July 8, 2011

Empty Cupboard Recipe: Lazy Pulled Pork

Erin, of bearing blog, is starting a round-up of empty cupboard recipes.  The idea being that we all share meal ideas and recipes for those days when we haven't had a chance to make it to the grocery store.  What do you make when you're cooking from the pantry (or freezer)?  I absolutely love this idea and have often thought of posting these types of recipes here, so this is the perfect opportunity to do just that and to get some great ideas from others while I'm at it.

Here are the rules as outlined by Erin:
  1. Write a post about what you managed to throw together when you hadn't yet gotten a chance to go grocery shopping.  
  2. You have to post the whole meal, not just one recipe.  (This is especially important if no actual recipes were harmed during the preparation of the meal.
  3. It's okay if one or more of the components was packaged/prepared/processed, out of season, non-organic, or raspberry Jell-o (TM).  I'm interested in the whole picture of thinking out of the box to create a pleasant dining experience for your family.
On a typical week I go grocery shopping on Tuesdays.  Monday is my catch-up day from the weekend and I usually spend it cleaning and planning for the week ahead.  This week since Monday was a holiday that shifted my catch-up day to Tuesday.  In addition to that special circumstance, this past Tuesday we took my car into the mechanic and so I did not have a car for the day, meaning I couldn't have gone grocery shopping even if I had wanted to.  So, what to make for dinner?  The night before I decided that we should have pulled pork sandwiches and so I pulled out a pork roast from the freezer and left it in the refrigerator to defrost overnight.  I didn't have most of the ingredients that I use for my usual recipe so the next day I cooked the roast very plainly and simply in the slow-cooker with some chicken stock.

{This is where my Crock Pot lives while in use, this little corner of our kitchen.}

Most pulled pork recipes call for using pork shoulder but I use sirloin tip roast.  I buy a four pack at Costco and it costs $1.99/lb (I must tell any new readers that I live in Southern California and this is a good price for a roast of any cut!)  It may not have as much flavor as pork shoulder, but it is much leaner and therefore healthier while still providing a good source of protein.  It cooks nicely too and becomes very tender when cooked long and slow.  Generally I cook the pork in a sauce of some kind, take the meat out, shred it, and then add the sauce back.  This week I simply added barbecue sauce to the meat after I finished shredding it (well, half of it).

When I am shopping I look for packs that are around 8lbs total, so approximately 2lbs per roast.  We typically only eat about one-third of a roast per meal and so for about $4 we get enough meat for three mealtimes.  This week we used the leftovers to have pork tostadas (and we'll have them again this weekend).

I also had some cabbage leftover from the week before.  Cabbage seems to be one of those never-ending vegetables in my house.  I can never seem to use it up!  Which meant that coleslaw was on the menu too.  Perfect with the pulled pork.

The last addition was a side of tator tots.  What can I say about this except that we all love tator tots.  Maybe we shouldn't, but we don't eat them that often and I try not to get too hung-up on these things.

{Still frozen... in case you are wondering!}

So there you have it:  pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, tator tots and the remainder of the last batch of pickles.  Gabe had everything on the menu except we switched out the coleslaw for carrot sticks, and Nathan had a peanut butter sandwich instead of the pulled pork.  He is still not a big meat eater and we don't push it.

I want to say hello to anyone who is visiting from Erin's blog.  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a blessed weekend. =)


  1. Oh, my! You just made this Georgia girl drool!! I haven't had pulled pork in ages. Why in the world have I not made it my self before now? I sense some pork sandwiches in my future, and I won't even have to wince at the cute piggy signs outside the restaurant! :o)

  2. I'm flattered that my simple recipe could inspire you! I've actually gotten a bit tired of my old recipe since it uses some not-usually-in-my-pantry ingredients... next time I make this I'm going to try the version from Simply Recipes, pulled pork.

  3. I make this all the time Donna. easy, cheap and perfect after a long day of working. love it. I got your beautiful ATC's on Saturday and I am sorry I haven't let you know sooner. We are actually just waiting for Nicky's so you weren't the last one. Either way I will be mailing them out on Monday. Thanks so much for joining and enjoy your summer.


Hello! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, and for taking the time to comment. I love comments and I love hearing from you!

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Have a blessed day!


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