When it comes to feeding my family, I have a few rules I try to employ in order to make the job easier. For starters, if I know what I’m making for dinner by the time breakfast hits the table then I’m guaranteed to get a good meal made that day. If I try to decide what I’m going to cook that night at 3pm, our evening eats are never as nice.
I also like to implement the “cook once, eat twice” school of thought when determining the quantities that I cook. If I’m making a roast chicken for dinner, I never bake just one. Last Sunday, we made three of them, and used the leftover meat throughout the week for lunchbox sandwiches and after-school snacking. While I’ll always think about cooking this way, lately I’ve been inspired to improve upon my methods and here’s what I’m doing instead: I come up with one item I can cook in bulk and three possible meals using the dish before I even begin cooking. It can be three dinners, or, better yet, a dinner, breakfast, and lunch, as is the case with today’s recipes.
Instead of shoving the leftovers into the fridge and hoping that inspiration will strike, I’m intentional with what I want to do with them, which also takes the guesswork out of a few more meals for the week. It’s important to note though, that if you have older eaters in the house, you may want to label the food with a sticky notes that states “please don’t eat” because if you don’t, any meat you stash away is likely to disappear before you have the chance to use it again.
I’m going to make this concept a new series here, and will post three recipes or ideas for one item every few weeks. I figure if I need the help than surely someone else might, too, and even if you only want to make one dish out of the three, that’s okay, also. The photos will always include at least one of the main dish I made, and I’ll add in the secondary pictures when possible, even if they come from Instagram instead of my DSLR camera.
I picked up a pork butt roast last week. Usually, I would automatically turn this into a large pot of pulled pork, one of my guys’ favourite foods. I wasn’t feeling it this time though, and wanted to make something a little more special, but that was just as quick and easy to assemble as my go-to porky provisions. I also knew that I wanted to use the leftovers in Cubano sandwiches, an excellent weekend lunch option. Lastly, whatever meat was left could be tossed into a rice and egg stir-fry, because in our house, leftover rice always becomes breakfast. So there you have it: three meals made from one cooking session that took me ten minutes to prepare and a few hours of hands-off time for the cooking to take place.
Slow-Roasted Pork with Spicy Honey and Soy Sauce
Serves 4-6 (with leftovers)
- 1 – 5-7lb. boneless pork butt roast (or pork shoulder)
- 2 cups liquid honey
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup sambal oleak (chili paste)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1. Place the pork in a large roasting pan or baking dish. Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, chilli paste, and ground ginger and pour over the pork. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours, turning the meat frequently.
2. Preheat the oven to 250°F or prep your slow cooker for use. Remove the meat from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking and transfer the pork to a Dutch oven or the slow cooker; pour the sauce over the top.
3. Cook for 7-8 hours, occasionally basting the meat with the marinade.
4. When cooked, transfer the pork to a platter and place the pot on the stovetop. Bring the marinade to a boil and cook down until it’s thick and syrupy and reduced by half. If you are using the slow cooker, pour the marinade into a medium saucepan to reduce it.
5. Slice the meat thinly and pour some of the sauce over the top, serving the extra on the side, or store it in the fridge for another use.
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 8 slices thick-cut sourdough or French bread
- 4 slices ham
- 4 slices slow-roasted pork
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 4-8 sandwich pickles
1. Mix the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard together and spread it evenly over the bread slices.
2. Top four pieces of the bread with a slice of ham, a piece of pork, a pickle(s), and cheese. Cover with another slice of bread, placed mustard-side down, and butter the outsides of (top and bottom) of the sandwich.
3. Heat a panini press and place the sandwiches inside, cooking until the bread is golden brown and crisp and the cheese has melted.
Note: If you don’t have a panini press, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat and place the sandwiches in the pan. Place a second skillet on top to press the sandwiches down and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the sandwiches and press them down with the second skillet again, cooking until the bread is golden brown and crisp and the cheese has melted.
Pork Fried Rice with Eggs
- 2 Tbsp. cooking oil (safflower, canola, grapeseed)
- 4-6 cups cooked rice
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups chopped leftover pork
- 1/4 cup leftover spicy honey soy sauce
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the rice, breaking up any clumps by rubbing the grains between your fingers, and cook until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes.
2. Make a well in the centre of the pan and add the beaten eggs. Stir them with a wooden spoon or spatula to slightly scramble the eggs, mixing them into the rice as you go. Stir in the pork and honey soy sauce and cook until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes. Garnish with green onions and serve.
Pork recipe adapted from Mad Hungry