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Ground Pork - what to do?

Using up my freezer's contents as we're moving soon...

I have about 1-1.5 lbs of ground pork and I don't know what to make with it for dinner tonight.

We're not really fans of meatloaf, so turning that meat into meatloaf is not an option.

I thought about making grilled vietnamese pork balls, but can't find a recipe that looks great (hence my request here).

We also have tons of applesauce, so I would consider going away from the vietnamese balls if that helps.

Thanks a lot in advance!


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  1. PC, how about a chili verde? This is a good one from epi, we've had it twice...tho' if it's 100 degrees where you are, you may not like this option...I also have seen pork pie recipes out there that are usually served with applesauce...do you have any pie dough on hand or in the freezer?


    2 Replies
    1. re: Val

      This looks good, Val! (today is actually a little cool) What could I replace hominy with?

      1. re: pâté chinois

        White corn...or yellow corn, I believe, make passable subs for hominy.

    2. Apple sauce with a ground pork dish...hmmmm.
      Apple sauce aside, I'm thinking Italian sausage - you can season with salt/pepper/fennel/cayenne, mix well. You can form into patties and grill, you can form into meat balls (or cylindrical 'sausages') and cook in tomato sauce, or bake as an italian meatloaf (OK, you're not a fan, but its more of an italian thing rather than meatloaf...).
      I also like to make chinese 'lobster sauce' - fry up with garlic/chinese dry black beans/oyster sauce. Add broth (or water), bring to boil, thicken with a starch slurry and stir in a few scrambled eggs. Good with shrimp.
      You could make a 'meat pie' - simmer meat in water, add cubed potatoes, simmer longer to break down potatoes, add S&P, fill pie crust add top crust and bake until crust is cooked.
      You could make a stuffed cabbage (I made this a few weks ago, nice). Season meat as desired (Italian above comes to mind), blanch cabbage leaves. Place cheese cloth on work surface, lay cabbage leaf, add some meat mixture, layer another leaf, repeat. Pull up corners of cheese clothand twist, turning the cabbage/meat layers into a ball. Simmer in a tomato sauce of your choice. Slice like cake.
      Or stuffed peppers,
      Or a pork pate chinois!

      1. how about pork pot stickers, chinese-style? you'll need to either make dough for doughy dumplings, or get your hands on some wonton wrappers for lighter ones.
        plus, thinly sliced green onion, chopped chinese cabbage optional, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic and ginger, minced shrimp optional, white pepper optional (black pepper turns out ok, even though its completely different), finely chopped cilantro optional, soy sauce and oyster sauce. you can thicken with cornstarch if desired.
        a simple but tasty dipping sauce:
        soy and oyster sauce, blended with garlic and ginger, chili paste, simple syrup or sugar, and chinese black vinegar (i've substituted rice wine vinegar, and it wasn't bad).

        4 Replies
          1. re: vvvindaloo

            Definitely, ground pork or sausage always joins beef in my lasagna

            1. re: Firegoat

              Ground pork, alone or with other meat, for my (Italian) meatballs.

          2. re: vvvindaloo

            Completely agree. Great idea. I was going to say the same. Ming Tsai hasa wonderful recipe out on foodtv.com

          3. I second the dumpliing idea... or ma po tofu... or stir fry pork w/ green beans.... or turn it in to breakfast sausage...


            6 Replies
            1. re: withalonge

              We make pork pies with ground pork, (sometimes un-cased sausage) they are so tasty!
              One box hot roll mix, (prepared as directed on box and cut in two pieces)
              Ground pork or sausage
              Grated Parm...good amount
              Lots of black pepper.

              Roll dough into a rectangle, about 13 inches
              Sprinkle with ground pork
              Cover with grated cheese
              Sprinkle with black pepper
              Roll into log, bruch with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake in 375 degree oven for aprox 40 minutes.
              Slice and serve...really good in the morning too, with a cup of coffee...yum

              1. re: bubbles4me

                what is hot roll mix? is it like a parkerhouse roll?

                sounds yummy... guess you could tart this up with any kind of add ons... onions, diff cheeses, etc.?

                1. re: withalonge

                  It is a Pillsbury product....we have played with it before but I gotta tell ya, the classic is best.

                  1. re: bubbles4me

                    ah, should have googled it


                    I assume it is kind of a add eggs/oil/butter... etc. kind of a thing? do they sell it next to the other baking mixes, I assume? will have to try it. I'll definitely have to try it the classic way first.. they mess with it.

                    1. re: withalonge

                      You know, that mix can be hard to find ouside of the holiday season...not impossible but hard. It is sold with the other baking mixes but in a pinch frozen dough can work too. We nade them Sunday for a football party....gone in less than 30 minutes, (there were 6 people...two pies gone in 30 minutes).

                2. re: bubbles4me

                  Your pork pie sounds great, but I prefer the more traditional route with a savory, sage-pork filling, buttery pie crust and a velvety pork jelly to finish the whole thing off.

              2. Try my Mexican style chorizo recipe http://www.chow.com/recipes/11809
                cook a few potatoes and stuff a few tortillas!

                Search for simple larb/laap recipes. Basically meat, shallots, toasted/ground rice, mint, cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Very refreshing!

                1. Lettuce wraps? Won't use up any of the apple sauce and/or all the pork at one sitting tho.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sarah

                    Pork and apples are good together, but combining ground pork and applesauce is flabbering my gaster.
                    Applesauce is good for cooking rotkohl in, but that requires a red cabbage.
                    Leftover red cabbage is easy to use up in curtido (Salvadoran cole slaw) which is also good on hot dogs/sausages and keeps very well.
                    Talk about a vicious cycle :-).

                    1. re: DiveFan

                      "Flabber my Gaster"

                      Gotta use that one! :/)

                  2. http://www.relishmag.com/recipes/view...

                    Very good recipe - also try the same recipe as meatballs topped w/ the sauce and wrapped w/ bibb lettuce leaves

                    1. I am away from home & do not have my recipe with me for Vietnames pork meatballs. It was cooking light recipe a few years back. What I remember is maybe 2/3 or 3/4 ground pork to 1/3 or 3/4 ground sirloin (don't remember exact). 1 piece of bacon & chopped shallots in the food processor....cannot remember if anything else is in the patty mix...then saute or grill and put over rice or rice noodles with a little fish sauce concoction...

                      1. I have been making wontons. Some get served in soup, some are eaten after a quick sautee. Best use of my CSA ground pork I have found. If you want ingredient lists, let me know.

                        1. I make sort of cheaters version of pork buns, instead of pork char siu, I use ground pork. Make it the same way I would use the char sui, only make mini version pork buns. These make a great meal with lettuce wraps or egg rolls and yes they can be frozen. Here they are, try not to laugh at my dental impressions!!


                          1. Probably too late for dinner but how about Nam Sod Moo?
                            Very tasty!! Google for recipes...

                            5 Replies
                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                It's a Thai kind of Salad. I think the ground pork is boiled (but you could also sautee it), then tossed with Lime Juice, Fish Sauce, Slivered Red Onions, lots of Ginger, Chillies and Peanuts and serve it over a bed of Iceberg Lettuce.
                                It's very nie, light and refreshing! Great for a Hot day!!

                                1. re: chefschickie

                                  ok, this sounds like what I call Thai lettuce wraps. Actually copied a Thai restaurant that makes them here in my town, that we always order. I like to use ground turkey, there is so much flavor, with ginger, garlic, serrano chili, scallions, lime juice, mint, and cilantro,fithen fish sauce, soy sauce... they are just the bomb! And you are correct with being perfect summer days.
                                  CC,Sorry missed your post and just saw it.

                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                    never thought of eating them as wraps! haha, I always just cut it up, haha! will try it as a wrap next time!

                              2. re: chefschickie

                                Mmmm, great suggestion. I was thinking along similar lines: Thai lettuce wraps.

                              3. Thanks to all of you for your yummy suggestions! :-)
                                I ended up making "flat rectangular sausages" with sage and garlic. I broiled them and they were yummy!
                                I served them with onions braised in a tomato/honey/butter sauce and blanched haricots verts. Very good indeed!
                                I very rarely have ground pork at home, so I was at a loss as to what to make with it. Your ideas made my creative juices flow!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: pâté chinois

                                  Next time you might try a szechuan ground pork and noodles recipe, it's easy and very tasty!

                                  1. re: MsDiPesto

                                    How do you make yours? I've been meaning to try to get off the Lee Kum Kee ma po sauce which tastes like pure salt to me.

                                2. 1) The pork pie suggestion sound like the French-Canadian "tourtiere"---qv for seasoning ideas. 2) I would also think of pot-stickers. My recipe uses either ground pork or ground shrimp.

                                  1. don't laugh, some of us are hella poor and ground pork often being cheaper than other ground flesh lends itself well to the rejected hamburger helpers at the rejected grocery store

                                    1. Next time you find yourself in this situation make ma po tofu - it's wonderful with ground pork.