Great Ways to Use Pork
Hard to find time to cook? Save time in the kitchen - and save money too - by making smart use of your leftover pork. Leftovers don't have to taste the same as they did the first time. Check out these creative ideas to use extra pork in new dishes - no one will know these are leftovers! See our ideas for using leftover chicken, leftover beef and leftover seafood too.
One of the most succulent cuts of pork is pork butt roast. Its beautiful marbling makes it juicy and tender cooked in the oven, on a stovetop, or gently braised all day in a slow cooker. Pork butt roasts frequently weigh 6 to 8 pounds, are available bone-in and boneless, and are often priced at under a dollar a pound, so they are ideal to serve as a dinner entrée that provides plenty of extra meat to use in meals throughout the week. Pork roasts are the most popular cut for making pulled pork. Leftovers are perfect for...
- Barbecued pork sandwiches
- Burritos, enchiladas, and empanadas
- Mu shu pork, ropa vieja, carnitas
- Stews such as puebla tinga and chile verde.
This prized cut is nearly fat free and is often marinated before cooking to infuse it with flavor. Normally weighing a pound or less, pork tenderloin and cooks in about 30 minutes in a hot oven or grill to seal in its juiciness while lightly browning the exterior. Leftover pork tenderloin holds together well, so it’s easy to cut into cubes or matchsticks for...
- Stir fry dishes
- Main course salad topping
- Omelet filling
- Soup for a light first course, cooked in a delicate broth with fresh or frozen vegetables
- Stews where the added moisture revitalizes them as they simmer with vegetables in broth or stock
- Cuban sandwich: Make these with chilled, thinly sliced leftover pork tenderloin, Swiss cheese and ham stuffed into a hoagie roll spread with mustard and lightly grilled.
Grill or saute some pork chops one night, and recycle lean chops in the same way as pork tenderloin. Loin chops, the kind that have both dark and light meat in the same chop, are richer and juicier, making them perfect for a breakfast hash comprised of cubed and sautéed pork, cooked new potatoes, and onions.
Ham is often baked and so well-liked there are rarely leftovers. If you are lucky enough to have extra ham, use it for...
- Scalloped potato or macaroni and cheese recipes to transform them into a main course. Just add 1-inch chunks of ham before baking.
- Monte Cristo sandwiches: Pair thinly sliced ham with sliced deli turkey and Swiss cheese on sturdy sliced white bread, dip it into beaten egg.
- Ham salad sandwich filling: Put ham through a food mill and mix it with relish, chopped hard-cooked eggs, a bit of minced onion, and mayonnaise.
- Ham soup: When the ham bone has given up most of its meat, slowly simmer it in water for several hours to make a luscious broth base for a pot of red or pinto beans seasoned with chopped garlic, onions, and bite-size ham pieces.
To many people, bacon is like chocolate: it makes everything better. Extra crisp leftover bacon adds crunchy texture and flavor to...
- Baked or mashed potatoes
- Grilled burgers or steaks: Add crumbled leftover bacon to sautéed mushrooms on top.
- Club sandwich: Transform a plain turkey sandwich into an elegant meal with extra bacon nuzzled in between thin, lightly toasted bread, lettuce leaves, and slabs of beefsteak tomatoes.
- Hot Brown sandwiches: For a delectable brunch dish, top the Mornay sauce on these open-faced sandwiches with several strips of crispy bacon.
Grill some extra sausage at your next BBQ, then save the leftovers to make...
- Sloppy Joes
- Spaghetti sauce
- Soup: Cut extra smoked sausage into chunks and add to vegetable soup
- Pizza: Slice smoked sausage thin for topping
- Sandwiches: Leftover Italian sausage sautéed with thinly sliced onions, red, yellow and green bell peppers, and button mushrooms makes hot mouth-watering sandwiches served on crusty sandwich rolls.
- Sausage and gravy: Mild breakfast sausage converts simple Southern-style milk gravy into a meal when served over fluffy hot biscuits.
Tips and Hints
- If your leftover pork cut has excess fat, chill it before cutting away the fat to make the job easier.
- Ham freezes exceptionally well. For convenience, cut it into cubes or matchsticks before freezing in single serving zippered freezer bags to use as a handy salad topping or omelet filling.
- When freezing leftover pork butt, leave it intact to retain maximum moisture and let it thaw in the refrigerator before shredding or cutting it for new recipes.
- Keep an eye out for pork sales at your local market.
- Use BigOven's Menu Planner to save time cooking and save trips to the store. Plan ahead to re-use leftovers using the ideas above.
- See our ideas for using leftover chicken, leftover beef and leftover seafood.
- Have other leftovers? Just tell BigOven what ingredients you have and we'll tell you what you can make with our leftover search.