The time has arrived! We’re going to get our pork all ready to go for next week’s recipes. You do have your five bone-in pork chops, right? Perfect, then. Let’s get going…
Go ahead and get your pork chops all out of the packaging. If your pack contains more than five, choose the five largest of the bunch and get them on a plate or cutting board.
Working one at a time, trim the pork chop off the bone. This will definitely result in meat being left behind, still attached to the bone. Don’t worry about that. Just aim to cut as close as you can along the bone to result in a “boneless” chop.
Once you’ve completed this step for all the pork chops, you should have five boneless chunks of meat on your plate. Set those aside for now.
You’ll be left with a pile of bones and meat remnants. Use your knife to trim off any obvious hunks of meat hanging on. Don’t worry about getting it all; we’re just getting the larger pieces removed. Place all of those in their own little pile for now. (I just put mine on the edge of the plate.)
This is what I managed to cut off. These pieces weren’t really part of the “main chop”, but they’re obviously chunks of meat and were easy to remove.
At this point, throw the remaining bones in a large stock pot. Add enough water to cover them. I added a quartered onion, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, also. Place on the stove over medium-high heat. When it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and throw a lid on it. You can now ignore this for awhile.
Determine which TWO of your boneless chop pieces are the largest and cut them in half. The resulting pieces will look SMALL. Don’t let that worry you.
Using a meat pounder or heavy skillet, pound each chop half until very thin.
See how much bigger it looks once it’s pounded thin?
Layer your four thin chops with pieces of waxed paper and put in a storage bag. These can then go in the fridge or freezer; we’ll use them for our apple-stuffed rolls next week.
You’ll have three chops remaining on your plate. Choose the largest of those and chop it up into small pieces.
Bag these up; we’ll use them for our Pork Dumpling Stew.
Grab the larger of the two remaining chop pieces. (Both are likely pretty small– that’s no problem.) Slice it up.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Toss in your pork strips and season with salt and pepper. Cook through, about three minutes. Remove from heat.
Once cooled, bag up cooked strips for your BBQ Pork Pizza.
Toss remaining small chop along with the extra pieces of pork you trimmed off into a storage bag. Add 1 thinly sliced white or yellow onion, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano.
Seal up that bag and your Carnitas meat is already to get tossed in the slow-cooker when the time comes. This bag can go in the fridge or freezer at this point.
By now, your stock should be done or close to done. It should be a rich, golden color. Strain out the bones and place on a clean, dry cutting board to cool a bit. You should be left with a few cups of very concentrated pork stock. Store that in your fridge or freezer.
Once cool enough to handle, use your fingers to pick off the pork bits still hanging onto the bones. This isn’t a thrilling job, but it’s simple enough and you should wind up with at least a cup of pork bits when all is said and done.
Toss the bones, clean up your few supplies, and wipe down the stove and counter.
You’re now all prepped and ready to make five tasty, distinctive Fall meals from just five bone-in pork chops!
Next week, we’ll cook up the five meals, one each day, in the following order:
Monday: Thai Peanut Noodles with Pork
Tuesday: Apple-Stuffed Pork on Wilted Cabbage
Wednesday: Pork Dumpling Stew
Thursday: Carnitas & Spanish Rice Soft Tacos
Friday: Barbecue Pork Pizza
See you then!