What I'm about to share with you is by no means revolutionary, and, hell, I didn't even think of it myself. It came to me as so many of my greatest food discoveries do: from my husband. It's just that it's so easy and so obvious I wonder why I didn't think of it before. I can't keep a tip like this to myself, even if I am the last person to know about it.
The thing is, I hate when a recipe instructs you to cook your sausage/ground beef/what have you and drain the liquid. It's messy, it's gross, and I don't want my drain clogged with grease. If I try to put a lid on the pan to hold the goods back while whatever undesirable liquid falls out, I inevitably end up with a facefull of beefy, greasy, steam (a beef facial! refreshing!) and/or a half a sink full of deciously browned sausage.
Over the weekend, my husband was making dinner. Which, can I just interject here for a minute (yes, I can) and say that after a Friday off of work filled with shopping and mani/pedis, my girlfriend and I (Hi Laur!) came back to the house and had dinner made for us and THAT is living, my friends. Marry a chef, if you can, and have a friend who also occasionally has Fridays in the summer off, and be sure you both enjoy doing wicked stereotypically girly things. That's my advice. You're welcome.
So Zach was making dinner, and dinner was some delicious, perfect, homemade Friday night pizza. As with Chinese food, there is a dearth of good pizza around us and Zach's perfected his from-scratch recipe. This particular time he was making pies with peppers, onions (for the love of god, sautee them both before you put them on your pizza!), and hot italian sausage. The sausage was crumbled in the pan out of the skins, and Zach was having me brown it while I drank my beer (hard work). He also wanted me to drain it and when I grumbled (because BEEF FACIAL) he showed me his trick.
Set a smallish colander over a smallish bowl, and let the colander do all the work. We do this for pasta, why didn't I think of it for everything else?
Sorry about that greasy spatula, but at least there are no beef facials. And aren't you glad we got all that grease out of there? Now your pizza is practically health food! An additional bonus is that it's also a lot easier to dispose of your grease by pouring it directly in your jar or can or whathaveyou, rather than trying to drain a full pan AND aim for a tiny little jar.
So there you have it! A trick I might be the last one to know about.
Also, I'm filing this under M for Mmmm Meat, but I love vegetarian fare (as I hope you know by now) and I think this would work well for a million other things, meat or not. COLANDERS FOR EVERYONE! (Oprah voice.)
Did you know this trick? Am I the last one?