Dinner Plans: Roast Pork

Prep 3 Delicious Meals with Roast Pork

Slow Roasted Fresh Picnic Shoulder
Slow Roasted Fresh Pork Picnic Shoulder. Photo: Diana Rattray

Game Plan

Pork shoulder is an inexpensive, easy-to-cook cut of meat that offers incredible returns on a minimal investment of time spent in the kitchen. This one benefits from a super flavorful brown-sugar-and-spice dry rub. After virtually no work, serve it straight from the oven the first night, then set some aside for tasty Cuban sandwiches and stick-to-your-ribs pork hash during the week.

Prep Time: 2 hours plus 4 hours in a slow cooker

  1. Coat the pork with the spice rub up to 2 days ahead of cooking, for the very best flavor. Place the spice-rubbed pork in a large zip-top plastic bag, and refrigerate until ready to roast. 
  2. Serve one-third of the pork warm from the oven with potatoes and Swiss chard.
  3. Pack away the rest for Cuban sandwiches and pork hash, but don’t portion it out until just before serving.
  4. Organize, wash and prep the ingredients for your other two dinners to save time and minimize cleanup later. Making dinners with already prepped vegetables is a pleasure.

Prep Day: Slow-Roasted Pork with Greens

Tender, slow-roasted pork with roast potatoes and Swiss chard makes a cozy Sunday afternoon or early evening dinner, with plenty to reserve for the week ahead.

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Roasted Pork Shoulder Recipe - Pork Recipes. © 2010 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Serve about a third of the pork shoulder. 
  • Prep the chard and potatoes while the pork roasts. 
  • Put potatoes in the oven with the pork for the last half hour. Toss them, increase the oven temperature, and roast for about another half hour, while the pork rests.
  • Cook chard while the pork rests.
  • Reserve half of the potatoes for pork hash night.

Cuban Sandwich Night

Make 4 toasted Cuban sandwiches. Fried plantains are a traditional side dish, but store-bought plantain chips make an easy weeknight substitution. If you have time, you could also serve black bean soup to start the meal.

Traditional Cuban Panini
The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use 1 pound of the roast pork.
  • Slice the pork as neatly as you can. It’s so tender that it may fall apart, but just make sure to divide it evenly among the sandwiches.
  • Cook the sandwiches on a panini press or stovetop grill pan (for the latter, weigh them down with a heavy cast-iron skillet as they cook).
  • Buy Cuban bread if you can find it, for the most authentic taste and texture; French or Italian bread makes a fine substitute.

Pork Hash Night

Stretch the leftover cooked pork shoulder to make the comfort food classic pork hash. To serve the hash diner-style, top each plate with a fried egg and serve a plate of biscuits or cornbread on the side.

Leftover Pork and Potato Hash
The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use ¾ pound of leftover pork, cut into cubes or torn into small pieces if it’s too tender to cut. 
  • Use half of the roast potatoes from the prep-day dinner, cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Cook the peas (or peas and carrots) while you are sautéing the onion and making the cream sauce, to save time.
  • Substitute another cream soup, like cream of celery, in place of the mushroom, if desired.

Essential Info

About Dinner Plans

Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Dinner Plans is a realistic guide to help you achieve that goal by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) at the outset. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. And who knows? You just might discover your new favorite weeknight recipe in the process!

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