Pre-Cooked Ground Beef

July 11, 2008

No, I haven't given up on this blog. Our family just moved from Utah to Delaware and I was without computer for more than a week. I still have to unpack our kitchen, so no new recipes for a few more days...however, today you will learn something invaluable to your Freeze Happy lifestyle. Pre-Cooking ground beef.

Here's what you'll need.

5-8 lbs. raw ground beef
2 cups finely diced yellow onion
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 cookie sheet
Silpat Mat or Wax Paper
Small Ziplock bags
Sharpie Marker

1. Get a huge non-stick pot, like the kind you might make soup in.
2. Cook the onion and garlic on medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add your ground beef and cook until completely done. Drain any excess fat.

Now here's where I'm gunna get all Food Safety Inspector on you. The temperature in which bacteria grow is the luke-warm temperature. therefore, any time you are cooling meat you want to chill it as quickly as possible. This explains your next step.

4. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat mat (or wax paper). Lay out your beef in an even layer.
5. Place in freezer, uncovered, for 4 hours.
6. Use a Sharpie marker to label ziplock bags with date.
7. Use a cup measure to measure out 2&1/2 cups into each ziplock bag. Store in freezer.

Now here's what's so genius about this. 2&1/2 cups of cooked ground beef equals 1 pound of ground beef in a recipe.

So let's say it's 5:00 pm and your day was so stressful that you have no dinner planned for tonight. Grab a jar of your favorite jarred marinara sauce. Boil pasta noodles you have in your pantry. While the pasta is cooking, throw your marinara in a medium pot and add one of your packets of hamburger straight from your freezer. Cook on medium heat until heated through. Voila! In 15 minutes you have a filling, warm and easy meal. What could be better?

Also try adding your precooked meat to...
- Canned soup
- Chili
- Casseroles
- And anything else you can think of.

Pre-Seasoned Variation: When your cooking your meat in step 3, put half on a cookie sheet to freeze and leave the other half in the pan. Then add 1-2 taco seasoning packets and place to freeze on a separate cookie sheet. Then you or your kids can simply throw a seasoned meat baggie straight into the microwave and have instant taco meat. Genius right? I know.

Healthy Version: And of course, for the Health Conscious you can choose how lean you want your beef or do this with ground turkey or (for picky families) you can combine a mixture of lean ground beef and ground turkey.


AJ July 22, 2008  

love this blog Emilie!!!
it is so fabulous to cook, I just heart cooking *just* like you!
thanks for all your great tips!!

Katherine December 10, 2008  

WHat a great idea! I just found your blog today (12/10) and I love the ideas and recipes you share! I will be visiting often!!

Bells September 20, 2009  

I just decided Friday to start freezing my meals and was looking for recipes to freeze... I stumbled across your site and now I have a full blown infatuation! lol I LOVE your blog!

Live, Learn, Love March 07, 2011  

I often cook my hamburger in advance but never knew how much equaled a pound! Thank you!!

Christina,  April 30, 2011  

How long will these bags of meat stay god in the freezer? Also I suppose it is best to make sure they are the "freezer" thickness bags for quality of flavor? How do you know if it has gone bad?

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A new recipe will be posted each Monday and, of course, you can always search the archives by category.

The Goal of this blog is not just to give you my recipes, but to teach you which ingredients freeze well, which don't, methods and tips to help you freeze your own recipes...because who knows better what your family likes than you?

Do you only cook organic? Great! Are you a vegetarian? No problem! Make what works for you and save time, money and (let's be honest...stress) while doing it.

The Freeze Happy philosophy has made my life better and I'm pretty sure it can improve yours too.

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