$10 Meal Challenge: Stuffed Pork Loin

by DonR  10 23 14

Stiffed pork loin is a budget friendly alternative to beef and its so easy to cook.

Stuffed pork loin is a budget friendly alternative to beef and it’s so easy to cook.(iclipart illustration of stuffed pork chop)

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.) 

Apple-stuffed Pork Loin
Serves 6
An easy way to cook moist pork loins with vegetables
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Cook Time
40 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork loin roast
  2. 2 tablespoons pork or beef steak rub
  3. 2 cups breadcrumbs or stuffing mix
  4. 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  6. 1 cup finely chopped apples
  7. 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  8. 1/8 cup chopped parsley
  9. salt-and-pepper to taste
  10. 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  11. 1 pound carrots cut into 3 inch long pieces
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Sprinkle with your favorite steak rub place in a bag and let it marinate for one hour
  3. heat oil in a metal braising pot, then sauté onions and celery until crisp tender.
  4. 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.
  5. Divide the stuffing mix into thirds and failure each pocket of the loin set aside
  6. heat more oil in the braising pot and Brown each side of the loins.
  7. Combine the broth with the vegetables and loins in the braising pot. Cover with a lid and place in an oven preheated to 350°
  8. 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.
Notes
  1. 1. be creative in making your stuffing. You can use mushrooms, cheese, grains or rice
  2. 2. You can also cook this in a slow cooker or electric fry pan
  3. 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
Family Meals Project https://familymealsproject.com/
This entry was posted in $10 meal Sample, 2014, meat, Tips & Tricks and tagged , on by .

About Don R

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Retired teacher. Multiple successful business endeavors including screen printing / sporting goods business, executive director of a Boys & Girls Club, commercial fishing, and co-founding an alternative high school. Interests include family, hiking, cooking, Parkinson's research and developing an educational cooking program.