneer Woman's Frito Chili Pie , with some changes.  I multiplied it by roughly 3-1/2.  I used used 9 cloves of garlic, 4 (10 oz.) cans of tomato sauce, 2 (14 oz.) cans of tomatoes with chilies, 1 (#10) can of kidney beans, and no pinto beans.  I don't know if I will actually serve the chili on Fritos, but it sounds like that would be yummy!

With the final 2 pounds of ground beef, I made some Sloppy Joes.  I don't remember what recipe I used, but I think it was the one from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  

I'm happy to have meals already prepared in the freezer.  I don't have to stress about what's for dinner on busy days, and I am prepared in case I learn about someone who needs a meal brought in.  

Next month, I'm getting 80 pounds of chicken breast.  I'm busy now gathering recipes for chicken freezer meals.  If you have a great chicken freezer meal recipe, I'd love to hear it!

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I'm particularly thankful for my freezer today, as my refrigerator has stopped cooling properly. 

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13 comments:

  1. Wow! That is impressive!! I've done freezer meals, but nothing to that extent.
    I usually just cook chicken and freeze it in individual bags to throw into recipes later, so I'm not much help.

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    1. Having pre-cooked chicken is handy, too.

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  2. WOW! My mom's husband is a hunter, and they make sausage and all sorts of amazing packages of goodness for later. Me? Um. Kinda lazy. You rock though!

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    1. Well, the planning and preparation is so that I don't have to think later. :-)

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  3. That is wow... I would love to to that on the same level - yet I just cook meals for the week. what I do with chicken cutlets - chicken breast sliced thin is I bread them and fry it - dip in an egg mixture and bread them in Italian style bread crumbs fry them in vegetable oil then let them drain on paper towels once cooled place them in zip lock bags and freeze - you can reheat in and oven or microwave (microwave will soften them - you can have a cutlet on a sandwich with any dressing, mayo and a tomato or just as a main with a side of veggie or pasta. You can also set it up and make chicken parmigiana too. another thing with the breast is a pulled chicken recipe in the crock-pot - once it cooked with two forks you can shred it pulled chicken is yummy on a roll any left over shredded chicken can be added to a Spanish or Mexican rice add beans and enjoy like that or make burritos. I hope that helps.

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    1. Thanks for the ideas--they sound yummy!

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  4. I have a favorite lasagne recipe that can be frozen, but it's not a freezer lasagne recipe. I'll find it and email it to you. :)

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  5. That really is so impressive. If there is ever a disaster everyone will certainly know to go to your house! I can't wait to see what you do with that much chicken. You may never have to cook again!

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    1. Yes, burritos are on the house! :-)

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  6. Holy mackerel, that's a lot of freezer meals! I like to brown large quantities (although nowhere near 40 pounds) of ground beef and freeze two cup portions in freezer bags (that's approximately 1 lb of meat). Then when I want to fix a meal that calls for browning ground beef, it's already done. I also do the same things with boneless chicken breasts, only I trim them of ookie stuff, cut into bite sized pieces, and bake in the oven with a can of cream of chicken soup.

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    1. Having the meat pre-cooked does make it easy to throw together dinner.

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  7. Wow. That is impressive. And now I'm really hungry for ground beef!
    We do have some great chicken freezer meals - I'll have to think of a good one.

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!