Skillet Creations: For when you forget to thaw the meat

Skillet creations: For when you forget to take the meat out of the freezer. Simplified versions of your favorite meals and comfort food.

I'll be honest, recently, no matter my best laid plans, our busy schedule often leads to a "take what you can get, at least we are eating together" scenario when it comes to dinner. I usually have dreams of making hand raised pork pies or something equally ambitious, but the time just isn't there anymore.

As my kiddos get older the entire family is seemingly needing to be in transit to one place or another (despite our ideals of not running around like headless chickens) and  I find I run into a lot of "I don't have time to make what I planned." 

I have wasted meat because of this in past months by making a weekly meal plan, pulling the meat out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge and then, as hubby's work schedule seems to change on an hour by hour basis, the kids have hockey, boxing, riflery and archery between them, and mix in my work schedule, the week goes by and the meat is still just sitting there and has begun to smell a little suspect.

Now, because I pre-thaw so much less meat, maybe one cut that I specifically schedule to use on a slower Sunday afternoon perhaps, I end up throwing together crackers and cheese or a PB&J sammie as a quick "getcha through". Next thing ya know, we are eating oatmeal for a bedtime snack and hubby has microwaved frozen left overs. Sigh, the treadmill is real folks.

One afternoon I was craving Swedish Meatballs, but all the ground beef was frozen. I decided to thaw the beef in a frying pan and tweak the recipe to omit the binding ingredients and voila! The skillet version was born.  

All the boys fed (there is no other way to describe the scene of growing boys consuming food. It is a wild and visceral sight to behold; don't get your hand in the way or you'll likely loose it in the fervor). They made contented yummy sounds and exclaimed excitedly "it doesn't look like it should, but it tastes just like a meatball!"  It was a great meal.

I have put together skillet versions of several of our favorites and thought you fine folks might just like to have the recipes tucked in your own back pocket for when those busy days are conspiring to derail best laid plans.

Skillet creations: For when you forget to take the meat out of the freezer. Simplified versions of your favorite meals and comfort food.

Swedish Meatball Skillet

-1 cup (200 g) - green lentils

-2 cups (450 g) - water

-1 tsp (2 g) - onion powder

In a small pot, place all the above ingredients and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes, with the lid ajar, until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender.

While the lentils are cooking, skillet cook the following:

-1 pound (454 g) ground beef (if frozen, wait until the brick of meat is mostly cooked/thawed in the pan before adding onions so they don't burn)

-1 small onion, diced (or add 1 TBSP onion powder to sauce mix)

In a shaker cup or with a whisk and bowl, combine the following:

-1 cup (225 g) - water

-1 cup (245 g) - 2% milk

-1/4 cup (31.25 g) - All Purpose flour

-1/4 tsp - allspice, ground

-1 TBSP - parsley, dry

-1/4 tsp - nutmeg, ground

-1/2 tsp - garlic powder

-1/8 tsp - black pepper, ground

-1 tsp - Real salt

-1 TBSP - mushroom powder (*optional)

-1 TBSP - Worcestershire sauce

Once the lentils and the meat are cooked, combine together in the skillet. Add in the cream sauce and 1 TBSP of butter. Cook down until sauce reaches desire consistency. Serve over rice with steamed canned Peas & carrots and corn on the side.

Serves 4-6


Skillet Hamburgers

-1 cup (200 g) - green lentils

-2 cups (450 g) - water

-1 TBSP  - Burger Spice (recipe below)

In a small pot, place all the above ingredients and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes, with the lid ajar, until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender.

While the lentils are cooking, skillet cook the following:

-1 pound (454 g) ground beef (if frozen, wait until the brick of meat is mostly cooked/thawed in the pan before adding onions so they don't burn)

-1 small onion, diced (or add 1 TBSP onion powder to seasoning mix)

Seasoning:

-1/2 cup (112.5 g) - water

-2 TBSP - Burger Spice (recipe bleow)

-1 tsp - Real salt

-1 TBSP - mushroom powder (*optional)

Once the lentils and the meat are cooked, combine together in the skillet. Add in the water, Burger spice, salt and mushroom powder. Stir mixture until the seasoning has evenly coated the meat/lentils. Serve between buns or slices of bread with shredded cabbage slaw on the side.

Serves 4-6

Burger Spice

-1 TBSP - paprika, smoked

-1 TBSP - brown sugar

-2 tsp - dried minced onion

-1 tsp - black pepper, ground

-1 tsp - garlic powder

-1/2 tsp - basil, dried

Combine all and store in an airtight container. I usually quadruple this recipe and store it in a 500 ml canning jar in my spice cupboard.

Sloppy Joe's

-1 cup (200 g) - green lentils

-2 cups (450 g) - water

-1 tsp (2 g) - onion powder

In a small pot, place all the above ingredients and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes, with the lid ajar, until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender.

While the lentils are cooking, skillet cook the following:

-1 pound (454 g) ground beef (if frozen, wait until the brick of meat is mostly cooked/thawed in the pan before adding onions so they don't burn)

-1 small onion, diced (or add 1 TBSP onion powder to sauce mix)

Once lentils and beef are cooked, combine together in the skillet and add the following:

-1 can (500 ml or 16.9 oz) - crushed tomatoes or plain tomato sauce

-1 TBSP - garlic powder

-1/2 tsp - black pepper, ground

-1 tsp - Real salt

-1 TBSP - mushroom powder (*optional)

-1 tsp - mustard powder

-1 tsp - chili powder

-1 tsp - Worcestershire sauce

-2 TBSP - Maple syrup or honey (to balance out the acid of the tomatoes)

-1 TBSP - Worcestershire sauce

Cook down until sauce reaches desire consistency. Serve over buns or rice with steamed canned Peas & carrots and corn on the side.

Serves 4-6

Penny

I'm a frugal, city dwelling, "homestead where you're at" blogger with a passion for saving a buck (in often creative ways). I really enjoy sharing my money saving tips and sweat equity methods to help others struggle less financially.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment:

4 Shares
Share4
Tweet
Pin
Share