..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, October 19, 2007

Processing Meat

Meatloaf and Meatballs

My grocery store had hamburger meat on sale. So I bought about 8 lbs and processed it up all at one time. I like to do this so that when I have a bad day I have stuff in the freezer that is easy for me to fix. Half the meat I browned in a skillet and divided up into bags and vacuum packed it. I made a few bags with enough for spaghetti or a casserole. Then I made a few little bags with just a couple of Tablespoons of hamburger in it for hot dog chili. My husband won't eat a hotdog without chili and, yet, we don't need much since it's just the two of us.

For the other half of the meat, I put it in my Kitchenaid mixer and started adding all kinds of stuff for my meatloaf and meatballs. Almost every time I make it, I make it a little bit different. It depends on what I have on hand or what I'm in the mood for.

Here are the ingredients that go in ALL the time:

hamburger (I don't buy anything leaner than 80% lean because you need some grease to flavor the meat and make it juicy. The breadcrumbs not only stretch the hamburger meat but it holds the grease to make it juice.)
egg (to help hit stick together)
fresh onions
salt and pepper
Worcestershire sauce

Here are the optional ingredients that I throw in as I think about it or as I have on hand:

shredded cheddar cheese
a little tomato sauce
fresh garlic cloves or garlic powder
fresh basil
fresh rosemary
fresh oregano or dried oregano
fresh thyme or dried thyme
fresh cilantro

I let the Kitchenaid mixer mix it all up and then I shape it into meatloaves and meatballs and vacuum freeze them (or use freezer bags). To cook, let the meatloaf thaw out, put in Pam sprayed baking dish, pour tomato sauce over the top and pop in the oven on 400F for about 40 minutes. For meatballs, brown them in a large skillet, add a jar of Prego spaghetti sauce and let simmer until meatballs are done all the way through. Serve over thin spaghetti.

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