Bob Saves the Day!
I consider myself to be a frugal shopper (usually.) But sometimes, I get a little blinded by the savings and value of a sale, and I forget that I don’t actually like eating certain things.
A month or so ago, we were shopping at Aldi’s (love that store!) and they had a deal on end cut pork chops – on sale and marked down. I couldn’t resist the price! We broke up the package of 8 chops into 3 freezer bags, and cooked up one bag a few nights later. Well. I do enjoy pork, but usually as a roast or ribs. Chops not so much. Not because of the flavor, but because of the fat, gristle, and bone. I’m just never satisfied, and always vow to stick to boneless chops in the future.
Fast forward several weeks, as I peer into our chest freezer. There’s a lot of stuff in there, and it really needs to get eaten or tossed or otherwise cleared out. I’m poking around, and see the remaining 2 bags of chops, and I pull them out to defrost. “We really have to start eating up what’s in that freezer,” I tell my husband. Using wife-speak, I was trying to prepare him for some sub-par meals in the near future. I think I had some sort of unformed fantasy meal using a dutch oven, tomatoes, and magic – that something would click in my brain and I would come up with a super delicious dish I could make with these chops.
The next day, I was still pondering on what to do with them, and putting off doing anything with them. Finally, around dinnertime, hubby says, “Why don’t we just toss them in the slow cooker, and then we can just shred them with some bbq sauce or something?” That sounded way more promising than anything I had come up with, so I did just that. I crumpled some foil for the bottom of the cooker, sprinkled the chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then I tossed them in the cooker on high for about 4 hours. When they were done, I put them into a bowl and refrigerated them. And by the way, they were really, really good ( a small piece “fell off” when I was removing them from the cooker.)
The following day we were out running errands and picking up some groceries. I was looking for something in the spice aisle, when ole’ Bob says, “What if we made tacos with that pork?” I was really hungry at that point, and it sounded easy. I knew we had shells, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce at home already. And right in front of us was a gluten-free taco seasoning pack! (Normally we make our own seasoning, but it was $0.89 so I splurged!)
We went home, put things away, and I pulled out the bowl of cold, cooked pork chops, which looked really gross and unappetizing. At this point I started having second thoughts because the meat was kind of gray and congealed looking. But I knew the meat was tasty, so I forged onward. I just kind of shredded it with my fingers, so I could remove the bone and chunks of yuck as I went through it. Added the seasoning mix per the instructions, heated the shells, and chopped some romaine and a tomato. Sadly, we had no sour cream or taco sauce/salsa, but we made do.
These were soooo good! We pretty much ate it all. There is some pork left, but I think that will be gone by the end of the night. I ate mine with just cheese and meat in the shells, and was in a bit of a trance while eating. The meat was moist and flavorful, and it wasn’t overwhelmed by the taco seasoning. So if you have any unloved packages of meat in your freezer, consider making tacos with it – I was pleasantly surprised with the results and will probably do this again (the next time I buy pork chops on sale!)