Quick Kitchen Tips: Ready to Go Ground Beef

January 12th, 2011

I love to cook. A well-stocked pantry makes me happy, I read cookbooks like they’re novels, and I take great pleasure in making food. Sadly, now that I’m working again — and slightly later than before — dinner time is pretty cramped. It’s not unusual for me to get home at 5pm or later and we need to eat by 6pm in order to get the wee ones in bed in a timely fashion.

Thus I’m starting to specialize in the Quick and the Easy. My latest innovation (if that’s the word): keeping one-pound bags of browned ground beef in the freezer. Being able to grab a bag of beef and do a quick de-frost seriously cuts down the prep time of things like spaghetti or Hamburger Helper. Yes, Hamburger Helper. Look, I know it’s not exactly haute cuisine, but it’s fast, it’s cheap, and it’s toddler-approved. That makes it my new best friend.

Want to get even more efficient? Buy the ground beef in bulk and cook it in the crockpot. I did five pounds yesterday. It took about six hours on low and — voila! — a bunch of cooked ground beef and a truly alarming quantity of liquid fat. (ick)

And now I have five packs of ground beef stacked up in the freezer, waiting to become a quick and easy dinner.

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