Pork Loin & Leftovers

A inexpensive lean meat that can go a long way, my loin was 3.5 lbs. and cost $9. This is how I utilized it for 3 meals. For best results before preparing brine the loin for a couple of hours (in fridge). Alternately you can season and place in the fridge over night. I didn’t have time for either and it turned out fine (don’t overcook).

Step one the initial cook.

First remove all the fat and silver skin (important) the fat adds grease and inhibits the flavor reaching the meat. Next season the pork well with 1/2 tabelspoon, salt, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and 1 tsp. cayenne. Then wrap it in bacon slices (as many as you like) and secure with toothpicks. Finally sear all sides in cast iron pan (crisp the bacon). No need to add oil the bacon will give it up.

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 Preheat oven to 350, then add 1/2 sliced onion to pan while it’s still hot (spoon out some bacon grease if desired). Sizzle the onion and add sauerkraut (drained) add 2 tsp of sugar to kraut and 1/2 cup water. Top with apricot preserve place in oven and cook 15 minutes, add more apricot and cook another 15 mins and repeat again. Oven times vary but cook it until the internal temp reaches 145, this one was 147. This took about 2 hours with prep.

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Finally remove from oven and tint with foil, let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Remove from pan and place on cutting board, slice it as thin as you can. Plate with kraut and enjoy, I liked the kraut the most. I am by the way German & Scotch Irish.

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Round 2 Cuban Sandwiches (leftovers)

Traditionally these should be made on Cuban or French loaf bread. I didn’t have any so I used sesame rolls. Also I didn’t have any sliced ham so I just went with what I had on hand. Pickles, Swiss cheese, mustard and pepperoni to clarify here is a traditional Cubano recipe.

Most of us don’t have a sandwich press (no grill lines) so I used my cast iron pan. First butter each side of bread then layer, mustard, sliced loin, mustard, pepperoni (or salami) cheese and pickles. I used some mayo on outside of bun and a little butter.

Have another pan (with no low handles) to place on top of the sandwiches and grill. I used a brick wrapped in tin foil to add weight to the pan on top as a press.

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Round 3 Enchiladas (leftovers)

Food processor time: I chopped the loin up by pulsing and pureed the home made salsa Verde. If your new to the processor scene watch your liquid (dont fill above the liquid line).  You can use prepared Verde if you want, but here is a fresh Salsa Verde recipe that takes it to the next level. Add 1 tsp. chili powder to the chopped pork(or more) to give some kick.

Toast tortilla shells (in hot pan) and fill with loin and cheese (jack and Swiss). Always buy a block of cheese not shredded (to waxy).  Fill shells with loin and cheese and roll, put in baking dish seam down. Pour salsa evenly on top and add more cheese. Hit it with a few dabs of sour cream and cover with foil. Cook 20 minutes and uncover. Cook a little more to get some color on top.

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