Do any of you get excited when pork loin halves go on sale? I do, and my hope is that by sharing these tips and recipes, you will be inspired and get excited too! ( I’m weird, I know )
No Frills has pork loin halves on sale this week for $1.47/lb, which means you can buy a large piece of meat for about $10. With a little bit of prep and a few extra ingredients, you can create 3 easy meals that will make dinner time a breeze.
When you purchase your pork loin, grab some medium sized freezer bags as well. When you are ready, remove the pork from its plastic wrap and rinse well under cold water. Place the loin on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to remove the fat layer. I also recommend removing the “silver skin”, which is the thin membrane of connective tissue. Removing it will make your pork much more tender. You can find instructive videos on youtube showing you how to do this.
Cut the loin into 3 equally sized pieces.
Take the first piece and cut into chops, each about 1″ thick. Place the chops into a freezer bag or a covered dish. Make the following marinade:
1/3 cup vinegar of your choice
1 small can tomato paste
2 Tbsp soya sauce
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry or prepared mustard (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
MIx up this marinade and pour over pork chops. At this point, you may either freeze them in freezer bags or cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. When ready to use, thaw chops if frozen and place in baking dish, bake at 350 for 30 min. Serve with rice or potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce and some nice green veggies.
With the second portion of pork, you may either freeze immediately as is, or get out your crock pot. I like to make a big pot of pulled pork, especially if I am expecting company, because it is SO easy. Simply place the piece of pork in the crock and spice it up with whatever you have on hand; salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc. I also like to throw in a couple of roughly chopped onions. Add about 4 inches of water into the crock and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6. When the pork is cooked and tender, drain any excess liquid and shred, using 2 forks until it is the consistency you like. Add a bottle of your favourite BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly. Serve on kaiser rolls with some coleslaw, pickles and a side of baked beans. Yum!
With the third portion, you may choose to freeze it whole or cut into chops again. If you cook it whole, it is delicious as a roast. Simply thaw, place in a baking dish with about an inch of water, and sprinkle with whatever herbs you like. You may also spread your favourite mustard over the top. Roast uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes per pound. If you’ve cut your loin into thirds, your roast is likely going to be about 2-3 lbs, so it will take approximately 1- 2 hours. Just make sure to cook pork until you no longer see any pink, or you could risk illness, but also be careful that it doesn’t get overcooked, or it will be dry. Serve with some mashed potatoes, squash and a nice wholegrain bread.
When I make pork roast, there are always lots of leftovers, and we enjoy cold sandwiches for a day, but then nobody wants pork again! What I then do is dice the meat into small cubes, place into a ziploc bag and freeze. When my family has forgotten that it is leftovers, I thaw it out, cook some rice and stir fry it all in a skillet with some chopped green onions, green peas, diced carrots and soya sauce. ( Use whatever veggies you have, the more colour, the better) You can even scramble an egg into the mix along with some chopped water chestnuts. My picky husband has declared this “better than Golden Inn”! If you need some stir-frying tips, again, check out youtube for some easy tutorials.
If you use the leftovers for a Chinese stir-fry, that technically makes 4 main dishes for $10. That many meals for that little money makes my frugal heart just about burst with happiness.
If you have any questions about any of these recipes, please leave a comment and I will be happy to give you more info and/or ideas. This sale runs until Wednesday, September 27.