Friday, February 24, 2012

Freezer Fridays! Beef Freezer Cooking Recipes (once a month cooking)!

I have been dismally neglecting my blog lately- my kiddos were all home this week for winter break. However, I do want to get up the new Freezer Fridays post today! Each week I will post a few recipes for freezer meals featuring a specific type of meat (whatever happens to be on sale). If you are looking for recipes, this makes it easy for you to save money by cooking meals featuring on-sale ingredients and saving them for later.

This week: Beef

Ingles has beef bottom round roast on sale for $2.98/lb. While I cringe at this price (when I first started buying meat at a "buy price", my beef buy price was $1.99/lb. I hate how expensive groceries are getting.) I know that you may be looking at "beef bottom round roast" like "What do I do with THAT??" Well, it's actually very versatile if you know how to talk to your butcher. You can have your butcher grind up a roast into ground beef for you for FREE, and then package it in 1lb increments. (Well, you have to buy the meat, but the grinding is free). Many butchers will also cut up your roast into other cuts, like chunks for beef stew, etc. This helps you to save money- while ground beef might be $3.99/lb, you can get a roast ground up for less. A tip on this cut: to make it extra lean, ask your butcher to trim off the fat for you before grinding. 

(If beef is not on sale in your area, don't fret! Check out  my Pages on the right side of the blog, where I have a ton of freezer cooking recipes listed by meat type!)

Before you begin, please be sure to read my Freezer Cooking Tips. These recipes are for a single batch that feeds my family of 5 people. I always double these recipes to have two batches of each for my freezer. Feel free to substitute, add, and change where you want! My kids are "purists", so they don't like a lot of spices.
NOTE: Red denotes a recipe for the slow cooker or crock pot.

Meat Mix Recipe
This is a great mix to have on hand for a ton of recipes. It can go in tacos, sloppy joes, spaghetti, stuffed peppers, chili- basically anywhere you might need ground beef. It is already cooked and easy to add to your favorite recipes, and adds some extra veggies and flavor to your favorite meals. This should be a staple in your freezer! It is easy to make a big batch when ground beef goes on sale, and then divide up in 1lb increments and freeze individually. You can then defrost it in the microwave for about 2 minutes.

5 lb. lean ground meat
2 medium onions, chopped
1 chopped green pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
¾ tsp. pepper

  Brown ground meat and onions in a large skillet or pot. Drain fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Divide evenly between 5 ziploc bags, let cool, and then freeze (make sure to squeeze out excess air). Defrost in the microwave for 2 minutes when needed.

(be sure to check out my Beef Recipes page for additional recipes to use your Meat Mix in for easy dinners!)

Beef Stew (already doubled) 
3 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
4 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 tsp garlic powder
4.5 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 bay leaves
2 pounds stew meat, cubed (remember that you can buy a roast on sale and have the butcher cut it up for you!)
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 ounces) beef broth
salt and pepper to taste

Make-ahead Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a big bowl. Divide evenly between 2 ziploc bags. (You can also cook in the crockpot and freeze the leftovers, but be sure to cool completely. 

Prepare Instructions:
Empty bag into slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours. OR: Reheat prepared meal.

Mandie's Stuffed Peppers
6 peppers
1.5 pounds ground beef ( or meat mix*)
2tbsp chopped onion
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1 ½ cups cooked rice 
1 15oz can tomato sauce
¾ cup shredded mozzarella
*if using Meat Mix, skip onions and garlic powder

Make-ahead instructions:
Chop tops off of peppers, scrape out seeds, boil in water for about 3 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients together (using 1 cup of the tomato sauce, and leaving out the cheese), stuff into peppers. Flash-freeze, and then place in Ziploc bag. Freeze remaining tomato sauce in a ziploc bag. (I also freeze the cheese I am going to use and keep it with the peppers.)

Prepare Instructions:
Thaw in fridge. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover tops of peppers with remaining tomato sauce. Cover with aluminum foil, bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and cook until cheese is melted.

Slow-Cooked Shepherd’s Pie
1 ½ lb lean stew meat
1 onion, chopped
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
2 T flour
1 can beef broth
½ cup tomato sauce
1 t Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper

Make-ahead Instructions:
Mix all ingredients in large zipper bag. Seal, pressing out all of the air, and stick in the fridge or freeze flat.

Prepare Instructions:
Pour meat mixture into slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours. (On the day you prepare, make mashed potatoes and put on top of cooked mixture before serving. I also like to sprinkle mine with shredded cheddar cheese and stick in the oven for a few minutes until melted.)

Teriyaki Beef
15 oz crushed pineapple (with juice)
¼ C. low-sodium soy sauce
¼ C. brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
½ t dried ginger 
2 lbs beef, sliced into strips (again, your butcher can do this, or you can buy a roast and cut it into chunks and strips yourself to have handy for meals)

Make-ahead Instructions:
Mix first 5 ingredients in a small bowl with lid. Add steak strips to bag. Pour ½ sauce over steak. Seal the bag and shake to mix. Place in fridge or freeze. Reserve remaining sauce for serving (I freeze in another ziploc bag and nuke when I am preparing the meal).

Prepare Instructions:
Broil until desired doneness (you can also grill these). Heat sauce and serve over the steak. I like to serve this with rice.


Crystal Mendez said...

Yummy wow thank you so much

angela said...

Making this for dinner tonight! :-)