It happens all too often: it’s 4pm and I don’t know what’s for dinner.
Now, having my pantry stocked correctly and my plan possibilities already lined out (in Simplified Dinners) does help tremendously in these situations. Actually, it enables me to have such situations, because I know I have meal-makings on hand that I can quickly pull together.
However, sometimes the meat is frozen, rock solid, at 4pm — or even later.
I found a solution to this dilemma, so I can be further enabled in my dinner-preparation-procrastination! And now you can be, as well. I found out that I can cook frozen ground beef quickly, without thawing in the microwave or using extra dishes.
Thaw Ground Beef Quickly Without the Microwave
Same dish, no extra mess, fast! The beef I am using is local, from the whole cow we purchased last summer. Our ground beef is packaged in 2-pound blocks.
- Unwrap your ground beef and place in your skillet with a small amount of water (just enough to cover the bottom).
- Bring the water up to a light simmer with the skillet covered. The water prevents the meat from burning and sticking to the pan while the insides thaw. Covering the pan helps the steam quickly defrost your meat.
- As the water comes to a simmer and the meat is brown on the outside, scrape the brown, thawed exterior off and into the water to reveal the red, still-frozen meat.
- Continue this process until you have a very small piece of frozen ground beef left. Keep the pan covered and a very small amount of water in the pan as you work. Check and scrape the meat about every 3-5 minutes.
- When your meat is more than half thawed, add whatever vegetables (onions, peppers, etc.) that you’re going to add to whatever dinner you’re going to make this into (mine is sloppy joe topping).
- At this point, you can also let the water simmer down and out. The meat and vegetables will produce enough juices to keep it from burning, and you’re almost done with the thawing process!
- As soon as the remaining frozen ground beef is thin enough, break it apart with your spatula/scraper. Proceed to cook and brown until the meat is cooked through, as you would normally.
And now you have dinner extra fast, and no evidence that you went all day without a plan for whatever marvelous dinner you were now able to pull off. You can cook frozen ground beef, right in the pan.
Need help getting dinner on the table quickly, without stress?
This menu plan template will help streamline your process.