May 3, 2010

5.47 lbs. of Ground Beef

Why is it that the grocery store's idea of a max-pack of hamburger equals 5.47 lbs? I mean, really, who has a use for that amount? 6 lbs maybe, 4 lbs sure (at least these sizes would be easy to divvy up). But 5.47 lbs??? I think they do it purposely so that we use more per meal.

What I do is buy 2 packs. Smart huh? Don't you have recipes that call for 11 lbs of raw meat?

So, what do I do with 11 lbs of meat? (I know you're dying to find out.)

I usually cook it up and divide it up into meal sized portions. My favorite way is to boil it. I know that sounds nasty, but I have found it is the easiest way to precook large quantities of hamburger at one time. Here's how I do it:

-Pull out two stock pots (the big pots you cook soup in).
-Divide the meat as you like. I usually do about 4-5 lbs in one and the rest in the other.
-Add enough water to cover the meat by about an inch.
-Turn burner on high and bring to a boil, stirring every so often.

It doesn't take long to cook and the meat will separate as you stir. Once done, drain and return to their respective pots. The meat does separate much more than when you saute it, so be prepared for this. Some don't like this texture, but it doesn't bother my family any.

At this point, I season each pot. The smaller pot gets taco seasoning (1 packet or the equivalent per pound). I sprinkle it on dry and stir to distribute. The larger pot gets garlic and onion powder. I don't measure it, just guesstimate.

Then I bag each up into quart size freezer bags, flatten out, and freeze. I find 2 cups per bag works well for our family. You can experiment to find what fits your family size.

I use the taco seasoned meat for tacos (duh), mexican dishes, burritos, enchiladas, etc.

The garlic/onion mixture works great for spaghetti, pasta dishes, and even mexican dishes if you run out of the taco flavored mix.

If I don't need cooked ground beef or buy more than two 5.47 lb packs, I will also make up some mixes with the remaining raw meat.

I like to make up several meatloaves at a time and freeze. (I figure if I'm mixing one, I might as well mix three.) I will also put together some hamburger patties and if I'm feeling really adventurous, I might even make up some meatballs. These I will either cook and freeze or flash freeze raw and package up.

So what do you do with your 5.47 lbs of ground beef?

Menu Plan Monday 05/03/10

Wow, I have been lazy lately! I plan menus each week, but the weekends seem to get away from me. So we either eat out or I throw something together quickly - instead of preparing what I had previously planned on and shopped for!

So this week's menu plan has a few dinners carried forward from last week....

Monday - CP Layered Beef ‘n Taters
I'm not sure why, but this burned on the bottom and sides of my crockpot. It was still edible, but had a bit of a charred taste. I think my new crockpot cooks much hotter than my old one.
Tuesday - Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti, Salad
I really like this casserole! I think I will add a bit more buffalo sauce before cooking this time.
Wednesday - Creamy Cheesy Chicken, Veggies, Rice or Pasta
An old standby that is super easy to throw together before work.
Thursday - Creamy Paprika Chicken, Not sure what sides yet
I didn't really care for this last time I made it, so I plan on tweaking it a bit. I have no idea how, but I'll add something to it to before or after cooking.
FridaySpicy Chicken ‘n Rice
A holdover from last week. I really want to try this so I'm hoping Friday will be a slow day.
SaturdayCrockpot Kielbasa ‘n Dirty Rice
And another holdover from last week. This might not get made as I'm hoping to go see my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. But since I haven't confirmed with hubby, one never knows.
Sunday – Mother's Day
Can I say I'm not cooking? I don't care if we eat at Taco Bell, I'm not cooking! :)

And a recap from last week:

The Balsamic Beef didn't thrill me, but I used a larger chunk of beef than the recipe called for and probably should have adjusted the balsamic vinegar accordingly. My bad.

The Oriental Porkchops were delish! They cooked in the sauce and were so tender they fell apart (oops) but I shredded them and mixed with brown rice and poured a bit of the sauce over it and I think I found a new way to serve these!

If you need more menu ideas, be sure to check out the links at Organizing Junkie's site!