I have been a committed “freezer cooker” since I was pregnant with my third child. Back then, I went to one of those assembly places where they provided a station and the ingredients, and you put everything together. But pretty soon I realized I could do it a lot faster (and cheaper, but that’s for another article) at home. So if you think you don’t have time to freezer cook, you’re wrong. Here’s how I recently assembled 10 freezer meals in just over an hour.
What I made
Taco meat (4 meal-sized portions)
Green chili (1 meal)
Beef stew (1 meal)
Pork loin roasts (4 roasts, 3 different sauces)
How I did it
- I started by sautéing chopped bacon and onion in one pan while browning about 6 lbs. of ground beef in another.
- When the bacon and onion were done, I put them in a bowl and started searing about 4 lbs. of stew meat in the bacon grease. I did it in 4 batches; if you crowd the pieces of meat, you’ll get a steam, not a sear. And the sear is what makes it yummy.
- I put half of the seared stew meat in the bowl with the bacon and onions and the other half on a plate to cool. Since that pan was now empty, I moved half of the ground beef there so it would cook more quickly.
- While the stew meat was cooling, I put the rest of the ingredients for the green chili in a freezer bag I had labeled in between stirring the ground beef. Then I added the bacon, onion, and seared stew meat and zipped it up. Green chili – done.
- I put the rest of the stew meat, a can of onion soup, and some carrots in another bag. Beef stew – done.
- Once all of the ground beef was browned, I put it all back in one pan, added taco seasoning and water, and let it simmer for a few minutes.
- While the taco meat was cooling, I put one pork roast in a bag with a jar of salsa.
- I put another pork roast in a bag with onion soup and red wine.
- I put the third and fourth roasts in separate bags, then made a glaze. Since adding the glaze is the last step in cooking, I needed to keep it separate from the meat. So I divided it between 2 quart bags and added those to the big bags with the roasts. Four pork roasts – done!
- By this time, the taco meat was cooled. I divided it into 4 quart bags, and …finished! Ten meals in an hour and 15 minutes.
I started this less than 2 hours before I had to attend a meeting at my son’s school. That probably wasn’t the wisest decision in the world, but here’s the thing: I knew I could get it done. And so can you. A lot of people are intimidated by the thought of tackling so much cooking at once, but when you combine steps and have different things going at the same time, it really doesn’t take that much longer than cooking just one meal. Add in your favorite music and a glass of wine, and it can be as fun as it is productive.