Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Roast Pork Hash with Potatoes, Fennel and Garlic

I love to stretch a buck.  You may have learned that about me by this time…or maybe not yet.  You will, in time, discover my frugal side, my friends! 

I may be cheap, but I do NOT skimp on quality.  The best cuts behind the glass of the butcher's case and the fishmonger's (gosh, I love that word) case, too, grace our table.  When I spot a sale, that’s when I buy.  And meals are planned to use every smidgen.

Remember that roast chicken from a few posts ago?  Since the original meal, we’ve enjoyed chicken soft tacos with part of the leftover white meat and with the rest, lemony California chicken salad made a tasty lunch.  BBQ chicken pizza with some of the dark meat was another quick, easy meal built on a bought crust. 

The carcass?  You just know I didn’t throw that away!  I tossed that sucker into a pot with veggies and herbs, the rest of the dark meat, made a good rich stock out of it and a hearty, steaming pot of Southwest Chicken and Rice Soup was born.  That went into the freezer for cool days when I don’t have time to cook.  That’s a lot of eating for one chicken!

Sunday night’s Herbes de Provence Rubbed Pork Roast?  Tonight, some of that became a hot skillet of roast pork hash.  Big cubes of leftover pork, potato chunks, squares of anise-y fennel bulb, diced onion and sliced garlic cloves were sautéed together in a little bacon fat until it was all crispy and browned. A few steamed and buttered asparagus spears made it a complete meal.   

What about that last little bit of roast pork?  What on earth can I do with that?  Traditional Cuban Sandwiches are on Thursday's menu to use up the last little slivers.  Don’t tell anyone, but there will be a fresh Strawberry Black Peppercorn Mojito for each of us to go right along with that Cuban theme!

Did I get you thinking about making the most of your own food dollar?  I hope so.  Hey!  If you want any ideas, shoot me a comment.  Even better, if you have any new ideas for me, let me know!  

Roast Pork Hash with Potatoes, Fennel and Garlic

  • 2 T. bacon fat or vegetable oil
  • 1 C. leftover pork, cubed
  • 2 large potatoes, skin on, cubed
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into large dice
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, cut into large dice (remove fronds for another use)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the bacon fat or oil in a heavy skillet.  Once the skillet is good and hot, add the pork cubes and brown on all sides.  Remove.  

Add a little more bacon fat or oil.  Once it is good and hot, add the potatoes, onion and fennel.  Brown, stirring occasionally.  About halfway through, add the sliced garlic.  

Once the veggies are nearly done, add the pork back into the skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste,  Cook everything together for a few more minutes to blend the flavors. Serve with a nice green veggie or a salad.

NOTE:  Roasted carrots, onion, asparagus, garlic and fennel were Sunday's side dish. I used the other half of the fennel bulb and the onion in tonight's hash.  You KNOW I wouldn't waste them! 

I didn't waste the beautiful, ferny fennel fronds either. Those were used to make a batch of fennel simple syrup for some creative cocktails.  The syrup smells wonderful and I can't wait to make some kind of cucumber/fennel/gin drink! 

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