Forgive me for the overused phrase I’m about to use…but if I had a nickel for every time I forgot to take a pound of frozen hamburger out of the freezer that I was planning to use for dinner….I’d be rich! :-) I forget WAY more than I remember! Then I end up putting it in the microwave to defrost it and it usually ends up getting cooked on the corners and is still frozen in the middle! So I scrape the thawed part off and get it all over my hands (yuck!) and put it back in the microwave 3 or 4 more times until it’s FINALLY thawed all the way through. THEN I still have to COOK it!
I have done this for so long that it never occurred to me that there’s GOT to be a better way until I stumbled across a blog post by Myra at My Blessed Life about browning frozen hamburger in her crockpot! Brilliant….but…it would still require me to have the forethought to start this process in the morning and, well, let’s just say I don’t have a very good track record. :-)
So I took this idea one step further and decided to buy a 5 pound package of ground beef, cook it all up at once in the crockpot (a basic no-brainer), and then freeze it AFTER it’s cooked! NOW when I need a pound of hamburger for dinner, it is already COOKED! ****Cue the choir of angels***
I realize this probably won’t be a revelation to a lot of you…but to me it has been a game-changer! Now when I realize at 6 o’clock on a Tuesday night that it’s “Taco Tuesday”…I am set! I grab a bag out of the freezer, break it up a bit and throw it in the pan. It quickly thaws in the pan and I add whatever seasonings, etc. I need. Saves me SO much time (not to mention irritation!) and I never have to touch raw ground beef! yay!
How To Brown Hamburger In A Crockpot
(as if you needed me to explain this!)
Place ground beef in crock pot and break it up a little with a fork (or if you’re NOT ME…with your hands!)
Put the lid on and cook on High for 3 to 4 hours (depending on your crockpot).
At the halfway point, I got my pastry cutter (couldn’t think of a better option at the time) and broke up the meat some more and stirred it, then put the cover back on.
When it was sufficiently cooked, I stirred it again to break it up a bit more…..
…..and then poured it all into a colander to drain and rinsed it with cold water. This serves two purposes. 1) It cools the meat down fast so you can put it in bags to freeze. 2) It cuts WAY down on the fat in the meat!
Then just put it in equal portions in resealable plastic bags and put them in the freezer.
See how nicely they stack in there? Right on top of some of my Dump Chicken.
Now if I just had a nickel for every time this idea has HELPED me….. :-)
What are your go-to recipes for ground beef?