My crockpot became my best friend during the time I was preparing meals for the freezer. I would prep all of the ingredients during the day and then let everything slow cook over night. In the morning, I would let it cool and then package the contents in mason jars. I focused on lots of soups and stews. Meals that were mostly hands off during cooking, could be packed in mason jars, so I didn’t have to give up any of my glassware to sit in the freezer for weeks and because soups and stews are easy to heat up.
One of our favorites was delicious and hearty split pea soup. In fact I had prepared this to serve to the midwives after the birth, but we were all too tired for food, so we ended up enjoying this later.
The first step, as you will see in many of the recipes in this series, is that I first made bone broth, this time from ham hocks we had in the freezer from our last two pigs. I made the bone broth in the crockpot as well, I added water to cover the bones and added about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a couple of bay leaves – that is the way I make most of my bone broths. Then I let it cook for about 24 hours.
Once the broth was made, I got all the meat off and reserved it. Then I basically made this soup (of course in this case it was not vegan!)
I put all the ingredients in the crockpot with the reserved meat and let it cook over night.
The thing about freezer meals is that you don’t re-invent the wheel, go through blogs, cookbooks etc. and make things you already know how to make, items that freeze well. This isn’t necessarily the time to experiment with difficult recipes. Here are some of the recipes I made or made similar recipes from recipes I already had on my blog.
Sardinian Purcavru in Agru Durci (sweet and sour pork)