I went to put all my produce in the fridge the other day and remembered that I had a large stock of meat inside that needed prepped and frozen –immediately!
I browned 4 lbs of ground beef.
I split the hamburger up once it was cool into three disposable plastic containers which we use and re-use for as long as we can. If I fill it to the brim and stuff it in this holds enough meat for our family for one meal of tacos, sloppy joes, stroganoff, or any other recipe using ground beef. It takes about 4 minutes in the microwave to reheat thoroughly. I usually heat it for 3 minutes in the microwave and then heat it up in whatever sauce or spices I am adding. Pre-cooked burger meat can be used for tacos, sloppy joes, a quick stroganoff, or as an addition to marinara to make a bolognese sauce.
I then mixed up this amazing spice rub for my variation of Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork.
I cut up six pounds of pork butt into 2-3 inch chunks (whole roast is pictured above) and rolled it in the spice rub and put it in the crockpot for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low. I don’t necessarily use the entire spice rub mixture — I cover two sides of each chunk with spice rub and that’s it. My husband likes it extra flavorful, so he dumps whatever is left of the spices into the pot when he is home to do the cooking.
When the pulled pork is done, it falls apart and falls off of the bone. I shred it fully with a fork and pull out any excess fat. When I put it in my two cup containers, I ladel in some of the liquid as well and press the meat down to make sure we have plenty.
The pulled pork stuffed three containers full of meat. We use this on buns with coleslaw, without buns with corn on the cob and cornbread, or on tacos or nachos. It can even be used as meat on top of fries or rice, Chipotle style. Delicious.
I made 2.5 pounds of ground beef and ground pork into meatballs using the recipe that came with our grill. I froze those on a ceramic platter which turned out to be a big mistake. I should have put parchment or wax paper under them first. I had to warm the plate a bit in tepid water in order to pop the meatballs off and put them in a freezer bag. The best thing to use is a cookie sheet lined in parchment, but I don’t have one the right size to fit in my freezer.
I made 2 pounds of ground beef into hamburgers using Dan’s recipe. The recipe is 2 pounds of ground beef, 1 egg, 1/3 Cup of Cornflake Crumbs, 1/2 onion diced, 1 zucchini shredded. I used a hamburger press to keep them uniform in thickness for easier grilling. I layered these on parchment paper squares in the freezer and once they were solid I transferred them to a freezer zip bag.
I also like to throw 3-4 pounds of chicken on the grill and then slice it against the grain. Once grilled and sliced, it is frozen in two cup containers and used for Chicken Salad, Chicken Sandwiches (think Philly Cheese), or an dish that needs cooked chicken (quick enchiladas, soups, etc.).
Another favorite way to pre-cook chicken is in the Instant Pot. If we are having enchiladas, chicken tacos, chicken soup I usually just throw the chicken in the IP for 30 minutes with two cups of water, a tablespoon of minced garlic, salt, pepper and some veggies in the bottom if I have it. 4 pounds of chicken will then make 3-4 cups of broth plus at least enough shredded chicken for two meals. It is easily shredded with a hand mixer after 30 minutes in the IP on high pressure.
I think I finally got to bed around midnight :). But it feels so good to have a well-stocked freezer. And it makes the weekend so much easier.