Have you ever noticed that teenagers travel in herds and they are always hungry? This recipe is a great way to use up all of the extra teens that wander in. Just kidding, this isn’t made from teenagers, it is made for them. This is a joke around my house where teens — and now twenty somethings! — wander through unexpectedly. (I collect kids like stray cats.) This is easy to make and throw in the refrigerator or freezer. It can be cooked into a wide variety of handy instant-meals by even the most kitchen-phobic of teen. Make sure the kids know where it is at all times, thus preventing the mysterious disappearance of vital dinner ingredients.
- several pounds of ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey, pork)
- taco seasoning
I use a big cast-iron dutch oven for this one, but any big pot will do. Mix the various ground meats (whatever is on sale and you can get in bulk, mix poultry and beef for a leaner meat) together losely in the pot. Cover with water. Put this on a back burner and cover. Heat over medium-high heat only stirring occasionally to make sure it isn’t going to boil over or burn. This is the easiest way to brown ground meat and has an added bonus of removing more of the fat. The texture is wonderful. (Thanks to Kadijah for teaching me this trick!)
Once the meat is done, drain the water. Now add the taco seasoning. I buy this in bulk, but you can use packets or a home-made mix. I don’t list quantities because it really is something you want to do to taste. The seasoning will absorb any remaining moisture from boiling, so just stir it in until it tastes good.
Allow it to cool slightly and then package it in 1 quart zip-lock bags and throw it in the freezer. I flatten the bags as I seal them, so you have a lot of thin, flat packages of this meat. You can also keep some in the refrigerator, but I find this thaws so fast it isn’t necessary.
To use: take out a package and break the meat into chunks. (Folding the bag in half is usually enough to get the chunks out of the bag.) Warm it in the microwave.
What to make with it:
- add it to vegetable soup
- meat rolls — roll it up in crescent or biscuit dough
- taco salad — put it over lettuce
- your own variations…
At a potluck, I tried a wonderful quiche like casserole that was made with quiche mix, this meat, chopped bell peppers and tomatoes.