If you’ve visited my blog before, you know that my husband is a bearded, mountain man, deer hunting hunk, and I haven’t bought ground beef in two years because we always have a freezer full of wild game. I absolutely love it. In fact, we just found out that we’re having dinner guests tomorrow night and I just went into the freezer, pulled out a giant venison roast, and set it out on the counter to thaw. I love having a freezer stocked with meat.
But eating red meat for every meal can get old pretty fast, so I’m always on the lookout for great deals on chicken, pork, and other meats. This past week, I picked up a massive 8.3 lb pork loin for $1.89/lb.
Pork loin is the cut of meat that we get pork chops and pork roasts from. You can see from the diagram below where the loin is. This giant pork loin gave us two small roasts and 18 chops.
So why go to all this trouble? Why not just buy the chops from the store already cut? Because it saves you tons of money. I paid $12.38 for this pork loin at $1.89 per pound. At my local grocery store, the price goes up to $3.49/lb for pork chops and $2.49/lb for roasts. Had we purchased the exact same cuts of meat already butchered for us, we would have spent $26.67. That means the price doubles just by having the butcher slice the meat for you!
Now, I know that the idea of hacking into giant chunks of raw meat doesn’t really sound appealing. When James first enlisted me to help him process venison, it sounded disgusting and I really wasn’t excited about it. I like for my food to look as unlike the animal that it came from as much as possible. But there’s very little difference between handling a whole pork loin and handling individual pork chops, which you probably do all the time. So give it a try! I believe in you!
So James and I got to work in the kitchen. I began prepping and labeling bags for the vacuum sealer (you can use freezer bags but this vacuum sealer is pretty amazing) while James started preparing the pork loin. He cut the ends off of the loin which became our roasts and then cut the remainder of the loin into 1-inch chops. After 30 minutes and a little bit of work, we had 11 vacuum sealed bags of pork. That’s meat for 11 meals for a little over $1 per meal!
The roasts can be tossed in a slow cooker to make carnitas. The chops can be grilled with BBQ sauce, baked with a sweet apple cider glaze, or my personal favorite, flattened, breaded, and fried into schnitzel. We have the makings of 11 delicious meals just sitting in our freezer. I can’t wait!
While we had the vacuum sealer out, we packaged five bone-in skin-on chicken breasts which I purchased for $1/lb. Each chicken breast can be boiled to yield about 2 cups of shredded chicken breast and about 1 cup of bone broth. One chicken breast is enough to make chicken enchiladas, chicken pot pie, or my homemade Southern Chicken n’ Dumplings. If you find yourself buying boneless skinless chicken breasts only to cook and shred the meat for tacos or casseroles, you’re really overpaying. Try buying split chicken breasts instead. You’ll get the same delicious breast meat AND homemade bone broth from the bone and skin.
After an hour of quality time with my husband, we have the meat prepared for a total of 16 meals sitting in our freezer. Does anyone want to come over for dinner? We’re ready for you!