Mystery Meat and Croquettes
In an effort to get to the bottom of the freezer, we discovered three bags of meat. So, two bags were identifiable and then other not so much. Our Mystery Meat and Croquettes will give us at least three or four meals because of how much it made.
Taking a Gander in my Freezer
As I was trying to get my groove back on this Friday morning, I hurried to check the freezer and pull out the bags of meat that were in question. Now, my husband didn’t know what any of the bags were, so I was going in blind. While my granddaughter was playing, I scurried out to the garage and found the three gallon sized baggies and a 1/2 bag of yeast rolls.
Once in the house, I pulled out my instant pot. I normally do not use it on the crockpot function because I don’t believe it works so well. However, my crockpot was dirty and my other one has seen better days, so I had no option. Completely frozen, I put in the mystery meat. From the looks of it, it was stew meat but from the smell of it, it was deer. I never cook deer meat. Ever. My son-in-law kills them and cooks it but not me. He does throw things in my freezer from time to time. Once, I opened it and an entire hind quarter was staring at me.
Texting the Man Child
I texted him and he said it could have been him, it could be deer meat, it could be something else. Really, zero help. So, I got a cup of water in their and set the crockpot function on low for about eight hours. He said if it was deer meat, to cook it low and slow to get the gamey taste out and to soften it up.
I mean, that’s what I did because I do not like to waste or throw food away. Whilst his daughter was running about my feet, I gagged a bit while I fit this all in the instant pot. The smell was not my favorite. Once the lid was on, I really didn’t think about it anymore.
Onto the Other Two Bags
One baggie had leftover ham in it. The other baggie, I sort of giggled at when I started looking closer. On the bottom of the bag were two slices of ham. However, the rest of the bag had turkey. I am guessing this was leftover Thanksgiving meat from my mom’s house because I rarely cook turkey. It just is never moist (you are welcome, Susan for using that word).
I let them thaw out while I pondered what on earth I could do to make it work. While I was pondering, I was cleaning my house. Again, it’s Friday and I typically clean the house on Friday. I have been so busy lately that I clean when I have the chance. Today, I cleaned around my girl baby (best helper ever).
Cleaning Out the Fridge and Pantry
I finally tackled the pantry and pulled out all the bits and pieces that I didn’t even know I had. For next week, I will do something with this huge bag of tortilla chips. It was a little bag and about a 1/2 bag but I combined them and now they need to go in something.
Nacho night? Maybe. I dunno yet.
There was a couple of good sized onions and one weenie one. I set it out to use. There was also two little bags of instant garlic mashed potatoes. Gluten free, so I pulled those out. Once I was in the fridge, I found a zucchini that needed to be eaten, a tiny bag of green onions, a bit of cheddar…really, just a little bit of this and a little bit of that in all the places.
Croquettes it is (well, my version of it anyway).
Gluten Free Flour
Mashed Potatoes (I used Instant Idahoan Garlic Mashed Potatoes)
First, I got my water started for the garlic mashed potatoes. Once that was boiling, I through in the instant potatoes, mixed, and set aside. Then, I got a huge mixing bowl out and cut up my meat into small pieces. There was a lot of meat (hence using three eggs to bind it). I added the chopped up onion and green onions. Also, I added in the minced garlic and seasoning. I did not heavily use my seasoning mix because the ham was pretty salty and so were the mashed potatoes. From there, I added the cheddar and mashed potatoes.
I had to leave to pick a kid up, so I covered that and it just hung out in the bowl while I was being mom. When I got home, it was cool enough to add in the eggs. If you add those eggs in with the hot mashed potatoes they will scramble up and that is not what you want.
Assembling the Croquettes
Once all of this was done, I got my hands in there (gross) and mixed it well. Like a meatloaf, do not overmix this stuff. I got a plate out and put my gf flour on it. While I was patting away, I was melting a pat of butter in a nonstick pan. I could fit seven croquettes in my skillet. Let them cook for about four minutes (or until golden brown) on each side. I had a lot of meat, so it made about 28. We ate it tonight, will probably eat it tomorrow night with some corn and leftover rolls. I also got a bag and will be freezing some for next week. Cook once, an ample amount, and eat that night and freeze for another night. Key to frugal living and shelf-cooking.
What I Will Add if I Make This Again
Next time, I will cut up some fresh mushrooms, a bigger onion, and some spinach. I could be wild and add in some cream cheese. Honestly, I wanted to add in the rest of the Feta cheese but didn’t want to waste it if these sucked. They didn’t suck, so I might add that next time. Oh, a mushroom sauce or brown sauce would be good over it. The possibilities are endless.
As for the Mystery Meat
My son-in-law checked it and it is definitely deer. He said to keep on cooking it and then decide what to do. I have a person I know that is super sweet and she lives on deer meat. When I saw her today, I asked her what she thought. She said to drain it, season it, and then pour bbq sauce over and make sandwiches. Easy enough. So, currently, that meat is marinating in the bbq sauce and I will reheat it tomorrow for lunch and then for meals on Sunday.
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