by DonR 10 23 14
Pork loin, when purchased from a restaurant supplier, is one of the better food values if you are a flexitarian. We purchased a 7 pound package for two dollars a pound on sale. One thick 9 ounce slice was more than enough for the two of us because it was stuffed with apple dressing. By adding coleslaw, whole grain bread and vegetables, we came close to My Plate recommendations and under the $10.00 challenge limit.
When I first discovered this budget friendly alternative to beef, I cooked too much and we ate it all in one sitting. It was delicious but way more protein than we needed. Get maximum value by purchasing pork loin in larger bags and either split with friends or repackage and freeze it in a size needed for planned meals.
Tip: Pork cushions are the ends of the butt roast and weigh from 2 to 3 lbs. Right now it’s on sale at Cash & Carry in Bellingham for $1.68/lb.
There are many low-cost ways to use pork loin. It is good in stir fries, slow cooker soups and stews, when stuffed and braised, barbecued, breaded and baked, or roasted and pulled for barbecue sandwiches. We chose to cut it into thick slices, stuff it with an apple mixture. Here’s how we put the meal together for $10 and the recipe for Braised Apple-Stuffed Pork.
To make cooking easier, we chose to braise the pork along with carrots and other optional veggies of the day. As for cost, the pork was calculated at $3.50 for 6 people. 1 lb carrots $0.88, onions, parsley, salad greens, cabbage and celery was $2.80. Apples, bread crumbs, seasonings, and oils were either gleaned or condiments (at no charge.)
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork loin roast
- 2 tablespoons pork or beef steak rub
- 2 cups breadcrumbs or stuffing mix
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup finely chopped apples
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1/8 cup chopped parsley
- salt-and-pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
- 1 pound carrots cut into 3 inch long pieces
- Cut each loin into 1 inch thick slabs. Lay each one flat on a cutting board make a horizontal slit almost all the way through to make a pocket.
- Sprinkle with your favorite steak rub place in a bag and let it marinate for one hour
- heat oil in a metal braising pot, then sauté onions and celery until crisp tender.
- Add breadcrumbs, parsley, chopped apples, and a pinch of salt. Cover the pot and let it steam until the apples are softened. Add more oil if needed.
- Divide the stuffing mix into thirds and failure each pocket of the loin set aside
- heat more oil in the braising pot and Brown each side of the loins.
- Combine the broth with the vegetables and loins in the braising pot. Cover with a lid and place in an oven preheated to 350°
- bake for approximately 40 minutes until the vegetables are crisp tender and pork reaches 145°. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes cut each in half and serve.
- 1. be creative in making your stuffing. You can use mushrooms, cheese, grains or rice
- 2. You can also cook this in a slow cooker or electric fry pan
- 3. Keep an eye while this cooks, because it will dry out if it cooks too much. Be sure to take it out when it reaches 145 degrees (new standards for pork) and let it rest before serving