Ground meat is certainly one of the results of just about any successful hunt and this includes birds. With a little thought, there are a number of ways to use burger besides simple, but great-tasting, hamburgers.
Grinding your own meat saves a bunch of money, but if you pay to have your meat ground, you will end up with consistent – and therefore useful – package sizes. Sometimes at the end of a long day, when grinding and packaging yourself, the packages end up being too large to easily use, except for spaghetti sauce or chili – which is a fine result if you planned it that way.
The best idea when packaging any cut of meat is to wrap it in meal-sized portions. It will take a few spoonfuls of burger to see what will make the number of patties you need for a meal, but after you’ve done that, it’s just scooping out the same amount before wrapping.
Ground meat for spaghetti sauce and chili are wrapped in larger packages and the size of the lump is established by what you learned with last year’s packages. If this is year #1, take a guess on the light side as you can always thaw some burger packages to bulk it up.
If you have thawed more meat than you need, just add more of the other ingredients and make some more. These items can be frozen in a variety of commercial Tupperware type of containers or even freezer storage Ziplocs, but I find that standard size yoghurt containers are a perfect size for our meals and seal tightly for over two years.
Burger stew – or “mince,” as it has always been called in my family – is an extremely simple, yet very tasty, one-pot meal that can be served when ready or frozen for a camping/hunting trip.
Just as with other stews, the meat is browned, put in a large enough pot with potatoes, onions, carrots, turnip and peppers, etc. and simmered until done. Dumplings (use a bannock recipe) can be added for the last 20 minutes and voila, a complete meal. I suggest removing dumplings and potatoes before freezing this dish.
Salisbury steak is another delicious option. Just look online for a recipe.
A multitude of meat-ball recipes is also available online.
A favourite at our house is meatloaf. We don’t have it as often as we have burgers, but it is certainly a tasty use of ground meat. I usually make two at a time, slicing and packaging the leftovers and second loaf in meal-sized portions for future use.
A recipe we’ve recently tried and enjoyed is a meatloaf with salsa mixed into it. I only use mild salsa as that is my favourite, but make it to suit your own taste buds. Look online for these recipes.
Except when making sausages, our ground meat is always ground without the addition of domestic fat from pork or beef. This is to avoid the additives that are included in most domestic meat.