We all have those days when we are running from dawn till dusk and simply don’t want to plan (much less cook) the nightly meal. So what do we do? Pick up the phone and order a pizza or throw that frozen lasagna in the oven.
Don’t get me wrong, doing those things does not make us a bad person, they are a great tool and a treat! But what if we had other options? There is a way to make meals in advance so they can be pulled from the freezer when needed.
This is the first recipe in a series where I will teach you how to make 1 dish and spread it out over several meals. A good place to start is with Mexican Meat which can be used in a variety of meals.
5 lbs Beef Roasts
1 Jar Salsa Verde
1/2 c water
For this particular batch I actually cooked about 13 pounds but the idea is the same, you just double or triple the ingredients accordingly. Begin by placing the roasts in your cooking vessel. I am using my roaster oven that sits on the counter, but you can use a slowcooker or a pan in the oven. If cooking in the oven make sure you either have a tight fitting lid or cover with tinfoil and seal it all the way around.
Season each roast with salt and pepper on all sides. Place into your cooking vessel and pour in the water. The temperature should be 350 degrees or low on a crockpot. How long it needs to cook will depend on how thick your roast is. Figure 6 hours as a good starting point, but for a very thick roast (as the ones I used) give it 8 to 9 hours. Not all slowcookers work at the same speed so you need to adjust according to the one you have.Continue to cook the roast until is is falling apart as seen below.
Remove the roasts and set aside for a minute. Skim the grease off the liquid that remains in the pan. Return the meat to the juices and begin to break up into large pieces. The meat will absorb most of what is left in the pan as it begins to cool.
When the meat has cooled enough to handle, start shredding it. As you do, remove any bones or pieces of fat that you find.
All that is left is to divide the meat according to your needs. I made 6 bags for my family of 4. If you have little ones then you can probably get even more. I place the meat in the bottom of a ziplock bag and spread it from one side to the other, forming alog. Then I roll the bag to keep the shape and press out as much air as I can. When I store the bags in the freezer, I can just stack the logs. They are good up to 3 months.
Usually when I make a batch I keep one out for dinner, why cook twice? Always be sure to label and DATE your bags before placing them in the freezer. To use, remove from the freezer in the morning and it is ready to be reheated for dinner. !
I hope this saves you a little time in the kitchen on those busy days!