When you are cooking for one, or two, it is important to have a few recipes for a single main ingredient in mind. Otherwise you are looking at endless left overs.

In this case, my main ingredient was pork shoulder.

You don’t often see ‘pork stewing’ meat, and even if it was readily available, I don’t think that I would buy it. I would far rather buy the three pound pork shoulder. This seems to be the ‘standard’ package size. Since this is far too much for a meal for two,  you have to have something in mind when your are buying this quantity.

This is what I did recently with this cut of meat.

I originally bought the pork shoulder as I wanted to make Hungarian pork stew (or Porkolt). My go to comfort food always winds up being Hungarian and it was one of those cravings. Anyway, this is a recipe that uses the Hungarian sofrito of onions, peppers, tomatoes and paprika, which are the traditional ingredients in many Hungarian recipes. The stew was great and my cravings satisfied, but I had easily half of the pork shoulder left. This went to the freezer.

So now, a couple of weeks later, I’m casting about for something different to cook, and I remembered the frozen pork shoulder.

I decided on carnitas. Talk about a total departure from Hungarian to Mexican with very different flavor profiles. I used the traditional Mexican sofrito as a base, and of course, included the spices and herbs that give authentic Mexican food the flavors we all recognize.

I chose to call the carnitas “American Carnitas” in deference to its presentation on a burger bun, rather than the traditional flour tortilla. The tortilla of course, is the way to serve this Mexican dish, but we just find the bun is that much easier to navigate.

I can think of several other preparations from this left over pork shoulder. If minced in a food processor, it could easily be turned into Homemade Grilling Sausages, French Canadian Meat Pie or Tourtiere du Quebec, or, combined with a little minced beef, could become the French Meat Loaf recipe.

There are many more, but this is what I cooked with a three pound shoulder of pork, this time.

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