As I write this, we are between holidays, which means that my desire to cook each night has plummeted drastically. I am someone who really enjoys cooking, and I like even more that my family eats every single meal together at our kitchen table. This is the life I have wanted for so very long, and even though I don’t count myself the most amazing cook, I value making dinner and eating at home each evening together. Studies have shown that families who eat together build bonds and some even show that families who eat together have children more likely to carry on in their faith traditions (interesting, right?).
But when I’m feeling the lag in enthusiasm for making dinner each evening, I often pull from my freezer stock. If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that I regularly “feed the freezer” by doubling (or tripling!) a tried and true recipe and using one portion to feed my family for dinner that night, and then feeding the freezer the extra portions. This means that I regularly have a stock in the freezer to choose from, and I can count on eating out of the freezer meals that we actually like at least twice a week. This is such a game changer during these winter months!
My first time getting a quarter cow!
It’s no secret that winter months are great for beef recipes. While I love chicken on the grill in the summer, winter signals beefy recipes that are homey, savory, and rich. And before I give you my list of favorite beef recipes to feed the freezer with (plus notes on how I freeze each for optimal energy-saving and freshness), I have to tell you about our recent shipment from W2 Beef Co.
Stephanie and her husband have been long-time cattle ranchers in Kansas, and they are just now adding direct-to-consumer shipping of their grass fed, grain-finished beef. They are believers who love the Lord, and Stephanie has a passion to use this direct-to-consumer arm of their business to provide diapers for families in need in their rural community. When I learned about why she wanted to start this arm of their company, I teared up. I love seeing women use what they have, where they are, and the talents and gifts God has given them to further kingdom work! It is just such a joy to hear of women who want to work hard, make quality products that bless others, and then turn around and continue blessing others who are in need. Incredible!
Here’s how they describe what they do:
We are a husband and wife team from the Kansas/Oklahoma State Line. We are 4th generation farmers and ranchers and are excited to offer our high quality beef to you. We take pride in offering you the finest, farm-fresh beef available. Our goal is to make buying beef in bulk easy so that your freezer is stocked and you don’t need to question where your protein is coming from.
I had never done a bulk meat purchase of any kind, but I have always wanted to! We received a quarter of a cow from W2 Beef Co, and I wasn’t entirely sure how the process would go. So if you’re interested in this part of the process, read on! I had lots of questions, and I was so pleased with how it went (if not, just scroll on to the recipes).
A quarter cow, for us, included these cuts:
- Premium Steaks: 27-30 lbs. of top notch steaks. Our 1/4 beef contains a variation of Strip Steaks, Steak Tenderloin, Ribeyes, Minute Steaks or Sirloin Steaks.
- Premium Ground Beef: 44-48 lbs. 1 lb packages
- 40-42 lbs. of savory cuts: Various roasts, cross cut shanks, packages of stew meat in convenient 1 lb. packages and one or two of the following: Brisket, Short Ribs, Skirt Steak or Flank Steak.
I wasn’t sure how much space it would take up (and I had my slight concerns about meat shipping in general, simply because I have never done it before). But I was so glad to see that all the beef arrived in two large boxes. Everything was perfectly frozen (solid!) when it arrived. As I unloaded, I inventoried everything as I unloaded it in to the freezer (I use and love this magnetic dry erase white board for my freezer inventory). I was so glad to see that everything fit nicely in our deep freezer! I had pulled out large items that needed to be used up, and we ate those before Thanksgiving (including a frozen turkey that took up a bunch of room). But even with a few freezer meals left in our rather small deep freezer, all the beef fit just fine!
Stephanie and her husband are doing a giveaway in collaboration with this blog post! You can enter to win 50 lbs of beef to feed your freezer! I mean seriously … this is a great giveaway, valued at over $750! Enter here! Be sure to enter because after you do, there’s a great deal that Stephanie graciously made based on my method of “feeding the freezer!”
My favorite beef recipes for feeding the freezer
Here are some of my favorite recipes for feeding the freezer! This list is beef-specific because it’s winter and that’s what we’re cooking these days. I’ve included a few notes on specific recipes that you’ll want to pay attention to. Some recipes don’t freeze well as whole dishes because certain ingredients (like pasta) don’t freeze super well. So I’ve given you my steps for freezing those recipes so that they taste great and still take a load off your plate in terms of prep!
This recipe is so simple and it is so stinking savory. It’s perfect on the evenings when the sun has set at 4 pm – ha! I like to make the entire recipe without the potatoes, pull out my freezer portions (freezing in gallon bags or souper cubes) and then add the potatoes into the pot for our dinner that evening. I’ll add potatoes each time I reheat this since I find they don’t freeze well. But you do you in this regard!
This recipe is so very simple! Just make rice each time you reheat the frozen portion! So simple.
This recipe is going to be perfect for the minutes steaks that came from our quarter cow! I make the beef and veggie stir fry, and then freeze that in portions for dinner (gallon bags). I’ll make the noodles fresh each time I serve it.
The easiest recipe! Uses ground beef and frozen veggies! I make the whole things and freeze the whole thing. Just add pads of butter to the top of the potatoes when you reheat it (freeze this one in a foil baking dish or even a foil bread loaf pan if your family is smaller, like mine!)
This recipe is great over mashed potatoes or with a salad. The recipe freezes great as-is!
Making your own taco seasoning might seem like a little “extra” but this seasoning is so good. I quadruple it, and then use it each time we make tacos. If you want to freeze taco meat, make a big batch (4+ lbs if you’ll use it!) and freeze it in portion sizes for your family.
These sandwiches are crowd-pleasers! I make the recipe (usually doubling it) and then freezer just the meat and pepper combination. Make the sandwich portion (buns and cheese) each time. Try it with American cheese or pepper jack too! We’ve fed these to the college students in our church, and they were gone in an instant!
We make this recipe about once a month (and feed the freezer, which means we eat it nearly 3 times a month!). We love it. The girls eat it without complaint! Make the beef and cheese mixture, and freeze it in portions for your family. Then make the shells fresh and top it off with a little extra cheese and a splash of half and half.
Potatoes and beef often need a tune-up in terms of flavor, but this recipe does it! It is a warm curry with potatoes, beef, and peas. I pull out freezer portions before the potatoes are completely done cooking so that they reheat the best.
Again, don’t forget! Stephanie and her husband are doing a giveaway in collaboration with this blog post! You can enter to win 50 lbs of beef to feed your freezer! I mean seriously … this is a great giveaway, valued at over $750! Enter here! Be sure to enter because after you do, there’s a great deal that Stephanie graciously made based on my method of “feeding the freezer!”