Using ground beef instead of beef chunks speeds prep time and makes this an economical family meal.
Unless you plan to use ground beff within a day of purchase, form it into patties for easy freezer storage and retrieval. Use your hand or one of several patty-making devices available in housewares departments, home plastics parties or the supermarket's kitchen equipment aisle. Handle the meat gently and as little as possible to keep the texture tender. If you wish, blend in seasonings before forming into patties.
Keep the size of the patties uniform: 1/4 pound is convenient. Wrap each patty individually in plastic wrap (for later defrosting in the microwave), then package all into a resealable plastic freezer bag. The plastic bag serves as an extra defense against freezer burn and helps prevent stray patties from getting "lost" at the back of the freezer.
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