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?

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