Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cook, Eat, Freeze

Today was Big Cooking day at Casa Kathy.

The cooking actually began last night, when I started some pulled pork in the crock pot before I went to bed. I've used the original recipe (which came from Joe Bonwich at the Post-Dispatch) before, but this time I tweaked it a bit. I added two cloves of garlic along with the other ingredients, and instead of following the recipe's cooking directions I cooked it on low all night. When I came downstairs this morning, I was greeted by the wonderful smell of cooked pork. After breakfast I took the meat out of the crock pot, removed the fat, then shredded it and threw the meat into the refrigerator. For tonight's dinner, all I have to do is heat it up with barbecue sauce. The roast was almost four pounds, so I'll be able to freeze the leftovers in meal-sized portions for easy eats down the road.

Before I left to run errands and go to the gym, I started a loaf of bread in the bread machine to go with the meat. Thirty minutes after I got home the bread machine beeped, telling me that a perfect loaf was ready. Bread's easier to slice after it's cooled for a few hours, so I'll do that right before we eat. Of course two people will only eat a portion of the bread, so I'll throw the rest in the freezer for later on.

After lunch, I made a double batch of carrot-ginger muffins. Halfway through the job, I realized that turning on the oven on a hot day was a mistake. It heated up the entire kitchen, but after I sampled one of the muffins I realized it was worth it. Now we'll have a week's worth of breakfasts and snacks waiting for us in the freezer.

My last project was to make stock. I put the pork juices (along with vegetable peelings I've been accumulating in the freezer) in a stock pot and simmered them for a couple of hours. I strained the juice and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Later tonight I'll skim off the fat, then pour the liquid into several containers that I can store in the freezer to use down the line.

One dishwasher load, three sinks of hand washables, and several dishtowels later the work was done. I think I deserve a rest, don't you?
Make-ahead roast pork (serves 12-16)

Pork shoulder or Boston pork roast, approximately 4 pounds
3 cups water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 medium onions, cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 t black pepper
BBQ sauce to taste (I used an 18-oz bottle, and served more at the table)

Add all ingredients to crock pot. Cook on High for 4 hours, then reduce the heat to Low and cook for 3-4 more hours (or cook on Low for 9-10 hours). When meat is tender, take roast out of crock pot. Remove fat and shred with forks, or chop into small pieces. Reheat in BBQ sauce of your choice.


  1. And to think, I'm using my oven here more than ever just to warm the place up. We're 70 degrees here today.

  2. And to think, I'm using my oven here more than ever just to warm the place up. We're 70 degrees here today.

  3. Oh yes! You definitely deserve a rest. It sounds scrumptious! I love it that you'll have delicious food ready for you for several meals.

  4. I love freezer meals...NOTHING better than coming home and having one for supper after a LONG day!

  5. Wow, you've been busy but the time it's all going to save will be worth it all. I love doing make ahead meals and freezing them, especially in the summer time for days I don't want to cook or it's too rainy out for a BBQ.

    Enjoy your day and definitely relax now!