Friday, September 19, 2008

Roast Pork Belly Stir-fry

Leftovers. Good god. What are they good for? Absolutely everything! Say it again...

(I see Rush Hour on HBO just one time and this is how I am for a whole week!)

But really now...let’s have a sit down and a chat about leftovers. I’ve already ready mentioned leftover recycling here, but, in my ongoing personal quest against food waste, I think it merits more air time. As the price of food is rising (along with the general cost of living...what fun), I find myself looking for more ways to cut costs every time I’m at the grocery or market. And I’d like to be able to do this without feeling totally bereft of those goodies which I feel I deserve for all my hard work.

On another front, more and more food is going to waste, which I think is a real crime considering that food is a gift from nature and from God (whichever is your’s still a gift). More so when you consider how many of our fellow humans suffer from a painful lack of daily sustenance.

Now, I’m not going to get on a platform and tell you the same things told to me about “what happens when you don’t finish your food”. I am as guilty as anyone on that count. Instead, I am going to start finding ways to stretch the food I do have and give my leftovers a new lease on life.

Starting with this...

Roast Pork Belly Stir-fry
(inspired by Market Man’s use of leftover porchetta)

  • Canola oil
  • 200-250 grams (chopped weight) roast pork belly, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce

- Heat a litle oil in a skillet then add garlic, onions, and red bell pepper. Sauté until onions and pepper are soft.
- Add chopped pork belly and sauté further until edges are a little browned.
- Add freshly cracked black pepper, soy sauce, and then quickly toss. Take off the heat.
- Serves 2 with a bowl of steaming rice. Or with this.

Pork belly is a cut of meat I adore. It doesn’t take a genius to know I love pork, and its belly is the start of so many beautiful things. A popular way to prepare it locally is simply sliced and grilled – inihaw na liempo. It’s also my favourite cut for roasting, which I discovered when making porchetta. The layers of fat keep the meat tender and juicy during a long slow roast. And, lest we all forget, this is where bacon comes from! These leftovers came from a pork belly I slow-roasted flat. The meat was succulent and tasty but there was no way we could finish it in one sitting, so this is what I served the next day.

Another brilliant thing about pork belly is the price. The piece we got for the original roast went for less than the price of one steak! And lasted for 2.5 meals instead of 1 (more on the .5 later)! And I certainly did not feel bereft while I was eating it :)

So, let’s recap: Using leftovers – check! Saving money - check! Still enjoying delicious food – check!

Next up, what I did with the last of the roast pork belly leftovers! Until then, happy weekend everyone! :)


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful stir-fry! I love pork! That beautiful picture really has me drooling...



Erin said...

Pork belly = Poetry.

People need to rethink leftovers. There are so many great things you can do as you have demonstrated. A neighbor of mine never ate leftovers. Never. I remember having dinner there once and caught her starting towards the trash with the leftover coq au vin. I started sputtering out words like "potatoes,mashed and pie", before taking the rest home. It made a lovely sort of shepards pie the next day.

Great post!

Irene said...

My husband will sometimes leave ONE piece of potato on the plate, or a tablespoon of pasta. It drives me crazy -- JUST FINISH IT!!! I can't stand to see food going to waste, and I don't think "leftovers" is a dirty word. In fact, I usually make more so I can re-use some ingredient in a dish the next day. Good food is a good thing anytime! :)

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Dish looks yummy! I love how the pork bits glisten!

Anne said...

I totally agree with you about left-overs :)

We VERY MUCH LOVE roast pork belly and I'm sure my kids would love this stir fry as well.

andre said...

coincidence that Norman Whitfield, the co-writer of "War" just passed away.

sorry for the sobering comment. i love pork.

Manggy said...

Gosh, pork belly is one of my favorite cuts since I was a kid (not TOO long ago, hah). Even if I cut out the laminations of fat running through it. Your stir-fry looks delicious! :) Inihaw is best over charcoal (the better to get those black specks of not-very-healthy hydrocarbons all over it), and with a marinade of vinegar, garlic, and black pepper :) Or even kalamansi.

Actually, I can handle eating leftovers at home or out of the freezer-- it's just the giant portions in restaurants that I think need adjusting. Dishes can stand to be cheaper too! I don't want to be forced to stuff myself!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Rosa! Thanks! I love pork too ;)

Hi Erin! Truly poetry! :) I have a similar friend! Oh my...I can just imagine just how lovely a shepherd’s pie leftover coq au vin would make!

Hi Irene! Really? I know many people who do that here! Because everyone is somehow embarrassed to take the last piece or risk looking to piggy/ravenous/whatever...weird. I’ll take it! Hahaha! :)

Hi JS! Glistening pork...such star quality don’t you think? ;)

Hi Anne! Roast pork belly is so perfect! So easy to prep...will taste so good for so little effort :)

Hi Andre! So sad to hear that! I really do enjoy that song...puts its meaning perfectly in a way you can dance to...

Hi Manggy! Haha! When you were a kid? ;) I agree about the charcoal...unfortunately I live in a flat so none of that for us :( Restaurant portions...hooo my! That is a whole other ball game all together! Wild.

Franco said...

Love, love Pork. Most especially the belly. Although I'm learning that there is much flavor potential in less loved pig parts like the cheeks or feet.

Oddly, I love leftovers as well. I see leftovers as a challenge. To try other recipes and place my own spin of them as I try to incorporate a week's worth of leftover food. :)

Lori said...

I definitely agree about the leftovers and the insight that food is a gift.

I really dislike the advice we always hear in the States to leave food on your plate for weight loss. It is so wasteful!

First restaurants need to make portions smaller, but as consumers we can order less or at least take half of it home for later. Don't just leave 3 bites there to go to waste because you need to lose a pound. Stop while it is still an edible portion for later. :)

Tartelette said...

I come from a family of leftover savvy ladies so I totally agree with you! My parents in law don't eat leftovers and waste away so much food! I tried to show my MIL ways to re-use them but that went ito deaf ears. Such a shame, it drives me nuts!! At restaurants, we are just content with appetizers which are more often more crative than the entrees lately.
Love thsi stir fry..pancetta with this would be great for sure.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

In general I'm not attracted to pork belly. But your pic is making me reconsider.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

There are sometimes when I even make a little extra to ensure leftovers. For a dish like this, I'd want to have left overs. This is terrific Joey.

Helen said...

I couldn't agree more, we waste far too much food. I never throw anything away any more. I always find a way to use it up! Pork belly must be one of the finest foods that can ever grace the table - I am actually salivating right now at the thought of the soft meat and crispy fat!

Sara said...

This looks great, but you can't go wrong with pork belly!

Lee said...

see ya at the lechon eyeball!!!


ChichaJo said...

Hi Franco! I don’t think pig’s cheeks are less loved at all! I love tender and succulent when done right :) You are right to explore these parts :) I agree that the challenge of spiffing up leftovers are part of the fun!

Hi Lori! I agree with everything you’ve put it so well! Yes, either stop with an edible portion still on the plate (for later) or eat everything already! Yes, food is really a lovely gift we must never take for granted :)

Hi Helene! Oooh! Must try it with pancetta too :) My mom had great ways of recycling leftovers too and I always had them growing it was really a surprise when I met people who literally would not touch leftovers...even if the leftovers were of their favourite foods! Oh well...

Hi Susan! I have to be honest and say that although very yummy, pork belly is not the healthiest thing on earth so I wouldn’t want to lure you to the dark side....but oh-my-goodness it is good! ;)

Hi Tanna! I know what you mean...there are certain dishes that I want to have leftovers of! :)

Hi Helen! Another pork belly fan...yay :) My husband always pokes fun at the stuff I save...even a bit or leftover sauce which I’ll use in a veggie sauté or fried rice dish for flavour :)

Hi Sara! I second that! :)

Hi Lee! See you then! As you can imagine, I am really looking forward to it :) We definitely will! I’m not such a good outdoors and action shot photographer though so you’ll have to give me some tips...

Marketman said...

Joey, OMG, that looks fantastic! And yes to all the efforts to recycle or re-invent leftovers... it's not only economical, it forces one to think several meals at a time!

ChichaJo said...

Hi MM! Thanks for all the ideas :) I agree...and some of those leftover meals eventually become staples because they're so delicious!

maggie said...

This looks SO tasty. I've never cooked with pork belly but now I'm tempted. There used to be a column in Gourmet magazine called "Gastronomie Sans Argent" and my mom always made a two-part recipe from it, a pork loin you at the first day and stir fried the second day...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Maggie! Pork belly is great...yes, not the best diet food in the book but very tasty :) The layers of fat keep the meat moist when roasting or grilling. I love dishes that transform into "part-two's" :)