This is a Premium feature
Best way to freeze dinners(8 Posts)
I have a 7 week old baby and am keen to be able to make doubles of some freezable meals so I have one to pop away and defrost for a busy day. What do people use to do this? Are there any particularly great meals? I was thinking shepherds pie, chilli etc. I'm presuming I need something with a lid so I thought either disposable foil trays but then there's the cost and repeat buying or pyrex dishes with lids???
Ragu (mince with chopped tomatoes and veg) makes a base for lasagne, cottage pie and spaghetti. Stews, cassseroles, soups freeze well. Freeze in tupperware containers( I save icecream boxes, emty coleslaw tubes), take out of the freezer the night before, defrost in the fridge, reheat in the pan, wash the tub for next use.
I use old ice cream tubs. Once the food is frozen, you can pop out the frozen lump and store in a freezer bag - that way the food takes up less space in the freezer and you only need a few boxes then. I make soup like this and then have a bag of 6 (or however many) blocks of individual portions. To get the blocks out of the boxes, just run them very briefly under the tap to loosen the block away from the box, then “pop” out.
We have takeaway once a month so I use the plastic tubs after they’re washed. Perfect portion sizes
I buy foil trays with lids, really cheap in the right places, £1 for 7 big enough for lasagne or cottage pie for four, £2 for four that take a whole chicken, spatchcocked (is that even a word) with par boiled new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, butterbeans, carrots and stock.
I just defrost in the fridge and bung it in the oven. I am a big freezer cook atm and am doubling everything I cook quantity wise.
My particular favourite is a casserole I made up. 2 ½ lb Beef (shin or skirt) in seasoned flour pan fried, chopped onion, shallots, carrots, two turnips, a cup full of soaked dried wild mushrooms plus soaking liquid, beef stock cube, bottle of bitter, thyme and rosemary. Cook it for four/five hours on low .... not in a slow cooker it doesn't taste the same to me. Freeze half in a foil tin with a lid and then stick it in the oven with cheese dumplings on top, frozen peas = meal without effort.
I have got a new 7ft tall freezer , I have filled half of it in less than a month of double cooking meals.
I reuse the trays where I can - the one I used tonight is on its third meal.
Pyrex dishes with lids for lasagne or shepherd's pie, otherwise plastic tubs - I usually use takeaway containers, or sometimes ice cream or margarine tubs.
Stews, casseroles, curries (tomato rather than creamy), chilli all freeze well - I do meat and veggie versions.
I never considered using ice cream tubs. What a great idea.
Yup as others have said plastic takeaway containers are the receptacle of choice here, along with some 'proper' tupperware, you can buy the plastic takeaway ones pretty cheaply in poundland or the supermarket if need be.
I freeze loads of stuff (pretty much anything!) but I do find the things that work best are things that are 'wet' so stews, currys, pasta sauces like spag bol. I think freezing (or certainly chilling and reheating) actually improves the depth of the flavour. Soup is also tasty and great for a quick lunch and also to use up veg that is past its best. I also freeze some 'sides' like bread, part cooked roast potatos, mash, raw veg although more to preserve leftovers than for ease of cooking next time).
The only things (IMO) that don't work are things where the texture is very important such as:
-Cooked rice (goes claggy)
-Cooked whole chicken breast (goes dry and easily freezer burns although is OK chopped up in a sauce e.g. chicken curry)
-Cooked fish (seems to disintegrate or go rubbery, is OK in something like fish pie where the texture is less important)
-Cooked vegetables, e.g. broccoli, can go mushy
I quite often don't bother defrosting and just put the container straight in the microwave from the freezer, seems to work fine!
Join the discussion
Please login first.