Freezer Ground Beef Sampler Recipe

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Freezer Ground Beef Sampler

by Dale Craddock of San Jose, for Beef Week 1997, Stews and Casseroles Division

Here is my basic ground beef recipe. This one is made in volume and stored in small portions, in the freezer, to be used in lots of recipes such as chili, tacos, spaghetti, casseroles, etc.

4-6 pounds ground beef broken into bits
chopped onion
chopped celery
chopped garlic
parsley
bay leaves
basil
rosemary

Preheat a cast-iron skillet and add salt to the pan as it helps draw fat from meat and keep it from sticking. Brown the ground beef with chopped onion, celery, garlic, herbs. Drain the beef in a colander and put into plastic sandwich bags, then into a large ""zip-lock"" freezer bag and store in the freezer to be used during the next three months. This method of pre-cooking meat for use later is ideal since you put meat on to cook before it ever goes into the refrigerator. This way you don't forget about it letting the meat spoil before you have a chance to use it. It also works best because you only need to thaw what you can use in any size recipe, not the whole block of meat. You only deal with the cooking mess and time once. It makes lots of recipes very fast when most of the work is done ahead. The beef may also be cooked in the microwave oven at 5 minutes per pound, if desired.

For Chili

This is a dish to be made to taste so I'm going to list ingredients rather than proportions. I like to use tomato puree instead of sauce or paste as it is more concentrated than the one and faster blending than the other. Next, I would use some stewed tomatoes, possibly salsa, or maybe some chopped green chili. Since onion, garlic, and celery are in the pre-cooked meat, adding any of these is optional. The beans that you use to stretch the chili sauce are dependant on the volume needed and what is available. Gallon size kidney or chili beans are good for a big crowd. Hunt's chili beans are very good. The beans, meat, and sauce can be combined and cooked in a covered roasting pan in the oven at about 325 degrees for a couple of hours. Stir occasionally. Of course, the addition of chili powder and cumin are the final spices, along with salt to taste. Chili could be served with sour cream, chopped red onions, and grated cheddar. Another cut of meat that could be used instead of ground beef is a chuck roast, cooked with garlic and onions until it is falling off the bones. It needs to cook in heavy (cast iron) pot with a lid and water to cover for 2-3 hours before it will be ready to shred and add the chili. So, this is what I might use...
1 cup Freezer Ground Beef
1 (15 oz.) can tomato puree
1 !4 1/2 oz.) can Mexican stewed tomatoes (Italian Pomi)
1 (30 oz.) can Hunt's Chili Beans
1/2 (7 oz.) can diced green chiles (Ortega)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin

Barbecue Beef Gravy

1 cup Freezer Ground Beef
2 tablespoons flour (Dale uses Wondra)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon bouillon granules or 1 capful Beef Stock
1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce

Defrost the beef and spread into hot frying pan. Sprinkle with the flour and stir until it begins to brown, then add the water and beef granules or stock mix, continue stirring until mixture thickens. Stir in the barbecue sauce and serve over potatoes, rice, noodles, or toast.

Taco Omelet
1/2 cup Freezer Ground beef
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
1 small tomato, diced
"touch" of cumin
1/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
sour cream, avocado, sliced black olives, and or sliced tomatoes
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare beef, cheese, and garnishes before you begin cooking the eggs. Whisk egg and milk until frothy then pour into hot buttered frying pan. Lift the edges of the egg as it cooks and let the uncooked egg run under the cooked until it is no longer runny, then quickly add the beef and the cheese, fold in half over the filling, flip onto plate, garnish and serve.

Mock Ravioli
1 cup Freezer Ground Beef, thawed
4-5 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 jar (28 oz.) chunky spaghetti sauce
8 oz. bow-tie pasta, cooked according to the package directions
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to sprinkle on the top

Combine the first three ingredients and heat until flavors blend, then add to the pasta, stir in the cheddar until melted. Top with Parmigiano and serve.

Sauerbraten
1 cup Freezer Ground Beef, thawed
8-10 gingersnaps, powdered in food processor
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
10 fresh mushrooms, sliced
parsley, for garnish

Add the beef to the food processor with the crumbs and twirl to coat, then put into hot frying pan coated with a few drops of olive oil, stir until beef and crumbs appear to be browning, add the water, soup mix, and vinegar and continue cooking until mixture thickens. Finish with adding mushrooms, Worcestershire, and parsley. Serve on noodles or mashed potatoes.

Oriental Beef with Stir-Fried Vegetables
fresh vegetables, cut into small pieces, such as broccoli, carrots, celery, sugar peas, red bell pepper, yams
1 cup Freezer Ground Beef, thawed
1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
1/3 cup "Soy-Vay" Chinese Marinade (available at Dorothy McNett's Place)
olive oil
To a hot oiled frying pan, add the vegetables of your choice, stir and fry until done, add the beef and sprinkle with the spices and marinade. When thoroughly blended serve on steamed white rice.

Recipe created 1997-07-25.

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