Volume Eating Meal Prep: Slow cooker Kalua (ish) pork, cabbage and rice/veg meals £1.23 per portion

I'll be the first one to admit this one isn't particularly authentic (I couldn't even find taro! Would have loved some poi) but it is delicious and I personally found that I wanted much more cabbage than meat or rice making it a pretty low calorie one as well.

Ingredients

Pork:

Cabbage (don't have to do any cabbage prep til pork is already in the slow cooker):

  • 1 head cabbage, chopped. I used 1kg of frozen sliced green cabbage 
  • 1 tablespoon butter  
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Rice: 

Your choice, I did 2 cups of glutinous rice: 2.5 cups water and some frozen stir fry mixed vegetables in the rice cooker all together. 

Instructions

Pork: Line the slow cooker with the bacon, if using garlic, use a knife to poke slits into the pork and put a clove into each, I distributed them evenly. 

Rub the pork with salt (and smoked paprika if you don't have liquid smoke). Place the pork in the slow cooker on top of the bacon, skin side up, pour liquid smoke over the top if using. I added 300g of fresh pineapple on top, no massively noticeable flavour difference for me. 

Lid on and cook on high for 6 hours, then low for 3 hours. You can also cook on low for 12 hours ish but I found my results just as tender with high for the first part. Do not open the lid to check it! Every time you open the lid you're letting the heat out and it has to come back up to temperature. 

After 9 hours you can open and give it a poke, once it is at desired tenderness (I aim for fork shreddable) take the meat out of the slow cooker and shred with two forks. I added and shredded the bacon together with the rest. Taste and adjust with the cooking liquid from the pot/seasoning, I put it all into a tupperware box and then added around one ladle of liquid. 

Cabbage - I prefer to cook this using the leftover liquid from the pork, so you would start it after the pork is done and out of the slow cooker: Melt butter in a large skillet, I used non-stick. Stir in the cabbage, then pour over the remaining liquid from the pork and cook for 10-15 mins until tender, stirring occasionally. 

Can start the rice just before or after the cabbage, I used a rice cooker but just any plain rice works here.


Tips

If you have a different weight of pork, you can use 3/4 teaspoon of coarse salt for each 1lb of meat.

Both frozen sliced green cabbage and fresh chopped white cabbage worked really well for my tastes. Also goes really well the the veg from the stir fry mix and mangetout.

The fresh pineapple didn't make a massive flavour difference but did mean more cooking liquid for the cabbage.

If you can't wait for an order of the coarse Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt, you can substitute 1 tablespoon pink himalayan salt/hawaiian sea salt/Alaea Red Hawaiian Fine sea salt. 

Depending which type of liquid smoke you have, you may need to adjust the amount - if it is the super concentrated type without other ingredients, I would reduce by 1/2. 

I ate this in ratios of about 4 cabbage:2 pork:1 rice, the picture at the top I ended up having to get a lot more cabbage - it was just too good!

These meals microwaved really well for me, I ended up having one tupperware for pork, one for rice, one for cabbage and then I'd space out and microwave the rice with some added water for 2 minutes before adding the rest. I did have some boxes where I microwaved all together and it was fine enough.

You can add BBQ sauce etc. afterwards to some if it for cheaty pulled pork for a 2 in 1 😉

Cost: £1.23-£2 per portion

Pork:

1 pack smoked bacon (I used streaky) ~300g or 10-11oz £1.25, £4.17/kg

2.3kg/5lb pork shoulder or pork butt, bone in or out £9.2, £4/kg (I got boneless pork shoulder)

1-1.5 tablespoons Alaea Red Hawaiian Coarse Sea Salt (UK link) alternate link for US/non-UK Amazon or 1 tablespoon pink himalayan salt/hawaiian sea salt/Alaea Red Hawaiian Fine sea salt.  £0.45, £4 for a 200g pouch of Alaea Red sea salt. 

1 tablespoon liquid smoke or 1 teaspoon smoked paprika if you don't have liquid smoke £0.09 for smoked paprika £0.90 for 48g container

Half a bulb of garlic, peeled optional £0.13, £0.25 for a bulb

Cabbage (don't have to do any cabbage prep til pork is already in the slow cooker):

1 head cabbage, chopped. I used 1kg of frozen sliced green cabbage £0.99/kg

1 tablespoon butter  £0.10, £1.49 for a 250g block

Salt and pepper to taste

Rice: 

Your choice, I did 2 cups of glutinous rice: 2.5 cups water and some frozen stir fry mixed vegetables in the rice cooker all together. £0.20 - £2.34/kg for stir fry vegetable mix

~£12.34 total or £1.23 per meal for the amounts of ingredients used, or £19.48 for the total cost which is still <£2 per meal (as in the whole 200g bag of sea salt, a whole container of smoked paprika, a whole bag of stir fry vegetable mix, not including the entire bag of rice because I buy in 10kg bags). 

This amount of meat came out as 10 good size portions of pork, I really enjoyed the cabbage so I did cook more up but it is not very costly. 

Comments

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  2. Gourmet experts and cooks who know about planning food with pressure cookers are most likely a superior fit for these huge estimated cookers/canners. mini rice cooker

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