Remember how on Thursday’s post I said that knowing how to make homemade chicken broth is a life skill? Well today, I’m going to share another one with you. It’s not particularly fancy and most of you probably already do it, but for those of you that don’t, prepare to be educated. Knowing how to butcher your own pork loin into chops, roasts, stew meat and stir fries is not only a money saver but a huge time saver. One 10 minute session in the kitchen and you’ve got at least 6 meals for your freezer.
Now, here’s a little bit of frivolous info, my dad’s dad was a butcher and my other grandfather owned a restaurant/catering company for many years. Yes, I descend from a family that knows a lot about cooking, and a whole lot about butchering (that sounds a little grotesque, doesn’t it?) Even my dad worked at the same meat market my pawpaw did, throughout his high school years. Needless to say he and mom passed down their cooking and prep skills to me and my sister.
How to hack up a center loin is one of those things I’ve seen my mom do dozens of times. My mom loves a good sale on meat, so she used to buy (and probably still does) whole loins of pork and beef when it went “on special.” Jk, mom, I know you’ve never said “on special” that’s a Granny Mae thing, but it makes me giggle, so I had to say it. 😬
So, without further delay, here’s how you prep a whole center loin to get the most for your money:
- Buy a pork loin. If you wait until they go on sale you should be able to get one between 8-10 lbs for less than $20. Mine was on the small side and I paid $16.88.
- Sharpen your knife and find your biggest cutting board. I did not use a butcher knife because I don’t have one. A sharp chef’s knife or santoku knife should do the trick- I used a chef’s knife.
- Drain your pork loin and pat dry. Place on your cutting board.
- The tapered end of your loin will make great stew and stir fry meat, so cut off a section about 4 inches long from the tip and slice thinly or dice into chunks. This should be about 1 lb.
- Next, cut two 1.5 lb roasts, about 4.5 inches long, each.
- Next cut 8, 3/4 inch pork chops from the lean middle portion. You can do a combination of thick and thin chops but I like mine in between.
- Your remaining chunk of loin should be a roast of about 2 lbs. it should look like this:
- package everything up in freezer bags and you’re done!
Just in case you’re wondering what I have planned for mine:
- Pork and poblano chili (for diced end)
- Honey Mustard Chops
- Glazed Salt and Pepper Chops
- Crock pot BBQ- for 2lb roast
- Apple and Onion Roast
- Provençal Roast
Of course, I’ll share recipes for these over the next several weeks. 😊