One Roast, Five Dinners (or, How To Stretch a Meat Dish)

I have been having an ongoing conversation with The Strategic Homemaker about grocery budgets.  Our food budgets are within close range, we have similar cooking styles, and we even shop at the same discount grocery store chain (can I hear it for PriceRite?!) in our two different states.  But we keep asking each other the Big Question: how do we cook delicious food AND stick to a very modest budget?

We have come to this conclusion: don't serve meat at every meal.  Or at least, don't serve a lot of it.  A little meat can go a long way.  So that's what this post is about: stretching one 5 pound roast into five meals.

Delicious Seasoned Roast

1 5-6 pound boneless pork shoulder roast, rinsed and patted dry
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder

Place the roast on a large pan or plate.  Combine the five spices.  Sprinkle - no, liberally coat - the roast with the spice mixture, pressing it in to all the crevices.  Use all the spice mixture if you can.  If you can't, make a few slits in the meat and get the spices in there.
Place the roast in a crock pot and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high 4-5 hours, or until the meat shreds apart easily.  Shred the meat.  Meat can also be frozen in a freezer bag for up to three months.

And now, my friends, five ways to use it ...

Burritos: Spoon a couple spoonfuls of cooked rice, cooked beans, and shredded meat onto a large 10- or 12-inch tortilla.  Sprinkle on some shredded cheese, a spoonful of salsa, and some sour cream or guacamole if desired.  Serve with a salad or chips.

Nachos: Spread tortilla chips out onto a large pan or dish.  Lightly sprinkle shredded cheese over chips.  Using what you have on hand, lightly layer any of the following in the dish on top of the chips: seasoned rice, seasoned beans, chopped spinach, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, shredded and chopped meat, roasted vegetables or corn, salsa, avocado, and/or olives; sprinkle more shredded cheese on top.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
My favorite nachos have roasted sweet potatoes on them.  Try it!
Open-faced sandwiches: Butter and lightly toast split buns or rolls.  Spoon on some shredded roast, a couple slices of onion or tomato, and a thin slice or two of provolone or mozzarella cheese.  Cook under the broiler for a few minutes until the meat is warm and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Pizza: Make a simple pizza with tomato sauce, this meat and some shredded cheese, or experiment with funky pizza creations like a barbecue sauce base, meat, bleu cheese, and carmelized onions with mozzarella cheese.   (My favorite homemade pizza dough recipe is here.)

Breakfast for dinner: Who says meat and potatoes are just for dinner?  This meat goes well with hash browns or home fries, scrambled eggs, and toast.  Or, try making a frittata by sauteing chopped shredded meat and diced vegetables in an oven-proof skillet, pouring 4-6 beaten eggs over the sauted meat/veggies (do not stir), and cooking over medium-low heat until mostly set.  Sprinkle some cheese on top and pop under the broiler for 2-4 minutes (watch closely) so the top finishes cooking.

How would you s-t-r-e-t-c-h your meat?  Leave a comment and let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Add some barbecue sauce and serve on buns with cole slaw and hot sauce. For a twist, by slider buns for cute sliders.

    Also top a salad with it. A greens salad or a macaroni salad.