A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I decided to do our grocery shopping on the way home from church. This would get it out of the way and we wouldn’t have to run out through the week.
We went to a store in our area called Save-a-Lot. Prices are lower than other stores because they mostly have their own brands, and you package your own groceries. But they have the best prices around here, and their brands are as good or better than the name brands.
I bought enough meat for at least one week’s meals, but it lasted almost two weeks. This included three 2-pound packages of ground beef, a variety pack of pork chops, ribs, and pork roast, and a nice beef roast.
When we got home, I decided to go ahead and just cook all of the meat so I wouldn’t have to do it through the week. First of all, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees F.
I put the roast in a 13 by 9 pan, sprinkled dry onion soup mix over it, added a jar of beef gravy. Then I put a little water in the jar and added that to the pan also. After covering the pan with foil, I placed it in the preheated oven.
Pork Variety Pack
Next, came the pork. For this I used a big roaster pan. Preparation was very easy. I placed the three different cuts – ribs, roast, and chops – in the bottom of the pan. Then I poured two bottles of barbecue sauce over the whole thing, rinsed the bottles with a little water and poured that in, covered with foil, and put that in the oven beside the roast.
Ground Beef Adventure, or Fiasco!
Finally, I came to the ground beef. I had about three recipes in mind that I was going to use it for. So I decided to experiment by browning it in the slow cooker. As I said before, I had three packages. So I put one package in the bottom of the slow cooker, and sprinkled an envelope of dry seasoning over it. Then I repeated this process two more times. I think the packages I used were a chipotle mix, a brown gravy mix, and an envelope of dry onion soup mix.
So, how did all of this turn out?
Well, basically pretty good. It was nice not to have to cook meat all week. All I had to do was add vegetables, potatoes, and salads. We ate the roast right away that evening, so it was gone. (My adult sons were eating with us.) The pork went into the refrigerator for the next set of meals.
The ground beef tasted delicious. But there was one problem. To save money, I did NOT buy the leanest packages of ground beef. Usually, in this case, I drain and also rinse the browned meat to get as much fat off as possible. But since I had already seasoned it, I was afraid I would wash the flavoring away. Little did I realize how fat the meat really was. Here is what happened.
When the meat had cooled enough, I put it in a plastic zipper food bag and put it in the freezer. Days later, I defrosted it in the microwave. Unfortunately, the plastic bag was not a freezer bag. It was just a regular food storage bag. So when I removed it from the microwave, grease leaked out of the bottom of the bag. (My microwave is on a shelf above the kitchen counter.) Grease was all over the counter and some got on my coffee pot. I hurried and put the bag in the sink to keep it from dripping anywhere else. There were some dishes and cups in the sink, so the grease was all over them. In the meantime, my sweet lab mix, Jasmine, tempted by the aroma, was trying to get up on the counter and lick the grease! (She can easily reach!)
Even with all the fiasco, the ground beef was delicious in my recipes. But, those dishes that were in the sink? I’ve run them through the dishwasher three times now, and that grease just won’t come off! I don’t exactly know why it is so stubborn. I’ve never had that happen before. Well, I learned my lesson not to season the ground beef before I drain and rinse it, and also to use regular freezer bags!