Portion and Cost Control Strategy: Pork Shoulder

Do you often set out at the beginning of the week having the best intentions to eat portion controlled, home-cooked dinners all week, only to come home exhausted one week and reach for the take-out or frozen food? The typical advice for this behavior is is to pre-portion chicken breasts for the week. But let’s get real.. How many of us want to spend our Sunday evenings pre-packing tupperwares, and, more importantly, who can eat chicken breast every day?!

I use a number of strategies to keep the fridge stocked for these types of situations. One food that I absolutely love is the pork shoulder. Pork shoulders are fairly inexpensive cuts of meat, cook up with little fuss, store well in the fridge all week, and reheat quickly. Pork is a fairly lean meat, a 3 oz. serving of cooked pork shoulder has 229 calories and 20 grams of protein. Shredding pork shoulder makes it super easy to portion, either in a measuring cup or using a kitchen scale. You can have it with rice, veggies, salad, potatoes, pasta, in a wrap, there are so many options!


Here’s how you prepare a delicious pork shoulder:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pork, skin side up (be sure to cook skin side up!), in a Dutch Oven. Salt and pepper all sides of the pork. Add up to 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, enough to cover the bottom of the pot with a few cm of liquid. You can add diced apples or onions to the pot at this stage, depending on your personal preference. Put the lid on the pot and place it in the oven. Allow to cook for 3-3.5 hours. Remove the pot from the oven. Carefully remove the skin and fat layer and dispose. Using two forks, shred the pork into small pieces, being careful to remove any remaining fat.


And voila! You have delicious, lean meat that you can enjoy all week long in a  variety of dishes. Reheat the shredded pork in a saucepan. You can add seasoning when reheating to suit whatever dish you are preparing. I particularly enjoy Hoisin, BBQ sauce or taco seasoning. Just remember to always measure out the portions, and factor in the calories of any sauces added.

Love the look of those lettuce wraps above? Get the recipe here!


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