Thursday, August 23, 2012

Make Ahead Meal: 8 lbs of Pork Loin = 4 Dinners

I am starting a series of blogs for Make Ahead Meals that I am preparing before Baby 2.0 arrives. Every night when I make dinner, I am doubling the recipe and putting the second in the freezer. I am hoping that the prepared meals will help on those totally exhausted days when cooking sounds like no fun. I am hoping many of the meals I will be preparing will be somewhat healthy and low calorie, but I know there will be some meals mixed in that aren't. To prepare for the freezer meals, I purchased some slow cooker liners (for the crockpot meals), gallon freezer bags (for the freezer skillet meals), and Aluminum Foil Steam Table Pans with matching lids (for the freezer casseroles).

8 lbs of Pork Loin = 4 Dinners
I have been at it again, slowly but surely making some meals for when baby 2.0 arrives. I honestly am not much of a pork eatin' kind of girl, but when I saw boneless pork loin on sale at my local grocery store for super cheap ($1.99/lb) I decided to turn it into some crockpot meals for the deep freezer. They only offered the pork loin in huge packages, so I threw an 8 pound chunk of the meat into my cart and made my way up to the checkout. 

I ended up making four meals out of the 8 pound of pork loin. In all, I made three recipes, but one of them I made twice because it sounded so good (and it was!)

Curried Pork Loin (2x)
Honey Orange Pork Loin
BBQ Pulling Pork Loin

To start, trim up your pork loin. I hate a fatty piece of meat and as much as good chefs say it adds flavor, I don't like it.... especially in my crockpot. I find whatever sauce you have in there ends up being super greasy, so I am a fan of trimming off the fat. (Looks yummy doesn't it!)

Since I had 8 pounds of pork loin and needed 2 pounds of loin for each recipe, I cut the big chunk of meat into 4 equal parts.

Then I started assembling the ingredients: 
Curried Pork Loin
4 lbs pork loin (cut in two pieces)
2/3 cup apricot preserves
4 tsp mustard
3 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp garlic powder

1. Mix the apricot preserves, mustard, curry powder, and garlic powder all in one container.
2. In crockpot, place one piece of the pork loin.
3. In crock pot liner, place other piece of the pork loin.
4. Divide sauce evenly over the the top of both pieces of pork loin. Twisty-tie the crockpot liner bag. 

(I forgot to put this one in a crockpot liner, so it's going to be a messy clean-up!)

5. In the crockpot, cook on low for 6-8 hours.
6. For freezer bag, cover crock pot liner bag with freezer bag and freezer label the bag with the following directions:
- Thaw completely
- Place in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours
- Serve over hot brown rice.

Honey Orange Pork Loin
2 lbs pork loin
1/4 cup honey
Juice from 1 orange 
Zest from orange above
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup chicken broth

1. Mix honey, orange juice and zest, olive oil, thyme and chicken broth together.
2. In crock pot liner, place the pork loin.
3. Cover the pork loin with marinade and twisty-tie the crockpot liner bag. 
4.  Cover crock pot liner bag with freezer bag and label the freezer bag with the following directions:
- Thaw completely
- Place in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours
- Serve with a side of quinoa 

Pulled BBQ Pork Loin
I know, I know-- I am cheating with this recipe, but pulled barbecue pork loin is super easy and can be eaten over bread. I don't always have barbecue sauce on hand so I wanted to make sure this was ready to go right away. The directions are pretty obvious:
 2 lbs pork loin
1 bottle of your fav BBQ sauce

1. In crock pot liner, place the pork loin.
2.. Cover the pork loin with BBQ sauce and Twisty-tie the crockpot liner bag. 
4.  Cover crock pot liner bag with freezer bag and label the freezer bag with the following directions:
- Thaw completely
- Place in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours
- Pull pork and serve on buns.


At the end of this very short prepping process you will end up with dinner for that night and three meals for your freezer!!




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2 comments:

CJPeterson said...

Thanks for the new pork recipes. I, too, bought a big hunk of pork recently for freezer meals. We're trying the curry tonight...

Between3Sisters.com said...

We ate that over basmati rice, and thought it was pretty good. I would have bumped up the curry a little more though.

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