Enjoy your pastured pork and impress your guests with these three easy options for entertaining a crowd.
Every holiday we spend a lot of time and energy on our big meal. We load up on turkey and ham, plan our sides and ask friends and family to bring dessert. We fill up the table and then we fill up our bellies!
When we have college students home and out of town family visiting, however, feeding extra mouths isn’t always a one day affair. Here are three meal suggestions that can be used to stretch your meat into filling meals that are easy to prepare, serve, and clean up.
Cooking a larger roast (or several) to use as sandwich meat is an easy way to feed many mouths, while using less meat per person. Simply add salt, water, and chopped onion and cook in the slow cooker or pressure cooker all day. The longer it cooks the easier it will be to shred. Before serving simply shred the meat with two forks. Add sauces and other toppings on the side for a build your own sandwich bar. You can get fancy with sauces, but our family likes to keep the meat plain to accomodate various food allergies and preferences. Keeping the meat separate from the bread allows us to easily accomodate those who are unable to have gluten without preparing a different main dish. Just check with your guests for allergy cross contamination issues. As for sides, keep them simple. Our go-to is oven roasted root veggies, but a family size bag of chips works too. As for bread, you can go fancy or simple depending on your time, tastes, and budget.
Prepare with pork roasts, pork hocks (smoked or unsmoked), or even a whole chicken. Leftovers can be used for sandwiches again or transformed into a stir fry, casserole, tacos, or soup. In fact, be sure to save the drippings from your cooking pot to use as the base for another crowd sized favorite- soup!
Soups & Stews
In the midst of big meals and extra desserts, soup provides a soothing break to an overwhelmed stomach. In our house, every soup starts with drippings from meat cooked a day or two before. I strain it into a mason jar and tuck it in the fridge to use for simmering veggies, soup bases, gravy and more. It is not unusual to have two or three different jars available as a starting point.
A quick search will yield more opinions on soup recipes than one person could ever exhaust. We use recipes as inspiration and leave the final result to the soup pot. The best soups simmer all day and are no fancier than stock, bits of leftover meat, and a variety of vegetables. Need more quantity? Simply add more veggies, seasoning, and water or stock. This can even be done last minute for unexpected crowds. Serve with fresh bread and homemade butter & jam for another easy meal for a big group.
"Only the pure in heart can make a good soup." – Ludwig von Beethoven
Serving a crowd and want to avoid going through several pounds of bacon or sausage? Try cooking your breakfast meat and stretching it into an egg bake, breakfast burritos, or hash.
The favorite at our house is sautéed sweet potato, onion, pepper and bacon topped with an over easy egg (or two or three). That broken yolk drips down to make a hearty breakfast that combats sugar overwhelm from the day before and wakes the brain right up. Have you made eggs in your slow cooker yet? If you are serving breakfast to a group, toss in frozen potatoes, cheese, meat, cover with eggs and set to cook while you sleep. In the morning the early birds will have a warm breakfast ready and waiting and the cook can sleep in! This is one of our go-to year round meals for processing days on the farm. Exact timing and temperature vary by device- I do recommend testing the crock pot method once on your own before planning it for a crowd.
Out of Pastured Pork? Don’t worry! We can help!
Out of pastured pork? Don’t worry, we are filling orders right up until Christmas Day and the week between Christmas and New Years. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you need. We will check availability, pull your order, send you an exact invoice and arrange a time for pick up. Or you might get lucky and we will be traveling in your area and able to deliver! Pork also makes a great gift! Check with us for the details!