Remember I stocked up on ground chuck recently? I bought it at a reduced rate so I was quick (within 24 hours-or the next day) to brown my meat using my friend’s trick, to make it finer. I used MSG free taco seasoning I bought at Sams since I was making a bulk amount. This seasoning cost $4 for a tremendous amount. I’m guessing it would probably season twenty pounds of meat.
I was able to brown 5 pounds of meat in my extra large cast iron skillet, but you may have to do this in two batches or use two different pans. I would prefer doing it in two batches and use the same skillet so you only have to wash the pan once:)
Once the taco meat has simmered and most of the liquid is gone, I turn the heat off and allow it to cool about an hour. You have a 2 hour window for safety issues, to get food into the fridge. I keep stirring the meat so the heat can escape. I just give it a quick stir or three when I pass by and when I remember.
Oh I almost forgot and I had to edit this post. I stirred in 1 1/2 cups of this beta carotene packed goodie.
Once it comes to a moderate room temperature, I use a measuring spoon and scoop it into my prepared freezer bags. I label and date the bags and place an open quart size bag into a large measuring cup to support it. I placed approximately 2 cups of meat per bag. Then I lay it flat and squeeze out the air by pushing the meat closer to the seal. I seal it completely and wipe any excess of bag. They stack flat and they will freeze flat in my freezer. I’m going to place my bags of meat in the fridge for a few hours first to completely take away the heat and then I will lay them flat to freeze. See how little space 5 pounds of meat will take in my freezer? Amazing!
On my “taco” meal day, I have thawed my meat for 24 hours in the fridge (that’s why I use a meal plan), and it will take me about 5 minutes to make a meal. We always have forgetful days (not me!!!:) I just thaw this bag in a bowl of cool water to speed the process and then I warm the thawed meat in the microwave and serve hard or soft shelled tacos to my family. Or I can use a bag of salad greens and make taco salad or I can toss nachos and cheese together with the taco meat and have nachos grande just like Taco Bell. I’m living my college days again!