Whole pork loin was on sale at the local grocery store recently for less than the sale price of chicken breasts. I paid $1.79 per pound. I always try to get my meat for less than a couple of dollars a pound (and often far less as when I buy turkey and ham near the Easter and Christmas holidays). Usually red meat costs more—so we eat less red meat and wait for really good sales. I really hated it when the inexpensive “tough” beef cuts became fashionable. Now I can’t afford to buy flank and skirt steaks unless I’m bulk buying a split half of an entire animal!
Don’t be intimidated by a big slab o’ meat. A whole pork loin is one of the easiest to handle:
- Clean your sink and get out your trusty kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Usually, whole loins come in a plastic bag, so just put the whole loin in the sink, snip the bag, drain the juices into the sink, and dispose of the bag after noting the total weight of the loin.
- Transfer loin to a cutting board and get out a big, sharp knife.
- Trim most of the fat from the loin. There usually isn’t much.
- Cut the loin in half and then cut the roasts, remembering the total weight. You should be able to get 3 or 4 two-pound roasts out of the average loin plus a pound or two of stir fry meat from the thinner, fattier end.
- Wrap the meat in freezer paper with the waxed side in, or use freezer bags or the empty inner bags in which breakfast cereal is packaged. Seal with masking or freezer tape.
- Label and date each package and freeze right away.
I leave the roasts whole. It gives me more leeway in how I will use the meat later. A roast may ultimately become chops or fajita, stew, chili, or stir fry meat. I do, however, cut up the end of the loin because the meat is laced with fat, but there is still a lot of good meat there. I usually package this part of the loin as already-cut-up stir fry meat.
Be sure to take advantage of the next good deal on “the other white meat.” Begonia