Saturday, October 20, 2007

Meaty Tips for Saturday

You know those two pull out drawers in the bottom of your fridge? I think one is supposed to be for vegetables and one for fruit. Well, I use one for meat. It keeps the raw meat away from everything else in the fridge. (I think there is a meat drawer...but I use that for cheese and cold cuts, LOL!) When meat comes home from the grocery, and it's the kind I want to prep ahead (by cutting or browning, for example), I'll store it there until I'm ready to work on it. Then it gets packed and goes up in the freezer until I need it.

To me, the easiest way to brown a lot of ground beef is in the oven. I put it in a big lasagna pan and put it in the oven at 350 degrees. I let it cook about a half hour, using a wooden spoon to 'break it up' and stir it occasionally. Sometimes I'll add an envelope of onion soup mix or two, other other spices. Even salt and pepper is enough to give you a jumpstart on a meal.

When the meat cools down a little, I use a slotted spoon and put it in either zipper bags or plastic containers. For my house, a gallon bag holds plenty for one meal. If I've used spices with a future dish in mind (like enchildadas) I'll label the bag accordingly.

The bags or containers go into the fridge drawer first, because I don't want to put hot things in my freezer. When they've cooled enough, they get frozen.

Want to hear the best meat tip I ever heard? It isn't really for's for that meat drawer. Next time you clean it out, line it with a section of old newspaper. The newsprint will absorb anything that drips from the meat packaging. So when you go to clean again, you only have to give it a spray with cleaner and wipe it out--no cleaning up that gicky, icky, sticky stuff that happens when meat juice coagulates!

Pardon me, now. I have to go take out meat to thaw for next week's dinners...


Donna said...

Great tips!
Donna :)

BittersweetPunkin said...

Well...I went and bought those Reynolds cooking bags for my roast so hopefully the next time I won't have a DRY roast or a MESS to cleanup! LOL

miranda said...

I love the newspaper in the drawer idea! I bet that would work for the veggie drawer too. Thanks so much for commenting on my site. I have enjoyed looking around yours... now to clean out a drawer to use for this week's meat!

Debbie J. said...

Thats a great idea to cook the hamburger in the oven. I'm going to do that next time! and the newspaper thing too!