Why Batch Cook Beef?
Whether you're a busy parent trying to make nutritious meals for the family, a fitness enthusiast looking for the right way to fuel your active lifestyle, or just looking to improve the way you prepare meals at home, planning meals in advance has many benefits. Not only can it save you time and keep you on a budget, planning meals with nutrient-rich beef, vegetables, and whole grains provides everyday success. Use this handy guide to help you conquer meal planning like a pro -- just grill up or slow cook your desired amount at the beginning of the week and enjoy pre-planned meals for the next few days!
1. Choose Your Cut
Cuts matter! Many cuts of beef are perfect for delicious and nutritious grilling. And all steak cuts contain essential nutrients like zinc, iron, and protein to power healthy, active lifestyles. (Tip: One pound of steak, once cooked, makes four 3-oz. portions). Some of the best cuts for grilling include:
Top Sirloin Steak
2. Prepare Your Beef
Fire up the grill (gas or charcoal) to medium heat. Remove beef from refrigerator and season with herbs or seasonings of your choice. Remember to marinate less tender cuts of beef, like Flank Steak, prior to grilling, for up to 24 hours. Tender cuts like Top Sirloin or Strip Steak can be marinated in as little as 30 minutes.
Tip: For charcoal grilling, medium heat is achieved when coals are no longer flaming and are ash-covered. For gas grilling, consult the owner's manual for specific information about preparing the grill for medium heat since gas grill brands vary greatly.
3. Cook Your Beef
Place steaks on the grill and cook, covered, turning occasionally with tongs until cooked to medium rare (145*F) to medium (160*F) doneness. To determine the internal temperature, insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally into the thickest part of the steak. Once finished, let the steaks rest for five minutes before slicing to allow those tasty juices to redistribute. Season beef with salt, if desired.
4. Assemble Your Meals
Once your steaks have rested, slice against the grain and portion into 3-oz. servings (a sensible 3-oz. position, about the size of a computer mouse, has about 25 grams of protein). Transfer to reusable storage containers and add your choice of 1/2 cup of starchy vegetable or whole grain side dish, like sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice, and 1 cup of your favorite vegetable, such as broccoli, asparagus, or green beans. Seal your containers and place in the fridge for convenient, balanced and nutritious meals on the go. Tip: Make sure you consume your batch-cooked beef within 3 to 4 days.
Want more flavor inspiration? Try one of the recipes below:
Four-Seasons Beef & Brussels Sprout Salad
Inside-Out Grilled Steak Salad
Grilled Steak & Asian Noodle Salad
1. Choose Your Cut
Start with a cut that's ideal for slow cooking. Tip: A two-to-three pound roast makes approximately eight to twelve 3-oz. servings. We recommend these cuts:
Shoulder Pot Roast
Bottom Round Roast
2. Cook Your Roast
Place 1 large onion, chopped, and 2 tablespoons minced garlic into your slow cooker; place roast on top. Cover and cook on LOW for 9-10 hours, or on HIGH for 5-6 hours, or until roast is fork-tender.
Optional: To get the most flavor from your roast, brown your meat before cooking. Start by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Slowly brown beef on all sides. After browning, season with herbs and seasonings, as desired.
3. Assemble Your Meals
Remove roast from slow cooker. Skim fat from cooking liquid, if necessary, and reserve 1 cup onion mixture. Shred beef with two forks. Combine shredded beef and reserved onion mixture, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Portion into 3-oz. servings, about the size of a computer mouse, for about 25 grams of protein per serving. Transfer each portion to reusable storage containers and add your choice of 1/2 cup of starchy vegetable or whole grain, like sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice, and 1 cup of your favorite vegetable, like broccoli, asparagus, or green beans. Seal your containers and place in the fridge for convenient, balanced and nutritious meals on the go. Tip: Make sure you consume your batch-cooked beef within 3 to 4 days.
Want to try some other planned-ahead meals? Try one of these recipes: