Alternatives to the bbq pulled pork
July 4, 2011 3:47 AM   Subscribe

What else to do with pulled pork after tonight's bbq pulled pork sandwiches?

I put a pork belly in a crockpot all day yesterday with some delicious combination of herbs and spices. It looks and smells amazing. However, it is just too much for just myself and my husband. I think after tonight we're looking at 2 more meals.

1) What are some recipes that I could use for the following two days so that we're not sick of pork forever? Looking for variety here - chinese, italian, mexican, whatever. Also, the broth seems too good to waste so any ideas there?

2) The pork was already frozen raw before I cooked it. Can I freeze it again? If so, what's the best way to prepare it for freezing so that it'll cause minimal fuss the next time I want to use it?

I saw this link already and I like the idea of flat packing it for freezing, but I don't like the idea of freezing it as is because I'll be back here again wondering what to do with it besides bbq sauce. And the suggestions were too vague for me (what kind of salad? what kind of dip? And a rillette seems beyond my skills or energy)

We are located in London in case that makes a difference for availability of ingredients (ie it's hard for me to get good quality corn tortillas for example)
posted by like_neon to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have access to wonton wrappers? Pulled pork with caramelized onions makes for some amazing wontons.
posted by jbickers at 3:58 AM on July 4, 2011

Nachos. Corn chips + pulled pork + salsa = good snacking.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:07 AM on July 4, 2011

It's excellent in an omelette! You can make the omelettes Chinese or French style, both work, though I prefer Chinese. Some hoi sin and softened scallions, a little sesame oil: bam!
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 4:13 AM on July 4, 2011

Best answer: It's lovely as a pizza topping.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:21 AM on July 4, 2011

Also, not sure of the best way to freeze it, but you are safe to refreeze meat once cooking if it has been frozen raw.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:22 AM on July 4, 2011

Pozole. I've made it with pulled pork a couple of times and found it to be incredibly tasty. Since the chilies in the recipe can be challenging to find fresh, substitute dried and reconstitute in water (although I warn you that seeding them can be a challenge).

Seconding omelettes.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:24 AM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

We make pulled pork just so we can:

Bake potatoes (any variety, they all have their pluses and minuses), let cool, slice

Heat oil in skillet, cook potato slices til mostly crisp on one side

Add pulled pork, optional chopped onions, toss around in the pan, cook some more

Eat heaping platesful. It does reheat nicely in the oven, but we rarely have the opportunity.

Or -- how watery is the broth? Can you reduce it? Then use it instead of BBQ sauce and have Plain Ol' Pulled Pork Sandwiches, the way we eat it down home.
posted by kestralwing at 4:27 AM on July 4, 2011

*once cooked not cooking!
posted by ellieBOA at 4:49 AM on July 4, 2011

Response by poster: Awesome! I've marked best answers based on what I think will keep to ingredient availability and time, but they all sound fab! Thanks and keep them coming!
posted by like_neon at 4:58 AM on July 4, 2011

Yes, you can freeze it. I would use small ziplock freezer bags, with portion sizes matched to your appetites. Then you can try out all the great suggestions here at your leisure, rather than eating it for every meal for a week and getting sick of it.

In addition to what has been suggested, it should work pretty well with fried rice, which takes no fancy ingredients at all.
posted by Forktine at 5:18 AM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've served pulled pork as taco filling --- fantastic!

And I've frozen pulled pork in meal-sized portions. I was giving some of it to a pair of new parents, so I froze it in Gladware containers so they could thaw and microwave it without any extra dishes. It worked perfectly.
posted by Elsa at 7:04 AM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

How about a nice taste of french canadian gluttony?

Get yourself some awesome fries, some gravy, some cheese curds (sub in shredded mozzarella if you cant get curds)..... and have some oh-so-amazing pulled pork poutine.
posted by utsutsu at 7:24 AM on July 4, 2011


get some large flour tortillas. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, add a bit of oil then place a tortilla on it. On one half side of the tortilla add a layer of pork, some grated cheeses (mix and match various cheddars or whatever to taste) some salsa picante, maybe some black beans too and rice (why not?), flip the other half over to cover the side with stuff on it, and let it cook for a few minutes, until the bottom is browned. Flip it over to brown the other side. Remove to a plate and cut into triangles. If you've got something like a bacon press to put on top while it's cooking, that's good, but not required.

Sour cream and guacamole on the side, maybe some tortilla chips. Yum.
posted by qurlyjoe at 7:48 AM on July 4, 2011

We use it as a baked potato filling (bake potato, add meat and sauce instead of butter/cheese/sour cream). Delicious!
posted by immlass at 7:55 AM on July 4, 2011

I made these Asian-style wraps with pulled pork, cabbage, and plum sauce once, and they were good.
posted by sigmagalator at 8:17 AM on July 4, 2011

Seconding tacos. Specifically, street tacos. Corn tortillas, some fresh salsa of some kind, and some diced onion. Depending on the spices you used, you can make your tacos more interesting by using, for instance, a mango salsa or fruit-based pico de gallo.
posted by devinemissk at 8:46 AM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Depending on how spicy it is, you could make kalua pork and cabbage. It's really just smoked pork shoulder, cabbage and soy sauce, served over rice.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:50 AM on July 4, 2011

I haven't tried this, but Serious Eats uses it in empanadas, which sounds really good right now.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 12:04 PM on July 4, 2011

re: storing it, this reference suggests either vacuum sealing it or wrapping in foil and placing in an airtight plastic bag before freezing.
posted by indubitable at 2:13 PM on July 4, 2011

Carnitas tacos.
posted by Doohickie at 5:53 PM on July 4, 2011

Response by poster: So last night's bbq sandwiches were a treat. Tonight we're going with the pizza (there's a frozen cheese pizza in the freezer already) with some carmelized red onions and Reggae Reggae Sauce. Husband thinks we should freeze the rest for later but fiercekitten's suggestion is making me crazy hungry and that just might be for tomorrow! Thanks guys! Great suggestions all around!
posted by like_neon at 1:47 AM on July 5, 2011

I took a tip from my North Carolina barbecue joints, and I densely pack leftovers in pint leftover takeout food containers (the thicker, heatsafe ones like this). It freezes really, really beautifully. We use it, everything. Variations on eggs Benedict, in soups, on pizza, on crackers as a late-night snack with the chiles and veggies I'm always quick-pickling.

Most importantly, pulled pork or lamb or beef is a frequent player in our "use meat as an ingredient, not the ingredient" for quick dinners. I bet the herbs you used would play just fine with some additional spices/herbs and choice of reheating liquid to coax it into a more Latin or Italian or Indian or Moroccan or Thai or other direction, with appropriate plants (winter greens, dried fruit and slivered almonds, fresh summer veggies) and starch (potatoes, risotto, pasta, couscous, rice, quinoa, barley.)

If you forget to defrost the meat in the fridge the night before you want to use it, you can thaw it by setting the whole container into a pot of simmering water, kinda like like an improv bain marie. Once the outside layer is well-thawed, dump the contents into a pot with some water, vinegar, wine, or whatever you're using for extra cooking liquid. Simmer, covered, occasionally breaking up the still-frozen center chunk until completely thawed and all up to temperature. You can then take the cover off to cook off extra liquid, if it's too soupy.

Oh, as for the rest of the cooking liquid from the original dish, strain it into some Tupperware through the finest metal mesh thing you happen to have hand and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, spoon off the layer of fat that's risen to the top. (Don't worry, you're not removing all of the fat, just enough to keep it from being greasy.) I then divide it into smaller (half-pint) containers for freezing, and dilute it to use as cooking liquid for braised veggies, simmered starches, as a base for sauces, etc.
posted by desuetude at 2:17 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

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