What can I make with leftover pork shoulder?
January 13, 2017 6:28 AM   Subscribe

I make a pork shoulder in the crock pot about 1-2 times a month. My husband loves it and begs me to make it more often, but he dislikes leftovers and won't eat them unless they are made into something else. Frying the leftover pork and mixing it with veggies won't cut it. I can only eat so much pork by myself -- so what entree can I make with leftover pork shoulder? I can leave it in chunks or shred it.

Here are a few examples of what I'm looking for. When I make taco salad, I use the leftover meat the next day to make chili. When I make roasted leg of lamb, I cut up the left overs and make a quick curry the next day. What similar magic can I work with pork shoulder, either left in chunks or shredded?
posted by OrangeDisk to Food & Drink (39 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a recipe off the top of my head, but I would look into a chili verde recipe. I'm sure to make it 'authentically' you start with raw pork shoulder, but basically its just a spicy pork shoulder stew.
posted by deadwater at 6:32 AM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Posole! The idea is to simmer the pork with hominy, peppers, onion, and spices, make a delicious stew or soup.

Sometimes I'll add tomato, some people add cabbage. I always add garlic, not sure how traditional that is.

I had never used much hominy at home before I got in to posole, and find it really changes things up.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:36 AM on January 13, 2017 [11 favorites]

posted by blob at 6:41 AM on January 13, 2017 [15 favorites]

In individual serving bowls, layer yellow rice, jalapeno creamed spinach, and leftover shredded pork. Top with an over easy egg. This is really delicious. Easy recipes for yellow rice and the jalapeño spinach are all over the internet.
posted by Malla at 6:42 AM on January 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

Enchiladas, tamales (or, still awesome and easier, tamal de cazuela), tacos ... you get the idea, anything that can be stuffed with meat (we eat a lot of leftover meat in some kind of corn wrapper in our house).

If it's pretty plain, you could chunk it up and use it in fried rice or another kind of stir fry. Or cook up some potatoes and make hash, if that's not too plain (and fry an egg to put on top!).
posted by uncleozzy at 6:43 AM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

The posole is one of my favs. You can also put pulled pork on pizza, have it over rice, serve it over baked potatoes, have it in grilled cheese (it's super yummy), make burritos...
posted by warriorqueen at 6:43 AM on January 13, 2017

Pulled/chopped pork sandwiches? Hamburger buns plus bbq sauce.
posted by gregr at 6:44 AM on January 13, 2017 [9 favorites]

You're halfway to making rillette - take the pork shoulder, shred it, and then beat it with the paddle attachment in a stand mixer. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can do it by hand. The idea is to get the meat in to a spreadable, jam-like consistency. You'll want to add in some fat (melted lard would be traditional, but you can try butter - whatever you use, it has to be solid at room temperature) and optionally some stock to add flavor. The fat and liquid will moisten the meat mixture and add some body to the finished product. Add salt to taste; this is served at room temperature, so if it's still warm when you're mixing it it should taste a little on the salty side.

Pack it in to crocks or jars and seal the top with either a nice grainy mustard or some extra lard (do this after it's chilled in the crocks and the lard will harden more or less on contact and not seep in to the rillette). It'll keep in the fridge for weeks or in the freezer for months.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:54 AM on January 13, 2017 [7 favorites]

If you're comfortable with dough, you could make empanadas, which freeze quite well so you could always make some with the leftovers and add them to the pile of frozen empanadas in your freezer. You can probably cheat and use pre-made pizza dough, though they will be more like mini calzones. Doesn't sound bad, though! Serve with pico de gallo and/or whatever salsa you love best.

On the calzone note, you could do pulled pork pizza. I think it'd be yummy with roasted red peppers but obviously pizza is personal.

If the pork is relatively simple in flavor it can be tucked into Vietnamese style fresh rolls with vermicelli noodles, basil, lime, cabbage and cucumber with a sweet and sour chili sauce. Or pilled onto a bowl of rice with a fried egg on top and lots of kimchi on the side. Or mixed with fried tofu and black bean sauce.
posted by Mizu at 6:55 AM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

I would put that in tortillas with vinegary coleslaw. Pulled pork tacos.
posted by something something at 6:58 AM on January 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

I like a bit of leftover pork in a mustard cream sauce. I usually fry up some onion and mushroom, add the pork just long enough to heat it up, then some cream or creme fraiche, add a dollop of whole grain mustard. Serve it up with rice or pasta and add whatever veg you like on the side. Very quick and easy too.
posted by SometimeNextMonth at 7:00 AM on January 13, 2017

I'm amazed that nobody has said pot pie yet. Pot pie. Piecrust, veg, potatoes, cubed pork, some flour, and deliciousness. Any recipe will work, just sub out pork for chicken.
posted by epanalepsis at 7:08 AM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

we literally have so many recipes for it, we stopped eating it the first night.

1. tacos (be fancy or mix in cheap premade taco seasoning)
2. burritos (different spices, wetter texture)
3. form them in to patties, brown them and make "pork sliders"
4. carnitas (basically keep the chunks bigger and throw them in a nasa hot pan for a few minutes to crisp up the outside before serving with Mexican fixins)
5. bbq pork (we dont cook the meat with pretty much anything but salt, pepper, bay leaf, so mixing with bbq for pulled pork is a completely different meal)
6. chili. just make chili. (we use carol shelbys mix, but whatever) and sub the meat for the beef
7. enchiladas

seriously. hubbie needs a reframing. it's not leftovers, it's two-stage cooking. pork shoulder is the best meat, period. it's lower calorie than an equivalent amount of beef, healthy for you, stands on its own and takes seasoning and ingredients so well too.

we ate the tacos last night.

i'm hungry now.
posted by chasles at 7:14 AM on January 13, 2017 [9 favorites]

Stuffed peppers.
posted by vunder at 7:16 AM on January 13, 2017

Seconding vinegary coleslaw: specifically the one listed in the Sam Sifton* recipe "Vaguely Vietnamese Slow Cooker Pork Tacos" (NYT). Even if you've already cooked the pork with different seasonings, the slaw will probably work and is fantastic (ingredients below). We sometimes mix it with the pork and serve over rice instead of rolling up in tortillas.

⅓ cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons neutral oil, like peanut or grapeseed
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce, or to taste
1 small green cabbage, cored and sliced thinly
2 medium-size cucumbers, peeled and sliced into julienne
2 medium-size carrots, peeled and sliced into julienne
1 Asian pear, peeled, cored and sliced into julienne (I use a not-quite ripe pear of another variety if I can't find Asian pears)
½ bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed, dried and roughly chopped

*ETA: based on a Corinne Trang recipe
posted by miles per flower at 7:19 AM on January 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

I think that your husband probably has a serious character flaw when it comes to slow cooker pork shoulder leftovers, and since this is AskMe, the answer is DTMFA.

If you'd like to save the relationship, here are a few ideas...

- Use THIS PORK SHOULDER RECIPE. It is the best I've ever had plus leaves you with tons of leftover opportunities because it's not overpowered in one flavor direction or another. I started making pork more after finding this recipe, its genius! (Hint: use Oregano as the herb, it's the most delicious and more adaptable for leftovers. Ex: you could easily layer some sort of Rosemary infused sauce onto the leftovers for an entirely new flavor profile.)

- Bahn Mi Sandwich! I'm not endorsing this version necessarily, but the basics are shredded carrot, lightly pickled cucumber, pork, crusty baguette, lettuce or cilantro. Mayonnaise (or pate) contrasts with the vinegar in the pickle. So good.

- Cuban Sandwhich.

- Add cumin. Anything Mexican - tacos, burritos, etc..

- Speaking of Mexican, add appropriate spices and cook another 45 min on low turn it into Conchinita Pibil. Weep from joy.

I'll be back with more later. Clearly this relationship can be saved.
posted by jbenben at 7:27 AM on January 13, 2017 [17 favorites]

You might consider getting a vacuum sealer and immediately parceling your excess into meal-sized servings and sealing/freezing them. You really can't tell that it's not fresh. Although all the recipes folks are suggesting sound damn tasty.
posted by adamrice at 7:29 AM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Super basic: mix pulled pork with hoisin sauce for bao or lettuce wraps or mu shu pork. You can find fancier recipes that are more than a jar or hoisin sauce, too.

I made carnitas last night and make taco salads with it. Like the slaw suggestions above, one key is tossing the lettuce with oil and vinegar. I also use cotija cheese because the sharpness works well. You could make nachos, too.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:32 AM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Tacos for sure. I do mine with romaine lettuce in place of taco shells but I lean low-carb so whatever.

Pulled pork makes for great breakfast scrambles. Or shred it, pack it in to patties, broil the patties until they start to crisp on the edges, then top with a sunny-side-up or poached egg (this with a dash of hot sauce is a winner).

Lastly, I toss it (and/or leftover cut up pork chops, frozen peas, shrimp, sauteed onions, and other various leftover-y stuff) in to yellow rice or rice pilaf and make what I call "hobo paella". It is a big hit and no one suspects my ulterior leftover consumption motives.
posted by milqman at 7:33 AM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Came here to say cuban sandwich.

I cheat by using a large loaf of Italian bread, from our grocery store's bakery, as we cannot get Cuban bread here.

Then I slice lengthwise, butter both of the outsides, and lay one on a cookie sheet, and layer on the pork, ham, meat cheese, pickles, etc. Put the top on, then I put a 2nd cookie sheet on top, put that in the oven, and weigh it down with my big cast iron pan.

If you have a sandwich press, it's easier. I don't do the whole wrapped in foil thing, but it still comes out tasty and my husband absolutely loves it.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:35 AM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

All my normal go-tos are already covered here, so I'll add two different ones:

- Fried rice
- Pork torta - not the sandwich, but similar. (Not finding recipe immediately) Layer in a pie dish soft tortillas, pork (cooked w/ rotel, or tomatoes/peppers/spices) and enchilada sauce. This is not what we make, but same idea
posted by k5.user at 7:41 AM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have a family member who also has this problem with ANY leftover protein. He just won't eat it. Despite trying new recipes, the only thing that I found that actually stuck was to have HIM cook with me as we repurposed food.

He'll now eat leftover proteins if HE cooks them. A bottle of really good BBQ sauce seems to go a long way.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 8:05 AM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Pulled pork Frito Pie
posted by Room 641-A at 8:11 AM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I like pork shoulder but could never get though a whole one either. So when I buy it, I buy boneless and cut into dinner-sized portions when I get home, and freeze. It's just as easy to braise a 2lb piece of shoulder as a 5lb one in a slow cooker, solves a lot of the leftover issues.
posted by Diablevert at 8:11 AM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Put the leftovers back in the crock pot to reheat (instead of microwaving) and pretend you just made a new batch.

I'm kinda kidding but kinda totally not. I do all sorts of things to trick myself out of weird food aversions. The idea of mayo creeps me out but if you call it aioli I'll eat it by the spoonful.

On preview, also what yes^3 said. An image of the school lunch ladies preparing industrial size pans of mac and cheese somehow embedded itself in my brain as a kid and I still have a hard time eating mac and cheese unless it's from a fanschy restaurant or I mixed in the orange powder packet myself.
posted by yeahlikethat at 8:20 AM on January 13, 2017

seriously. hubbie needs a reframing. it's not leftovers, it's two-stage cooking.

Ding ding ding! Between sandwiches (add barbecue sauce if necessary), tacos (crisp the pork up in a pan if you like, do the rest of the taco stuff), and, TBH, more tacos, I never have trouble getting through a whole mess of pork. Mmmm, tacos.
posted by fedward at 8:53 AM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Quesadillas! In the simplest form: pork, or whatever leftover meat you have, plus shredded cheese, either folded into one flour tortilla or sandwiched between two, and cooked until heated through and the cheese is melted. If you've got one of those countertop grilling machines or a panini press, that's perfect, but you can also cook it in a frying pan like a grilled-cheese sandwich.

If you want to get fancy, grill or sautee bell peppers and/or onion, and throw some chili powder, taco seasoning, or whatever other herbs and spices suit your fancy into it, add jalapenos if that's your thing, mix the meat up with it, and then put it into the tortillas with the cheese.

Cut in half or into triangles and dip into salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or whatever combination of them you want.
posted by telophase at 9:10 AM on January 13, 2017

Sautee an onion in a big, heavy pot - add a teaspoon of cumin when the onion is soft. Add some chopped or shredded pork, a couple cans of drained hominy, and a jar or two of salsa verde. Add chicken stock until it has a stew or soup consistency that you like. Simmer for 15 minutes to heat through and combine flavors. Top with crushed tortilla chips if you like.
posted by ersatzkat at 9:53 AM on January 13, 2017

No one really mentioned it specifically, but aside from tacos and cubans, my go to with leftover pork shoulder is hash. The first night of pork shoulder is always accompanied by roasted or baked potatoes. So, the next morning (or the one after that) we:

- In a large cast iorn skillet
-Sautee one onion in a mix of olive oil and butter.
- Add mushrooms and sautee further. We want the mushrooms mushy and the onions a bit brown on the edges
-Cube the leftover potatoes and add them to the mix
-After a couple minutes, add leftover pork either shredded or cubed.

Turn down the heat to low to medium low and let that mixture get all brown and delicious. Don't touch it for at least 5 minutes. Then flip the mixture with a spatula to let the other side brown.

Make your favorite eggs (poached, over easy, or scrambled) and serve them on top of your amazing hash.
posted by bluejayway at 10:54 AM on January 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

Mac and cheese with pulled pork is really good. Add some bbq sauce in for extra flavor.
posted by monologish at 11:28 AM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Leftover over pork shoulder is my secret ingredient to great spaghetti sauce! Fry a couple of garlic cloves in olive oil, then add two of those little cans of tomato paste and fry that a bit too. Move it all to a slow cooker and add a big can of tomato puree and an equal amount of chicken stock along with a couple of bay leaves and a pinch of sugar and baking soda. Toss in the pork shoulder bone with some of the leftover meat and one or two chicken legs or thighs and let it simmer on low 10-12 hours. Add meatballs or Italian sausage for the last hour or two if you like. Voila, awesome homemade pasta sauce! My slow cooker is pretty big so I usually double the recipe for even more rich meaty goodness!
posted by platinum at 11:40 AM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Picking up where I left off...

- Obtain Chinese Housin Sauce and make any one of these Stir Fry recipes to serve over rice, just sub in your pulled pork.

- While you're at it, make paper thin Chinese pancakes or use this recipe w/ bib lettuce and make Moo Shu Pork!!!

Basically, you add ginger and hoisin to the already made pork + garnish w/ scallions.

- Fritters w/ corn kernels or greens

- Pad Thai

- Nthing Rillette

- Get fresh Yaki Soba noodles + fry up some shredded cabbage, onion, and shredded carrot to make Japanese Yaki Soba.

- Greek Pork Souvlaki - add lemon juice, more garlic and oregano. Serve with warm Pita and Tzatziki.

I'm sure I could keep going. Memail if you need more! We have not explored all the ways your pork could pair with potatoes, for instance....
posted by jbenben at 11:49 AM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Achiote paste mixed with lemon or lime juice...sautee pork bits in a bit of bacon grease, lard or oil, then add said mixture. Really good in tacos, quesadillas, over a salad...nom. Works with leftover rotisserie chicken, too and doesn't have that 'leftover' vibe because it's really aromatic and fresh!
posted by The Toad at 12:47 PM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Scrambled eggs and pork yum.
posted by bq at 4:30 PM on January 13, 2017

BBQ Pizza - pork, smoked gouda, mozzarella, or cheddar, with onions, pineapple, and BBQ sauce instead of pizza sauce. I put it on naan, but pizza crust or french bread would work too.
posted by AliceBlue at 4:35 PM on January 13, 2017

Seconding tamales. They freeze well and will set you up with convenience food for a good long while.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:10 PM on January 13, 2017

Well, bless all yall's hearts. In Memphis, we do BBQ pizza, BBQ spaghetti, and (my personal favorite) BBQ nachos.
posted by raisingsand at 6:12 PM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

What I do when I have leftover pork shoulder:

- Thai fried rice. This is the recipe I use as my base, with the pork instead of the crab. This is a very flexible recipe that does well with additions and substitutions - as long as you have cooked rice, oil, garlic, pepper (ideally white pepper), and fish sauce it will work. I typically also add whatever veggies I have lying around, chopped small.

- Quesadillas. Corn or flour tortillas. Get some oil hot in a pan, add the first tortilla. Layer pork, shredded cheese, and something vinegary and/or spicy (pickled peppers, a slaw, salsa). Add the second tortilla, and flip when the bottom tortilla is browned. Cook until both sides are browned and the cheese has melted. You can add veggies too (chopped very fine) if you have them, but don't overstuff your quesadilla.

- Make Puerto Rican-style rice and black beans. Mix them up with the pork and top with salsa. Certainly not authentic but a great one-container packed lunch. Make the rice however you want. For the beans, fry up half a chopped onion. When it's translucent, add some minced garlic and half a packet of Goya Sazon. When everything smells delicious, add a can or two of black beans (don't drain them first) and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add salt or cayenne or whatever else floats your boat. (btw, these black beans and rice are a great accompaniment for any future pork shoulder forays)
posted by lunasol at 1:01 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

These all sound delicious, and I'm copying them, but people who *won't* eat leftovers of food they beg someone else to cook for them *should* be doing the cooking in the first place.
posted by cyndigo at 2:32 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

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