My grandmother had a collection of cookbooks and I inherited that collection. I had to reduce the collection and I kept the ones that were very old, had wonderful memories for me, or the ones I saw my grandmother use, often. One of the “collections” I kept was a set of 5 hard back books in a little case. I saw her get this set out so many times over the years.
This set is from 1966 and is Favorite Recipes of America. One of the volumes in this set is Casseroles, and in the front of that book, it introduces freezer cooking as an ancient technique of food preservation and talks about the convenience of having dinners prepared.
I have adapted the instructions on the technique I will use for our freezer.
ONE-DISH MEAL CASSEROLE
adapted from a recipe, contributed by Mrs. Clarence Knoepfle from Ashley, N.D.
1 lb ground beef
2 c. sliced potatoes
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. carrots
1/4 c. green pepper (opt)
2 c. tomatoes (these can be freshly chopped or canned diced, drained)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 c. rice
1 c. hot water
Brown beef. Place a layer of meat in a 2 quart casserole. Tip with a layer of each vegetable and rice. Sprinkle with salt/pepper. Pour hot water over all. Cover. Bake 325 for 2 hours. Add more water if needed. Makes 6-8 servings.
FREEZER FRIENDLY VERSION: Brown beef and allow to cool. Put beef and remaining veggies in a gallon size bag. Place bag in freezer. On the day of cooking, allow beef/veggie mixture to thaw, place in a 2 qt casserole (or a disposable pan, if you don’t want to do the dishes!) top with rice, salt, pepper, hot water. Cover and bake on 325 for 2 hours.
This can also be done in the slow cooker for about 4 hours on low by adding the water to the meat/veggie mixture. Add rice and more water, if needed after 2 hours.