Yesterday evening I stopped by the grocery store to buy some meat and happened by something pretty awesome. Now, my friends had previously mentioned such a thing, but I had never seen it myself. Apparently, if you get there right as the meat counter is closing, they sell you the cased ground beef for under $1 a pound.
Needless to say, as a moderately poor (ok, mostly cheap) college student, this rules.
So, the problem is that I now have 7 lbs of ground beef sitting in my freezer (in ~1lb packages). Besides hamburgers and meatloaf (both of which were perfected on my end through Doper intervention in previous threads-- thanks guys!), what can I do?
I should note I’m trying to eat healther, so if we can keep it on the not smothered in cheese side of things (IE: the side no one wants to be on), it’s best. At the same time, one dinner of unhealthy goodness wont kill anyone. Just mostly healthy, please
Meat pasties. My mother has a fantastic recipe involving ground beef and puff pastry, although these days I substitute ground turkey. (mostly because I limit myself to fish and fowl as far as meat goes)
1 lb ground beef
a little oil
dried sage, salt and pepper
a few tablespoons of flour
milk or half & half
Fry up the meat in the oil. When browned, add the seasoning and the flour. Allow to brown a bit more. Pour in about 2 cups or so of milk and let cook at a boil until thickened. Add some butter at the end and stir in. Serve over biscuits or toast or hashbrowns or pasta. Yummmmmm. Tacos!
1 lb ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 jalepenos, seeded and chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
A package of taco seasoning, unless you have your own spices
1/2 cup water
taco shells or tortillas
Brown the beef, add the veggies and saute until soft. Add the jalepenos and garlic and seasonings. Mix thoroughly. Add the water, cover and cook on low for about 15 minutes. Remove the cover and let the water cook off. Spoon into torts and add condiments.
Albertsons, specifically, but my friends said other stores do this all the time. We were there about 7:45 last night and it was sitting in HUGE packages in the prepackaged meat area. It looked a little funny (not like the normal packaged stuff), but when I saw the price, I was fine with that.
My friend told me that at Vons, you just have to ask at closing time. They’ll pack it up for ya right there. She said the last time she asked, a guy at the counter (a customer) looked at her sheepishly and said, “I have it all.” She lookd over to see about 10 lbs of meat in his cart. Then he asked the butcher if there was anything he could cook with it besides burgers (I can relate). Even funnier, I guess when the butcher was telling him how to cook things, the guy would say, “So wait, do I cook it in little patties???” In all seriousness.
When I run into big packages of inexpensive ground beef like this, I have cheeseburgers or meatloaf that day, and then brown the rest up. I drain it and divide it up into freezer bags, and freeze those. It just makes cooking with it that much easier, even if it’s a lot of cooking that day.
The downside is, no meatloaf or cheeseburgers. The upside–on nights I don’t feel much like cooking, spaghetti is just a matter of opening a can of sauce and nuking the beef a bit and dumping it in. Tacos are similarly easy.
Shepherd’s pie–which, in my house, is ground beef, peas, and a can of cream of mushroom soup (you can leave out the peas if you’re out of them, or use just about any other veggie) mixed up, in the bottom of a pie pan. Spread mashed potatoes on top, bake. If you haven’t already browned the beef, brown it first.
Chili, sloppy joes, pizza. I haven’t made for a while, but it’s very good-- a “cheeseburger pie” that I found in a Pilsbury cookbook (you know, the kind they sell in the checkout aisle). It was basically a pound of (browned) ground beef, a couple tablespoons of ketchup, and maybe a tablespoon of pickle relish (this, I found, could be left out, or replaced by chopped dill pickles quite nicely) mixed and put in a pie pan and then a handful of grated cheese sprinkled on top. Then put a pie crust across the top. The recipe, of course, specified the Pilsbury pie crusts you get in the dairy case. I think it was probably 30 min at 350–or whatever will get the ingredients warmed through, melt the cheese, and cook the crust without burning it.
Cabbage rolls! Too delicious. I’ll have to get my mother to cough up her exact recipe, but it basically involves cooking some white rice, mixing it with the browned ground beef and some seasonings, then rolling it up in steamed cabbage leaves. Then you put the rolls in a baking pan, pour a can of seasoned tomatoes over it, and baking it. They freeze really well in individual servings, too.
The cheeseburger pie I know is barbecued hamburger in a casserole dish, covered in mashed potatoes, and with cheddar cheese on top. You bake it until it’s hot through and the cheese is bubbly and golden. Definitely a leftovers dish.
A sauce we like with cabbage rolls or meatballs is tomato sauce with brown sugar and some lemon juice. Cook to thicken.
Rolls and meatballs are good with the meat, breadcrumbs, an egg, some carrots or sweet potatoes put in the blender and vaporized.
I’ve become a fan of Stubb’s beef marinade. It has a picture of a middle-aged black man on the label, and says, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m a Cook”. I just mash it into the beef and cook it straight in.
Ugh. I’ve never liked mushroom soup, on its own or as an additive to anything, really.
You need: 2lbs extra lean ground beef 1 can peas 1 can peaches and cream corn 2 cups beef gravy (packaged, canned or fresh) 1 cup breadcrumbs 6 medium to large potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 tsp each of black pepper, oregano, mint, garlic powder and paprika 4-6 meat pie tins
Preheat oven to 400f. Boil potatoes in large pot. While the potatoes are boiling, brown ground beef and drain. Make gravy as required. Mix peas, corn, gravy and breadcrums, plus add spices (EXCEPT paprika) to taste. Fill meat pie tins approximately 3/5ths of the way with filling. Once potatoes are done, drain water, then mash with 1/2c milk and 3 tbsps butter or margiarine. Spoon potatoes over filling to top. With a fork, drag tines over top to make furrows. Sprinkle tops with a light dusting of paprika. Place pies in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until peaks are golden brown. Remove and serve. Eat while making sensuous “Mmmm” noises.