Help a Jew use up a pound of pork
July 9, 2012 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I have a pound of ground pork. What should I do with it?

I have basic pantry stuff but not much else. Noodles, garlic, breadcrumbs, canned peas & corn, tomato sauce/paste, white rice, red/kidney beans, dry herbs, eggs and processed Parmesan in the fridge, etc. I don't think I can get too exotic with the recipe.

I got the pork because it was on sale, only to come to realize that I don't have a plan for it. What would you make?
posted by litnerd to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Meatballs seems like the obvious choice, given those ingredients.
posted by amro at 11:07 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

These pork soft tacos. They are absolutely divine.
posted by anderjen at 11:08 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

You have everything you need to make both meatballs and meatloaf. I am partial to a nice pork meatloaf. Do you need a recipe for either one that uses the ingredients you list?
posted by DarlingBri at 11:10 AM on July 9, 2012

Yeah, I would totally just make meat balls/loaf form that given those ingredients.
posted by Captain_Science at 11:10 AM on July 9, 2012

I'd go back to the store and get wonton wrappers, ginger and soy sauce and make steamed dumplings.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:11 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yes, if you have a particular recipe to recommend, please list or link it!
posted by litnerd at 11:11 AM on July 9, 2012

If you get yourself some mung noodles, this is absolutely delicious.
posted by General Malaise at 11:11 AM on July 9, 2012

Combine with 1 lb. beef or veal and some bacon and make this bolognese sauce recipe
posted by deanc at 11:12 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you don't have anything you can make taco sauce out of, definitely meatballs. This is a recipe that corresponds to your pantry; if you don't have dried parsley, dried basil and oregano will be fine substitutes.

If you have chili powder, this might work. You can skip the bell peppers and it will still be fine. Or toss the corn in, too; corn is excellent in chili.

If you have cumin and cayenne pepper, you can use those instead of chili powder. 1 tablespoon cumin and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper is approximately equal to one tablespoon of chili powder.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:14 AM on July 9, 2012

SPICY SZECHUAN NOODLES! It's one of the best Cook's Illustrated Recipes EVAH. Seriously. If I was about to be executed, I would STRONGLY consider eating it as my last meal. It is so good, I now only make it in quadruple batches. SO. PROFOUNDLY. GOOD.
posted by julthumbscrew at 11:15 AM on July 9, 2012 [13 favorites]

Larp/larb/laab, as seen in this comment by me. The actual recipe isn't really much more than that -- just make the paste by roasting 6-8 cloves of garlic (or using some minced garlic), chopping up maybe a 1/4 cup of lemongrass (or, again, using the tubes they have in the veggie case at the store), adding maybe a tablespoon or two of roasted sesame seeds, and some hot peppers or sauce to taste.
posted by Madamina at 11:15 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you can get yourself to an Asian market to pick up a couple other (cheap) ingredients, this is the greatest comfort food known to man.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:16 AM on July 9, 2012

I would get some wrappers and make dumplings.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:16 AM on July 9, 2012

I agree with Sweetie Darling, I'd be making dumplings.

You can make them as little meatballs, but dumplings are just so fun.

Season the meat with ginger, soy sauce, white pepper, green onion and if you have them in your pantry, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, or very thinly shredded cabbage.

You can make your own won tons if you're inclined to go to town.

Although that Spicy Szechuan Noodles recipe up there looks good too!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:23 AM on July 9, 2012

I agree with julthumbscrew, I was actually going to post that myself!
posted by agress at 11:23 AM on July 9, 2012

Make me the third person to recommend the Spicy Szechuan Noodles. It's one of my new absolute favorite dishes.
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:27 AM on July 9, 2012

Sidhedevil's recipe is a good one, but you don't need the broth. Fry them up in a little bit of oil or even bake them in a low oven until they are mostly cooked through, and then dump them into a saucepan and simmer them in your sauce while you are cooking up the noodles. Stir frequently to avoid burning the sauce, especially if it is out of a jar.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:27 AM on July 9, 2012

The Meatball Shop's spicy pork meatballs.
posted by ElCuadrangular at 11:29 AM on July 9, 2012

Please make mapo tofu and invite me over. Yes, it will require a trip to an Asian market. So worth it.
posted by Wordwoman at 11:32 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

My favorite ground-pork recipe is kimchi soondubu jjigae -- Korean spicy soft-tofu stew. It takes just ten minutes to make, and is a wonderful comfort food... warm, soft, spicy, and rich, but also surprisingly good for you. With a pound of ground pork you could make two separate servings of this recipe a couple of days apart (and I promise you will want to eat them sequentially!)
posted by vorfeed at 11:37 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Do you stir-fry? There are a million Chinese and Thai recipes with ground pork and various other ingredients that are delicious. The two that immediately come to mind are pork larb and pork with green beans.
posted by aught at 11:37 AM on July 9, 2012

I made this meatloaf just last night and it came out fantastic.
posted by cribcage at 11:44 AM on July 9, 2012

Pot stickers!

Up to four cups of boiling water, poured slowly into 8 cups of flour and half a teaspoon of salt while stirring with a wooden spoon or two. Knead this into a ball (it'll be hot at first, use wooden implements 'til it cools down a bit), keep kneading for a bit. You might not need all the water. Wrap it in plastic, throw it in the fridge for an hour.

A half gallon (8 cups) of finely chopped napa cabbage, a tb. of salt, toss in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Wrap in a clean dish towel and squeeze the liquid out. Add your pork, a quarter cup of chopped ginger, 3 tbs of chopped garlic, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil and two beaten eggs.

Grab a hunk o' dough, roll it to a 1" thick log, cut about ½" off, roll it out to 3" round, spoon filling into the middle, seal the edges.

Get a wide pan with a lid, get it hot, pour in some oil, fry the pot stickers until the bottoms are toasty (5-6 minutes, if they're not there turn your heat up a bit), add a half a cup of water and immediately cover the pan, keep about 1/8" of water in the pan for 8-10 minutes. Pull out (the pot stickers, whatever else you're doing in that time is your business). Do the next batch.

You could halve this to only do half your pork, but, really, why would you want fewer pot stickers?

(Recipe adapted from the awesome Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking With Ming Tsia which I highly recommend and has yet to steer me wrong. See also especially the fried steamed buns in that book.)
posted by straw at 12:09 PM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

If it's finely ground (i.e., the same texture as ground beef for hamburgers), you could use it in this, my grandfather's recipe for Tourtiere, or Pork Pie.

2 pie crusts (scratch-made of out of the refrigerator case)
1 lb. ground pork
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1.4 c. water
1 tube of saltine crackers, finely crushed

Preheat oven to 400. Cook pork with water, onion, garlic and nutmeg until no longer pink. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in crushed saltines. Put this filling in one of the pie crusts, then top with the other. Cook for ~35-40 minutes or until golden. Serve hot with gravy, or cold.
posted by Janta at 12:11 PM on July 9, 2012

Yes, if you have a particular recipe to recommend, please list or link it!

Basic Meatloaf

1 lb ground pork or beef
1 diced onion
1 clove crushed garlic
2 eggs
1/4 cup tomato paste*
I tablespoon crushed organo
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons parm cheese
Ground salt and pepper

(Note: If there is any around, I add a tsp of Worcestershire sauce and/or of mustard.)

Brown onion and garlic in a pan on medium heat. Beat egg. Mix everything together in a bowl with your hands. You can add more breadcrumbs if your loaf is wet, or add more tomato paste if it is too dry to form. Form into a round loaf and cook in the middle of a casserole dish or cast iron pan, or you can do the traditional loaf in a loaf tin thing. Either way, rub top of the meatloaf with tomato paste to keep it moist.

Bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes, or until meat is cooked all the way through.

*I normally use ketchup but whatever.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:33 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

This may not work with your current pantry inventory, but a couple a additions would make it happen.

Basic Tomato Sauce.
a couple of big cans of plum, stewed or whole tomatoes
garlic.....don't be shy
a can or two of tomato paste
a can or two of mushrooms
some red onions
Italian Seasoning
some pepper
some salt (not much)
maybe a spoon of sugar.

Brown the pork with a bit of olive oil, sauté the onions, garlic and the mushrooms. Break the tomatoes so they are not whole (just squish them by hand or give them a quick mash with a big spoon) and put it all in a big pot with the paste. Add sautéed stuff, the pork and maybe a little water. Let it boil down for a while until it is plenty thick.

Don't forget a couple bay leaves towards the end

Get some good cheese. I like asiago. (if it is ok to be non-kosher)
Boil some pasta.
You know the rest.

FWIW, I really don't measure anything with this. I just use the groups of ingredients and go with it. It always seems to come out fine.
posted by lampshade at 1:03 PM on July 9, 2012

My mother would mix it with ground beef or ground veal for a Tortiere - similar to the recipe above, but with no saltines (just a little flour sprinkled over the meat mix, to make a gravy).

Generally, you can use it anywhere you would use ground beef, though it will likely be richer.
posted by jb at 3:05 PM on July 9, 2012

lampshade, I don't think adding cheese to a pork dish can make it any less kosher!
posted by zadcat at 6:00 PM on July 9, 2012

In case anyone's curious, I ended up making some meaty tomato sauce over noodles. Thanks all for the suggestions (even the ones that would've required a trip to the asian food mart)!
posted by litnerd at 4:30 PM on July 17, 2012

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