Monday, May 31, 2010

Cooking A (Quarter) Cow

My 1/4 of a cow is arriving tonight! My freezer is emptied and my vacuum sealer is ready to go. My last beef order was for 1/6 of cow in mid-November and I still have a few pounds of ground beef left. I'm hoping this beef will last us in to next year.

Last time I got my beef, it was already frozen, as it will be this time. I just took the packages and vacuum sealed them up. This time, though, I want to prepare some of the ground beef and then freeze the cooked items. My plan is to make:

5 lbs meatballs
4 lbs meatloaf
5 lbs taco meat (I might do 10 lbs because we're in to taco salad lately)
5 lbs sloppy joe meat

I'll bake the meatballs (even though it's getting warmer, it's still not HOT for us yet!), cook the taco meat on the stove and the sloppy joes in the slow cooker. The meatloaf I just mix up and leave raw to be cooked later. I can decided when I bake them if I want loaves, mini-loaves, muffins, etc. Because we're heading in to summer, which is not meatloaf season, I'll make sure to vacuum seal those for the cooler months. If I don't get patties (I can't remember if we ordered those), then I'll also make up some burgers and freeze them raw. And yes, you can thaw and re-freeze meat. It does affect the meat's texture, but I've never notice a significant difference with just one re-freeze.

I also asked for bones and livers this time. Beef liver is loved around here and I'm looking forward to having it on hand. I'm also excited to be able to make my own beef broth!

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