3-5 lbs hamburger meat - tube packaging is easiest
colander for straining
freezer bags, quart or gallon, depending on how you want to freeze the meat
- I recommend buying the 3-5lb tubes of ground beef for this. Having the meat like this makes breaking it up easier later, and I'm all for easy. Set up your crock pot, making sure you will be able to take the meat out about 6-8 hours later. I throw the meat in before work, and come home to a good smelling house. THe hamburger smells like a roast cooking.
- Saw the tube of raw meat in half or thirds, depending on how it will fit in your crockpot. (remove the wrapping, of course) Stand the meat on the ends inside the pot, making sure it's about 2 inches lower than the lid. This helps the grease drain, and will also help with mincing the meat later. Set your crock pot on high if you're cooking it for just the afternoon. If you're leaving it for the day, "Low" is the best setting. Leave, or go about your business and let the crockpot do its thing.
- Four to six hours later: Check the meat to see how done it is. You can usually tell by the smell. Resist the urge to break it into pieces while it's cooking. This will make draining harder later.
- If it's done, CAREFULLY use a big spoon to remove the tubes (try not to break them up yet) into the colander. Let the grease drain into a bowl (don't let it go down your sink unless you like plumber's bills) Empty the grease/drippings from the crockpot container into another dish. Put the tubes of cooked meat back into the crockpot and mash with a spoon or potato masher. The meat now breaks up into those little pieces that go into chili, and other winter dishes.
- After you've broken the meat up to your satisfaction, package it into smaller freezer bags of about one pound each. You can then grab one of these bags after work straight out of the freezer, zap it in the microwave, and it's dinner in, instead of carry-out and that hefty price tag.
TIPS AND WARNINGS :
- You can also cook chopped onions with the meat if you're an onion fan
- For even healthier eating, mash the meat in the colander and then run it under the faucet to rinse more grease away.
- This works with ground beef, chuck and sirloin - it all depends on your budget
- Don't pour hot grease down the sink - any money savings will go to the plumber
- Careful moving the tubes of meat, they are awkward and can drop. No sense in feeding the dog with your ground beef.
RECIPE FOR A BROWN HAMBERGUR :
- Try this recipe and you’ll no longer need a can o’ joe for supper. These no fuss sloppy joes are made quickly with handy ingredients and a little simmer time. I almost always double or triple the recipe for freezer convenience.
1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. mustard
1/2 c. ketchup
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
- Brown hamburger with onion. Drain. Combine in skillet with remaining ingredients. Simmer about 20 minutes.
HOW TO COOK HAMBURGERS :