Second post today, woohoo! This weekend the Axis of Ineptitude challenged me to Cook a Thing. I'm a big fan of roast thing, and also fried thing, and baked thing, and once in a while, thing wings. However, this weekend I tackled a 4.5 lb pork loin and the various ways of serving one ginormous piece of meat for two people. Not only did this make the single cut of meat very versatile, but also very economical!
So, yeah. I found a big 4.5 lb pork loin discounted to about £8, and thought, I can get at least 4 meals for the two of us out of that! With that, my challenge was set.
Meal 1: Pork loin roast
Stuck the whole kit n caboodle in the slowcooker with 4 diced tomatoes, herbs, and spices on low for 8 hours. That night we had loin roast as it comes, with butternut squash and sweet potato on the side. Also made gravy from the cooking liquid. There are no pics of this meal because this is the Axis of Ineptitude, and also it's not that fascinating to cook a hunk of meat in the slow cooker. *shrug* Leftover pork loin was saved with all the liquid from cooking.
Meal 2: Sloppy pigs
Sliced and sauteed a red onion and yellow bell pepper.
Shredded the remaining pork loin in its juices.
Added a portion of the shredded pork to the bell peppers and onions to make shredded pork sammiches.
Meals 3 and 4: Porkerland Pie
A play on the Cumberland or Cottage Pie, started by adding the remaining shredded pork to a casserole dish.
Boiled off a mish-mash of potatoes (one large jacket or "baking" potato and several smaller thumb-sized ones that I would usually add to the slowcooker). Went to the garden and snipped a few stems of fresh cilantro and chives and diced those up, then mashed in with the potatoes.
|Half of our little herb garden. I cannot grow plants, but Mr. Faff can, and he doesn't know how to cook with them, but I do. Together, we make a fine pair.|
|The cilantro and chives in question.|
|My fine knife skills put to work|
Bake covered at 200C for about 20 minutes, then remove cover for additional 10 minutes. Ours came out very brown, but this coloration is mostly from the rich brown sauce that our pork had been cooked in.
I don't think there's ever a way to photograph a casserole to make it look delicious, but that's okay. It tasted delicious and that's what was important. The leftovers from this meal will feed us lunch on Monday, which is a holiday in the UK so Mr. Faff will be off work.
So there you have it. I made essentially four hearty meals for the pair of us out of a cut of meat that would normally have been purchased to feed a large family for a single meal, and at £1 per serving, it was really economical to do so. If I had wanted to add another variable, I could have made the final pie half it's size, and used the remaining meat to make pork enchiladas instead by adding some additional seasonings and wrapping it in tortillas to bake, but Mr. Faff is actually not very fond of tortillas, so it made sense to just leave it at potatoes and be done.
Have you ever stretched a large joint or cut of meat to make several different meals? I would love to hear about it!