Make Ahead Ground Beef
In the time it takes to brown one pound of ground beef, why not brown five pounds and put it up for several nights of meat? Talk about saving time and clean up later!
5 pounds of ground beef
Seasons of choice (all my beef dishes start out being seasoned the same with garlic salt, pepper, parsley or cilantro depending on what I have on hand, minced onions, red pepper flakes) – I add other seasonings as needed depending on the dish it is being used in later.
Crumble meat in large pot and mix in seasonings. Cook on medium heat until completely browned, stirring every couple of minutes to keep from sticking and cooking as one large chunk (don’t ask how I know a large pot of ground beef becomes one piece of meat but I do!).
Once meat is browned, drain in colander and divide into storage containers. I use bowls because I am too impatient to wait for the meat to cool enough in the colander. Once the meat has cooled, bag it in freezer bags and press out air before sealing. Date the bag just to keep up with the oldest beef to be used first. If meat is still warm and you are concerned about putting into freezer, toss in a couple of ice cubes in the bag. They will melt and add a little moisture to the meat without changing the flavor.
Frozen browned meat will keep in freezer for three months.
I usually take from freezer and place in microwave for 60 seconds to warm just enough to get out of baggie. Drop in the dish you need beef and proceed as usual.
This has saved me so much time during dinner prep hour.