A couple months ago I was “freezer cooking” dinners for the month which required me to cook 15 lbs of ground beef at time in my giant roaster. After straining all the cooked meat to use in my freezer meals I was left with a few quarts of fat, drippings, and small pieces of beef that didn’t make it past my slotted spoon and into the casserole assembly. Typically this leftover stuff is set out on the counter to cool and solidify and then chucked, but this time I decided to experiment.
Because if there’s anything I hate more than cooking, it’s food waste.
I remembered my grandma saving all the fat and drippings after cooking up sausage to make gravy. She’d get the liquid hot in the pan and whisk in some flour, then some milk, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Sausage is basically just meat but with extra fat and seasonings, right?
And gravy is basically just sausage drippings, flour, and milk, right?
I already have lots of fat and meat. So why not add seasonings, flour, and milk?
The result was Zero Waste Mock-Sausage Gravy. And two freezer cooking batches later, my freezer is loaded with it.
We spread it in toast, mix it into scrambled eggs, serve with fries as poutine, and dding a few spoonfuls into any pasta or rice based casserole ups the savory flavor effortlessly.
Next time you’re browning up ground beef for tacos or sloppy joes or chili, try saving your drippings for a simple and savory all-American condiment.
drippings from 5lbs of ground beef
1/3 c. flour (I have used both wheat and gluten free and both work)
1/3 c. milk
2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
Add sage, garlic, and salt to beef drippings and simmer for a few minutes to bring out flavors.
Sprinkle flour over the liquid while whisking.
Slowly add milk, continually whisking. Cooking a few minutes on low.
Add pepper to taste and more salt if needed.
For thicker gravy, add more flour. For thinner gravy, add more milk.
As the gravy behind to cool, liquids may separate. Just whisk back together before heating back up or pouring into freezer bags.
If you like more meat in your gravy, just add some of the ground beef back in which you originally separated after cooking.
Do you know of any other ways to use up the fat and drippings from ground beef? And what is your favorite way to use up some sausage gravy? Inspire me with your comments! 😆