Buying in bulk is a smart way to get a lot of bang for your buck, especially if you’re meal planning for a family. But, with buying in bulk comes the challenge of portioning out the food that you buy so that nothing goes to waste. So, under the category of “creative use of leftovers” I created this segment to suggest ways of repurpose dishes from one meal to another.
The centerpiece of this segment is a whole pork loin, which I purchased from my local warehouse store. The cut was about 8 pounds, enough for 24 to 30 servings, depending on recipes and appetites, and very inexpensive. The great thing about buying the loin whole is that it can be cut it into multiple pieces and frozen for a number of different meals. From boneless chops to roasts, it’s quite a versatile cut of meat.
What I initially did was cut off a 4 pound roast to use for dinner but with the intention of having leftovers to use in additional recipes. I made a simple preparation using my grilling spice mix and roasting it in my smoker. The actual method is described below along with my spice mix recipe and serving suggestions. Then, with the leftover portion, I’ve provided a number of options.
These recipes are in small, 1 to 2 serving sizes, but you can easily expand them if you’re just focusing on one idea or have more leftovers with which to work.
Basic Smoked Pork Loin
4lb Pork Loin
2 tbl Wayne’s Dry Rub Mix for Pork (recipe below)
Rinse and pat dry the pork loin and trim away any excess fat. Generously rub the spice mix all over the loin and place it in a sealable bag. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking so that the roast reaches room temperature. With a smoker, regulate the temperature at about 275 degrees F and roast the loin until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. If you are using a grill, use the indirect method and try to regulate the temperature at a similar level. With my smoker, the cooking time was 90 minutes.
Once loin has reached desire temperature, remove from heat and cover with aluminum for about 10 minutes before serving.
Serving Suggestions: sliced, this pork loin pairs well with a mushroom and asparagus risotto (http://www.nbcchicago.com/entertainment/the-scene/Waynes-Weekend-Summer-Risotto-206722711.html) and a simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing.
Wayne’s Pork Grilling Spice Mix
5 1/2 tsp Paprika
3 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
Mix ingredients together and either grind in spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle. Store in an airtight container.
Pork Tenderloin Hash
makes 2 servings
3 lg slices of Cooked Pork Tenderloin, each about 1/2" thick
1 sm Onion, peeled
1 Red Pepper, seeded
1 Yellow Pepper, seeded
1 lg Potato, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 green onion, mostly white part, sliced
1/2 tsp Fresh Oregano, chopped
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 tbl Olive Oil
1 tbl Butter
Slice tenderloin, red pepper, yellow pepper, onion and potato to a uniform medium dice. Heat olive oil over a medium heat and add onions. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes and add potatoes, peppers, and garlic. Increase the heat to medium high. Season with salt, pepper and oregano, and sauté until vegetables are evenly cooked, about 10 minutes. Add tenderloin and toss for an additional 2 minutes until heated through. Meanwhile, cook eggs, sunny side up (or however you prefer) in a separate pan with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Transfer hash to individual serving plates and top each with two eggs.
Pork Loin with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Pasta
for about 2 servings
1 1/3 cu cubed Smoked Pork Tenderloin
1/2 lb Fresh Roma Tomatoes
2 tbl Fresh Basil
1 clove Garlic, peeled, smashed and finely minced
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 tbl Olive Oil
1/3 lb Pasta, your choice
Parmesan Cheese, optional, finely grated
Chop the tomatoes into a small dice and transfer them to a large bowl. Add garlic. Layer the basil leaves on a cutting board and then roll them up tightly. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice leaves into little ribbons (a chiffonade) and add to the tomatoes. Add olive oil, pork, salt and pepper and toss ingredients to combine. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for an hour or so.
Just before ready to serve, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl. Sample tomato mixture and adjust the taste with additional salt and/or pepper, if necessary. Add tomatoes to pasta, toss to combine, and serve with parmesan cheese.
Pork Loin Sandwich
makes 1 sandwich
1 Artisan Sandwich Roll, like a pretzel roll or mini baguette
2-3 thin slices Smoked Pork Loin
2 slices Provolone Cheese
Green Leaf Lettuce
Slice bread. Spread dijon on both sides and layer on the ingredients. Wrap in plastic if it’s for a take away lunch or simply enjoy. For a lunch, the sandwich would be great with some ready to eat baby carrots, chips and an apple.