Tag Archives: pork loin

Using Expensive Meat: Conclusions

So far we’ve had 15 portions using the expensive pork roast I bought. (See this post.) That brings the price down to $1.86 per portion. Surprise!

What I still have in the freezer: 1 slab which could be turned into stir fry, soup, or two pork chops, and a small container of carnitas. At a minimum, there’s probably still 4 portions remaining. If I figure 19 portions from this pork roast, it’s $1.47 each.

Just wow.

I had no idea I could do that. I’ve been watching it go, but I’ve used the meat as I cut it: about 1/2-1/3 for the roast (which became the carnitas), 3 slabs, and one small piece off the end. The small piece was turned into soup. That left the 3 slabs. We’ve eaten 2.

I admit it probably wouldn’t work this way in a bigger family, or perhaps with other cuts of meat. I started with a boneless hunk of pork loin. Very little waste, especially since I’ve used the small amount of fat that came with it to cook something every time we’ve eaten the pork. But I haven’t skimped or deliberately stretched it, I’ve just used it as convenient.

I also admit we’ve been eating it pretty steadily, because I knew I had this chunk of beautiful stuff in the freezer. . . My plan is to use meat for dinner 2x a week, which would have been 6 meals or 12 portions.

We also ate it for lunch: 5 6 portions worth. We tend to eat smaller lunches than dinners, so it went further that it might have otherwise.

My conclusion? It’s possible to get to my target price with expensive meat, if you have minimal waste in the original, large piece of meat AND if you use any leftovers for lunches. Otherwise? I’d have made 10 meals, at $2.79 per portion, over the $2 per portion price I wanted.

simon-birt-tSruvNOg1j0-unsplash

Retirement Planning: Using Expensive Meat

I bought that 3 lb pork loin 4/30.  The meat cost $9.99/lb., $1.99/lb over my preferred price of $8 or less.*

I have a cookbook which talks about dividing a 3 lb pork loin into four meals: chops, chow mein, sweet & sour, and a roast.

I cut it into 5. One smallish piece, 3 thick slabs, and a roast. Then I put the pieces into the freezer.

The cost was why I divided it the way I did. Assuming my idea works as planned? It’s 10 portions, or about $2.79 each. If I’d divided it as in my cookbook, it would have been 8 meals, $3.49 per portion.

Tonight’s dinner will be made with the smaller piece I put aside, in pork soup, using this recipe. I don’t have the specified sausage or 5 spice powder, so I’ll modify it, as usual. I do have regular pork sausage, but I’ll make the soup without it. I used a piece of fat from the pork instead of oil to cook the veggies. I’ll add bell pepper and celery leaves from the fridge, stems from the freezer, and whatever else I think it needs for flavoring.

2 p.m.: The soup is asimmer. I’ll add the minced stems, celery leaves, and apple a few minutes before serving.  (The recipe calls for a sour apple and all I have is a sweet one, it seemed it would be better added near the end.)


The soup was good and we have about 1 portion left over.

5/5: We used it for 3 meals. At lunch, we use custard cups for things like soup. When soup is dinner, we use large bowls!

5/10: One of the thick pieces cut into 2 pork chops. Dinner!

5/12: Decided we’d have the 1 lb piece (the roast) as carnitas. I found a recipe for it, but I’ve never made carnitas before, so we’ll see! I’ll put in a link to the recipe when I use it, this coming Friday, along with any comments. The only comment I have now is that the recipe specifies a 4 lb roast and I don’t have one!

5/15: Made the carnitas. Two portions were dinner. What remained was split between the fridge for meals this weekend and the freezer for future use. The cost per portion has been updated to reflect the 2 meals eaten.

5/16: Two portions of shredded meat on salads with a thick slice of mozzarella and red bell pepper shreds. Just needed salt and pepper. Great! There’s a little of what I put in the fridge left, not enough for a meal. Will probably be used as a garnish or such…

It was used on our dinner, which was salad too, the count was updated to reflect two more servings.

5/20: We had one of the slabs, cut into 2 pork chops for dinner with the HM applesauce.


I made a carrot salad, this one, which I didn’t cook as long as specified, my husband doesn’t like cooked carrots. It was very spring-y looking, as the dill looks like carrot tops. It was okay. I added a little agave syrup (about 1 tsp)  and used less onion to suit our tastes. I’ll make this again, but it isn’t the huge hit the jarred salad has been.

(We ate the last of the 2nd batch of jarred salad for lunch. I’m out of cabbage, so I couldn’t make more — I made the carrot salad instead.)


Total cost $27.92.  Portions eaten 2 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 +3

Cost per portion = $13.96 $9.31 $5.58 $3.99 $3.10 $2.54 $2.14 $1.86 $1.55


*My target price of $8/lb for meat is discussed here. My goal is to have the meat in a meal cost $2 or less per portion. My conclusions about this experiment can be found here.

simon-birt-tSruvNOg1j0-unsplashPhoto by Simon Birt on Unsplash