Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Different Technique For Browning Ground Beef

I'm not posting a recipe today.  Instead I want to talk about a technique I use for browning hamburger.  Years ago, whenever I would buy hamburger on sale, I would freeze it in one pound packages.  Then I would have to thaw the meat on the counter or thaw in the microwave which resulted in cooked meat on the outside with a frozen center.  If I wanted to make a recipe with browned hamburger in a hurry, this didn't work very well.  Soon I discovered that if you fry out the whole package of beef and freeze it, a meal can be made in minutes.  So many recipes use browned hamburger.  Frying in a frying pan works fine, but you have to stand by the stove and tend to it until it is ready.  If the heat is too high, the grease splatters and makes the stove a mess.  My daughter told me that she uses another technique.  I have been doing it every since.

The first thing you do is get out your slow cooker.   Put the raw ground beef into the cold cooker.   I also add a chopped onion.   I usually do three to ten pounds of meat at a time.  Turn the slow cooker on high and chop up the meat a little.  Put the cover on and go about your business.  No need to add any water.  Then about every hour give it a little chop and stir.  After about three or four hours, depending on the amount of meat, the meat is crumbly and perfect for any recipe.  I drain the meat in a colander to get out the excess water and fat.

When the meat is cooled and drained, I divide it into one or two cup containers and put the containers in the freezer.  Then if you get home late and need a quick meal, the meat is all ready.  It thaws very quickly.  I wrote about making meatballs and meatloaf ahead of time in a previous blog, but this method of browning the meat works very well.  http://www.thecabincountess.com/2013/07/freezing-browned-ground-beef-or.html

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