Updated: 6 days ago
Hi! My name's Olivia. You may have seen me behind the front counter at Gourmet's. I love being a part of our little work family, but when I go home, the best part of my day is cooking dinner for my parents and siblings.
Every Monday, I crank up some country music, scour the freezer for edible hidden treasures, and plan out our meals for the week. I'm learning this meal planning thing on the go, and I've discovered that one of my favourite tricks to making quick and fun meals is buying bulk meat.
1. It shortens my grocery list.
2. It’s (usually) cheaper to buy in bulk than in small quantities.
3. Pre-set bulk orders, like Gourmet’s Freezer Packages, give me an opportunity to try foods and recipes that I wouldn’t otherwise think of cooking.
The problem is, I often don’t know where to begin when I’m trying new products. There are so many creative recipes and ideas that I just can’t choose! If you are vigorously nodding in agreement with me, then this blog series is for you. This summer, we will highlight one of Gourmet’s Freezer Packages on our blog and give you some creatively delicious ideas for how to cook up the products in the package.
Since creativity thrives in community, we’d love to hear your ideas as well! Comment on our posts, tag us on Facebook and Instagram, or, even better, come on into Gourmet’s and share your recipes in person!
Today, we’ll be unpacking the Light Trail Cottager Package. You can order this package online (on our website/email) or by phone, and we are available for in-store shopping, curb side pickup, and local delivery. Let’s dig in!
The Light Trail Cottager contains all your basics for camping, summer cookouts at home, or a week at the lake. Let’s break down the products first, then brainstorm some meals you and your family will love!
1. Bacon …
2. Jumbo Hot Dogs …
… foot-long beef and pork hot dogs with a classic smoky flavour. Hot dogs are an art form, highly underestimated and with so much hidden potential.
3. Peameal-style Bacon …
… cured pork loin brined for extra flavour and rolled in cornmeal for a delightful texture. Peameal is a staple for eggs benedict, and is delicious on a sandwich, or, my favourite, hot from the pan all on its own.
4. Regular Hamburger …
… simple, versatile ground beef, not too lean, not too fat. Need I say more?
5. Mild Sausage …
… just enough seasoning to enjoy on a fresh bun, but plain enough to fit nearly any dish. Mild sausage can be dressed up with limitless toppings or added to pasta, pizza, stir-fry, tacos… comment below with your suggestions!
… salt & pepper enhance quality beef to create the perfect diner-style hamburger. Toss ‘em on the grill or cook ‘em in the oven, and top with a good melty cheese for a faster-than-fast-food summer dinner.
7. Breakfast Sausage …
… or, mild sausage’s little brother. Same versatile flavour in a smaller size! Perfect as a side with pancakes and eggs.
8. BBQ Sauce …
… you choose from a variety of locally sourced BBQ sauces (from gourmet village or wildly delicious), perfect to complement your cookout. Let me list a few, just to get your mouth watering: Newfoundland Screech Rum, Smoky Maple Chipotle, Sriracha & Cider Vinegar, Hickory Smoke…
Now that we are all salivating over the basic products, let’s fire up the grill and bring the Light Trail Cottager to life.
Meal #1: All Canadian Cheeseburger
Dress up your Seasoned Hamburgers with a slice of pan-fried peameal, smokey maple chipotle BBQ sauce, and fresh veggies!
From the Freezer Package
Sliced Peameal-style Bacon
BBQ Sauce – I recommend the Smoky Maple Chipotle for this combo
8 of your favourite fresh hamburger buns
Cheese – anything melty will work, but this recipe would love some creamy gouda.
Greens – whatever you like best! Romaine? Spinach? Arugula?
Mushrooms – the amount depends on how much you like mushrooms. I’d do 4-5 for 8 burgers, but I’m only a minor mushroom fan.
Mayo or butter.
1. Heat grill to 350 – 375⁰F and heat a frying pan on medium.
2. Slice the mushrooms.
3. Add a few tablespoons of olive or canola oil to the hot pan, then toss in the mushrooms. Cook until browned, soft, and their smelling amazing. At this point, you can toss in some chopped parsley for extra colour if you’d like. Set aside.
4. Place burgers on the hot grill. Cook for about five minutes on one side, just until you can see the nice caramel-brown colour creeping up the edges. Flip and cook another 4-5 minutes.
5. While the burgers are cooking, fry the peameal, either on the grill or in a pan on the stove. I like to see the grill marks and get that smoky flavour on my peameal.
6. After you flip the burgers, spread a dollop of BBQ sauce and place one slice of peameal on each, then add some mushrooms and top it off with a slice of cheese. Shut the grill off and close the lid, then let flavours all mingle for 1-2 minutes, just until the cheese is melted.
7. Spread mayo or butter on each bun, then add a burger and top with your leafy greens.
I like to cook burgers from frozen because the patties become a bit more difficult to handle when they are thawed.
These burgers can also be cooked in the oven for twenty minutes at 350⁰F, flipping halfway through cooking.
Meal #2: Loaded Jumbo Dogs
Transform this traditional fireside treat into a gourmet meal!
From the Freezer Package
6 Jumbo Hot Dogs
½ lb Bacon
Leafy greens – your choice! I love these with crisp baby spinach.
1-2 tomatoes diced, amount depending on how much you like tomato.
Approx. 1 cup grated cheddar cheese.
Your favourite classic condiments (mayo, mustard, relish, etc.)
1. Heat grill to 350-375⁰F and heat a frying pan on medium-low.
2. Chop the bacon into pieces approx. 0.5” squared. Cook on medium-low until almost crispy. Remove from pan and drain excess grease on a paper towel
3. If the hot dogs are frozen, simmer in a pot of water on the stove until thawed, but not fully heated. Remove from water and drain until fairly dry.
4. Place the hot dogs on the grill and cook for about ten – fifteen minutes, rotating just until charred and beginning to swell/split.
5. While the hot dogs are cooking, cut open the buns and place on indirect heat on the grill with the inside facing up. Top with grated cheese and toast until melted. Remove from heat and add condiments, greens, bacon, and tomatoes.
6. Place the hot dogs on the buns, serve, and enjoy!
To complete this simple BBQ meal, add a light salad, grilled veggies, or fresh fruit. Sweet corn would be a delightful complement or toss some baby spinach and arugula with sliced local strawberries, chopped pecans, and a vinaigrette for a flavourful salad.
The hot dogs can also be pan-fried for about ten-fifteen minutes on medium heat. Add a bit of water in the pan to prevent burning; and rotate a few times through cooking. Toast the buns in the oven or facedown in a frying pan.
Written by Olivia Snyder, June 2021.
Fresh Product Photos by Esther Wonder.