I usually get the meat when its been reduced to be super thrifty in creating my cheap dinner ideas. It’s not always easy creating fresh cooked meals for one. Thats why I started freezing some cooked meats, firstly to avoid waste and secondly to be able to rustle up quick taste meals for one.
Tips To Freeze Cooked Meats
- Always allow the cooked meats to cool down to room temperature
- Use good freezer bags, something that will not tear and expose the meat
- If you have a vacuum sealer use that as it will keep quality of the cooked meat better
- Always label the bags with the meat and the actually date you froze the cooked meat
- Freezer burn is never good, especially on cooked meats as it destroys the moisture that was left in the meat
- Ensure that you freeze it as soon as it cools to room temperature
Bolognese For The Freezer
The easiest one to freeze for a quick meal is the Bolognese sauce, classic and simple. For a quick meal all you need to do is take it out of the freezer and place it in a pot. Make sure you use a gentle heat so the sauce does not dry out, by the time the pasta is cooked the Bolognese will be ready.
The bolognese sauce will keep in the freezer for at least 3 months. I always cook a large batch and freeze in portions, great for when I have the kids or just feeling lazy. I usually use a mix of beef mince and pork mince to add more depth of flavour to the sauce.
Frozen Cooked Taco Meat
Another great cooked meat to freeze is taco meat. The trick is to freeze it with some of the cooking liquor. I always cook the meats in the oven first, then shred the meat and then pan fry until sticky and crispy. One of my favourites is my sticky pork tacos, they are also super easy to make as well.
All you need to do is gently reheat the sauce until it gets crispy, sticky and decided that you are having with it. I usually have in the fridge some Turkish cabbage Salad, of course a tortilla, maybe some sharp cheese and avocado. You can also do this with carnitas, a slow cooked pulled pork Mexican mix usually with orange juice and spices. The taco meat will happily stay in the freezer fo 3 months .
Frozen Cooked Char Sui Pork
Pork is so easy to overcook and make it dry, especially fillet of pork. I cook the pork tenderloin to the internal temperature of 140f, (if you intend to eat any straight away then the temp needs to be 145f) Once the meat has cooled I slice it into small slices for freezer. The basic char sui recipe, this one I used pork minced as I could not get hold of a reasonable priced piece of pork.
I use the frozen char Sui pork in my special egg fried rice using microwave rice. I also use some other frozen meats to make it special, the great thing is that its ready in minute.
Frozen Cooked Pork Belly
Pork belly when cooked correctly is such an amazing flavoured tender meat. Again I always buy it when it’s been reduced, cook its that day and then freeze it. I usually cook it with basic flavours so when I use it out of the freezer I can incorporate the flavours of the cuisine I am cooking. I slice it 2 different ways for freezing, one is tin largish squares for when I create a dish around the belly pork.
Secondly I cut its into thin slices and freeze, the thin slices are great to add to the cheats special fried rice. This frozen pork belly will easily keep in the freezer for 3 months.
Frozen Ham Gammon
As live alone I try to come up with dinner ideas for one person, even if I have the kids there is always leftover gammon. The gammon joints seem to come in sizes of, medium, large and huge, so that’s why I need ideas for frozen ham recipes. I cut the leftover ham into little bite size cubes for freezing, and then they can be used for lots of different quick recipes. Of course the first one is the easy egg fried rice.
You can use the frozen ham in pasta dishes, omelettes and soups. Read my post on what to do with leftover gammon for some great ideas.
Frozen Cooked Beef
To get a good piece of Sunday roast beef you need a decent size of beef. If its to small sit will soon dry out in the oven. I like my roast beef to be nice tender and preferably rare, if its well rested then no need to worry about blood on the plate. So its not very often this happens because beef isn’t a cheap cut of meat. When I do cook it when I have the kids I like to make sure that I use up every last piece.
Rare roast beef is great on sandwiches and beef is great for freezing as well. Yes another one that you can shove into the special fridge rice, of course you could do the same with noodles. You can get the frozen beef out earlier in the day and let its defrost. If you do forget to get out the cooked frozen beef then just ensure you cook it very slow to keep the moisture in.
Frozen Cooked Duck Breast
Everything usually comes in a pack of 2, we’ll duck breast always seem to do. So again I managed to pick up a pack of 2 duck breasts reduced in price. Usually I eat the second one the next day, either just thinly sliced and dip it in hosing sauce. Sometimes I will go to the effort and make a cold duck salad
I used the defrosted duck breast in a Chinese stir fry and it was good. The second time around, which was just about 2 weeks in the freezer the duck breast tasted a little different. So for that reason I would not recommend keeping cooked duck breast in the freezer for longer than a week.
Frozen Beef Short Ribs
Now any meat that has a good fat content is great for freezing as it helps retain moisture in the meat. Beef short ribs are great to freeze part cooked and so many flavour combinations to choose from. As it’s low and slow for beef short ribs I usually take one out about an hour before its cooked. The cooked short rib of beef will keep for 3 months in the freezer.
Sometimes I take out some of the cooking liquor and place in the bag with the short rib. Other times I will let the sauce cook down with the other rib and then add it to the rib that’s going to be frozen. This way the stock is so much More reduced and flavoursome. Its just a judgement call because the one left cooking needs enough sauce. Thats so it doesn’t dry out intake final cooking time. Ideally the frozen cooked beef short rib needs to be taken out of the freezer thee night before. Allow it too slowly defrost in the fridge, when you get home from work an hour in the oven should see it cooked. Remember always check the temperature to ensure everything is cooked.
What cooked meats do you freeze and what do you use them for ?
You can keep Bolognese in the freezer for at least 3 months
Gammon cooked or uncooked will keep in the freezer for 3 months
Happiest in the kitchen feeding the 3 children who are constantly hungry. Lucky enough to have worked in a Pro kitchen on a voluntary basis to learn the tricks of the trade.. Buckinghams The restaurant with one Table. With Chef Nick Buckingham.(RIP)