Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beef on A Dollar #1--Potato and Mushroom Casserole

After I packaged up 9 1# packs of beef, onions and mushrooms I had a couple of cups of juice and beef chunks left so I added:

4 potatoes. peeled and cubed

1 pound of button mushrooms, quartered

1 Tsp. Pepper

Fold all of it together and dump into a large casserole dish. Bake covered at 350 for 1 hour.

Stir in 1 cup of chopped broccoli and let the casserole sit in the oven(heat off) for another 30 minutes and then serve with crusty homemade bread. Makes 8 servings.

I split this into 2 portions and froze half for a future meal. Cost for 1/2 of the casserole was about $1.00 for 4 servings.

Beef on A Dollar

I bought a huge chunk of beef at Cash & Carry. This Top Round Roast weighs 24 pounds and was on sale this week for $1.62 per pound. If cut up correctly, this chunk would yield 48 Top Round Steaks on par with steaks offered in many high end restaurants. If cut up into USDA portion sizes it will produce 22 or so pounds of high quality, low fat protein-- more than 90 servings of beef at a cost of about 41 cents per serving.

Cutting and packaging...Took 2 people 1 hour so we "made/saved" $25.00 per hour each compared to a similar amount/cuts of meat offered at Safeway!

Got these packages (Safeway Value $)

1-2# Round Roast ($2.29/lb= $4.58) Frozen whole.

16- 4 ounce Filet mignon ($9.99/lb=$39.96) And yes, I did weigh these. I trimmed meat off each steak until they were all exactly 4 ounces and added the trimmings to the stew meat. The steaks got a 2 hour marinade: Juice of 1 lime, 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon meat tenderizer before being vacuum packed and frozen. (The marinade may have been a mistake, but time will tell when we take them out to cook-more on that in a future blog.)

6 pounds lean ground beef ($2.99/lb=$17.94) We ground this using an old hand grinder--run the meat through twice to get a good grind. Frozen in 1/2 pound packages.

10.5 pounds lean stew meat/20 packs ($2.49/lb=$26.14) I cooked all of this meat with onions and celery for about 3 hours at 300 degrees. I then, split the whole mess into 10 packages for freezing. Each package will make a double sized meal and have left overs too.

Here are 150+ recipes that start with stew meat & onions. When I cook up these recipes I will divide each one in half and freeze one of the halves for another day so that I get 20 meals for 2.

I also got 1.5 pounds nasty greasy fat that could possible have been made into candles or some other useful product(frontier axle grease?) but it grossed me out so I tossed it!

Total Cost: $36.99

Safeway Comparative Value: $88.62

Money Saved: $51.63