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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Miracle of the Pork Roast or One Roast, Three Ways

I know I started to talk about this in my previous post, but let me go into a bit of detail about my miraculous pork roast. I bought in sale at Publix for $1.59 per pound (which in my neck of the woods is very cheap). I was determined to make the most out of the meat, but since I am not a huge pork fan I was not relishing the thought of eating it several nights in a row. My best bet, I realized, was to make true "planned-overs" and transform the meat as entirely as I could from night to night.

Night one: Pork loin roast, simply seasoned and roasted. Next time I will cook it to a slightly lower temperature, because even though it had a generous layer of fat over it, I still felt it was *thisclose* to being too dry. I made asparagus and cabbage with the roast. (See previous post)

Night two: Pork Stew with multiple veggies served over mashed potatoes. My nearly dry roast was rehydrated in a flavorful veggie and chicken broth. I pan roasted the vegetables in a dutch oven, and salted them with kosher salt to help them break down. I tossed the cooked cubes of pork in flour with salt and pepper in it. As I cooked my Yukon Gold potatoes I also cooked a peeled and chopped parsnip in with them and mashed them all together. My husband is not terribly fond of parsnips, so I was looking for a way to use up my last one without having to confront hubby with the dreaded root vegetable. In the future I may add more parsnips to the potato party as no-one seemed to notice them. I am not really into all that "sneaky chef" stuff because if you are always "tricking" people into eating vegetables, they never learn to like them on their own. However, *I* like parsnips, so this way I can have them and not make a big deal. Huzzah. I brought the soup to stew consistency with a little slurry of cornstarch and water. I have also used arrowroot flour and water to make stew and I am fond of both as a thickener, they seem to thicken at lower temperatures than flour and you don't have to "cook" the flour flavor out of the food as much.

Night three: Pork BBQ, took the last third of the roast and put it on a dutch oven with oil, chopped onion, garlic and green pepper. Topped with with a generous amount of BBQ sauce and lots of Mr. David's pork rub, some ketchup and some mustard. (The mustard and ketchup were added to account for the fact I did not think I had enough BBQ Sauce.) The sauce application was to keep the meat from drying out during the re-heating and veggie cooking stage. Side dishes were steamed broccoli and leftover reheated mashed potatoes.

In keeping with my philosophy of offering a fruit and vegetable at every meal we also had apple sauce every night with dinner. Apple sauce and pork are a classic combination and this week made me remember why. The sweetness of the applesauce contrasted perfectly!

This roast provided 3 dinners and 6 lunches for a family of 2 adults and 2 children. (There is still pork stew in the fridge.) I estimate it was a 4-5 pound roast. I wish now I had noted the exact weight. Anyhow this proves my oft stated maxim that if you treat meat as a flavoring component and not the center of the meal you can get a lot more for your money. You just need sufficient veggies and starches. Other meals I could have prepared were pork fried rice and stir fry vegetables, or perhaps pork fajitas. This type of roast is also exceedingly easy to cut into your own pork chops, especially if you have an electric knife and a steady hand.


  1. I love pork. I splurged (calorie wise) and got pork butt instead of loin this last time. I usually buy loin which can get dry so I only cook it in the crock pot. I cook it in spaghetti sauce and then shred it in the sauce. I do bbq with a rub and coke or Dr Pepper, then put it in sauce at the end. I also do my favorite comfort food, pork with sauerkraut and kielbasa, add a little apple juice and cook, then serve it over mashed potatoes, mix in some corn. Love it.
    That stew sounds fantastic.

  2. Danke! And thanks for your ideas on the pork, I had never considered a tomato sauce application, love it! Sometimes I get the pork butt if it is on sale, but honestly, its not something we eat all the time. I had heard of doing coke on a beef roast, but I always assumed that was a southern thing, since we use coke for everything! LOL!