Leftovers again?
June 1, 2014 4:00 PM   Subscribe

I have a large roasting pan full of BBQ pork left over from a party. What tasty things can I do with it?

Thanks to you wonderful people, my husband and I pulled off a wonderful party yesterday. The only misstep was a big pan of roasted BBQ pork we ordered which wasn't very popular and didn't really get eaten. It was tasty enough, but it had a fair amount of visible fat and gristle, which justifiably sent our discerning guests off for another helping of mac and cheese instead, so lesson learned.

But now what can I do with this imposing mountain of meat? It's more chopped than shredded, which was unexpected. Obviously we could just eat the leftovers as is or on the little slider buns we got for the party, but ordinarily we're not huge meat-eaters or in the habit of just eating big piles of pork, so I'm hoping to find some inventive ways to jazz up the leftovers. Failing that, anyone want to come over for dinner?
posted by Diagonalize to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
We use leftover bbq pork on pizza, nachos and in with scrambled eggs. It also freezes well.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 4:12 PM on June 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

We always make too much pulled pork and end up freezing half of it. It tastes just as good defrosted several weeks later.
posted by COD at 4:17 PM on June 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lay a tortilla on a baking sheet, sprinkle with as much pork and other goodies as you want, sprinkle shredded cheese on top of that, place under a broiler for ⩰five minutes or in a 300℉ oven for ten to twelve minutes, then fold in half, cut into triangles, and enjoy with sour cream.

If it's a sweet barbecue flavor it would also probably work really well in an East Asian pork dumplings recipe (or for a healthier option, American-Chinese-food egg rolls with lots of veggies) with ginger and scallions and stuff.
posted by XMLicious at 4:20 PM on June 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Use it as filling for char siu bao (steamed BBQ pork buns)? It won't be "authentic" but who cares. Mmm, char siu bao.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:24 PM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: How do you folks freeze your pork? Just pop it into a plastic bag?

And I should probably mention that I'm a fairly experienced home cook, so feel free to get crazy with the suggestions.
posted by Diagonalize at 4:26 PM on June 1, 2014

I second freezing. Do it in smaller bags so you're not defrosting huge masses of meat.

I like to make burrito bowls, or burritos with flavorful meat like that. Also good in breakfast burritos. You can even freeze burritos for later.
posted by Aranquis at 4:27 PM on June 1, 2014

My warning to you is that a little leftover pulled pork becomes a LOT of leftover Brunswick stew. Delicious, delicious Brunswick stew.
posted by Comrade_robot at 4:32 PM on June 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

Pork. Nachos.
posted by easement1 at 4:57 PM on June 1, 2014

Second freezing in small batches. Taco/burrito filling. I really like mixing pulled pork 50/50 with baked beans. Dump some into scrambled eggs. Use as filler for stuffed baked potatoes. Chop it really fine and use it as dip.
posted by Marky at 4:59 PM on June 1, 2014

Fried eggs over pulled (or chopped, in your case) pork. Delicious breakfast.
posted by wrok at 5:01 PM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yup, freezer bags. Enjoy sandwiches any time you like.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:05 PM on June 1, 2014

You're on the verge of carnitas. Put some in a pan with big splash of a sugary liquid like Dr. Pepper, Coke, or Orange Juice-- a little goes a long way, a long with usual 1-2T of oil you'd use for a stir-fry. You've gotta coax all the sugar onto the pork by the time the water has cooked off; it'll serve as a coating while you crisp up the pork; once the water's gone, get all the syrup on the pork and then just let it crisp, turn it over, get it crisp, etc. This is the same sort of process you'd use when you're crisping the base of rice in paella-- constant movement's no good once the water's gone.

When it's got a mix of crispy and tender that you like, let it cool. Then throw it into every application of carnitas; breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:02 PM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have this page bookmarked for our at least once a month pulled pork excess.
posted by warriorqueen at 6:21 PM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Make some pie crust and then make little pork hand pies. Maybe toss some mashed potato or chopped vegetables in there. Freeze them and defrost them at leisure and cook in a toaster oven for breakfast. (Repeat with all leftovers, forever.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:03 PM on June 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pork guisado

Sauté some rough chopped onions and a couple cloves of garlic in a small amount oil.
Add one chopped Anaheim chili -remove seeds first
Add chopped jalapeños to taste -I do two. One seeded one not

sauté a few minutes
Add pork - probably 2-3 cups of your chopped pork
Add 2 7oz cans chopped green chili
Add 2-3 peeled and cubed potatoes
Season with salt pepper and cumin to taste. Cook a few minutes stirring to season all meat and veggies. Add a couple dashes I.of hot sauce. I like Tapatio or Chohula. Stir
Add 32oz of chicken broth, one cup of water and a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes

Simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with shredded cheese cilantro lime and sour cream

If your pork is really falling apart you might add it last right before you add liquid so it doesn't get too mushy
posted by domino at 7:03 PM on June 1, 2014

So long as there isn't already sauce on the meat, you have a ton of options. I put myself through college working for the now mostly defunct Memphis-area barbecue chain, Pig N' Whistle and I emerged with an abiding belief that most things can be made awesome with barbecue pork.

Boss Hog Salad - Shred the meat and use it as the protein for a southern style entree salad. Think chopped iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes and cucumbers, hardboiled eggs, and cheddar cheese. Add in some ranch dressing and yum.

Barbecue Nachos - Your entire nacho-eating life has been wasted if you've never had barbecue nachos. Get a large ceramic plate and pile it with some crunchy, dense nacho chips. Add the barbecue pork (use your microwave to get it to around room temperature first), apply sauce (a good brown sugar, sweet kinda sauce... Corkey's or Neely's or Famous Dave's), then your favorite nacho fixins (black olives, jalapenos, what have you.) Then pile on the shredded cheese and place the whole shebang under the broiler to melt. Then serve and accept compliments.

Barbecue Pizza - Use that same barbecue sauce instead of pizza sauce. I like a thinner crust for this. Don't go too heavy on the sauce or the cheese. Keep it sparse and crispy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:32 PM on June 1, 2014

It is really nice mixed into homemade baked mac and cheese.
posted by mmascolino at 8:37 PM on June 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Someone suggested this in a question I posted a few weeks ago about baking and I added leftover carnitas. They were a huge hit and I'm going to do the same with the leftover pulled pork from the pork shoulder I roasted last night.

It's super fast and easy and so good I actually made extras and froze them.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:23 PM on June 1, 2014

I myself would just cram fistfuls into my mouth while making cookie monster noises but if you're tired of doing that I second the nachos suggestions above, and also maybe ropa vieja.
posted by elizardbits at 9:42 PM on June 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

If it's vaguely Mexican themed and needs a meat, pulled pork is there - huevos rancheros, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, etc. You can make burritos and freeze individually, very handy for lunches.
posted by crazycanuck at 10:18 PM on June 1, 2014

Frozen is fine, ziplock bags or vacuum sealing. Freeze it in portions you'd use, rather than a giant lump.

As for uses:

Macaroni and cheese
Best quesadillas/tacos/burritos ever
Pulled pork hash, like corned beef hash. Dice some potatoes, parboil for five minutes, add to a frypan with oil, sauté chopped onions, garlic, and maybe red bell peppers. Add salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Toss in pork to warm. Top with just barely cooked fried egg.
Grilled cheese of the gods: put the pork into the sandwich (will require cheese on either side to hold down), the brown the bread (squish it with a foil wrapped brick, if you happen to have one). Once it's browned on both sides, slap another piece of cheese on the outside, and fry the hell out of it, until you've got a combination of molten cheese and crispy Armageddon cheese crust.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:27 AM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Three Little Pigs:
Look up a bacon explosion type recipe,
With its layer of sausage and its woven bacon,
But roll up some of your pulled pork inside it, before the grilling/roasting happens.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:11 AM on June 2, 2014

Empanadas. Add some hot sauce of your choice, some cumin and oregano, get a bag of frozen discos (or make your own) and fry or bake them. Empanadas freeze well and make a great quick lunch.
posted by monospace at 10:59 AM on June 2, 2014

Freeze in small batches and later, make KILLER BEANS:

1 can baked beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white cannellini beans
8 ounces or so (or more) of your frozen pork
a nice big squirt of ketchup
a nice big squirt of mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

Combine and cook it up, either in your oven, or stovetop, or crockpot.

You can switch up the beans too. Or add cooked hamburger meat. Or crispy crumbled bacon.
posted by jen14221 at 11:44 AM on June 2, 2014

For freezing: use quart size ziploc freezer bags. Put a cup or three in one bag, squeeze the air out and seal it. If you have a scale, you might weigh it and write the weight on the bag with a Sharpie marker, also write the date.

Then lay the bag on the countertop and flatten it out. Put it in the freezer lying down flat until the meat is frozen. Make a lot of these bags and freeze them all flat, stacked on top of each other.

Once they are frozen, if you need the space later, you can stand them up and slide them in between other things in the freezer.

To use them, pull one out of the freezer. Depending on what you are going to do with it, you can use it frozen or defrost a little bit first. Since they are flat, defrosting will be much quicker than a ball of meat the same weight.
posted by CathyG at 1:33 PM on June 2, 2014

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