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The other white meat

I have noticed that boneless pork has been on sale here locally for several weeks. Some cuts are even less than $2 a pound. Today's pork is much leaner that the pork of yesteryear. It is one of my favorite meats.

I had a pork tenderloin in the freezer I needed to use up. I sliced half of it and cooked the medallions in a skillet with garlic powder, pepper, and a little soy sauce for supper one evening. I used the other half to make some chop suey. Here's the recipe:

picture of Chop Suey

Pork Chop Suey

1 Tbsp. oil
1/2 - 1 lb. cubed boneless pork (pork loin, pork steak, country style ribs, or pork chops)
1/2 onion, diced in large (about 1/2") dice
1-2 stalks celery, sliced
1/4 c. red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsps. finely chopped or shredded carrot (I used my julienne peeler)
1 cup bean sprouts
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
garlic powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Heat a large skillet. Add the oil and let heat. Add the cubed pork in a single layer and cook until nicely browned. Add the onion, celery, and red pepper and cook until slightly browned and wilted. Add the water, cover, and simmer 5-10 mins. or until meat is thoroughly cooked and the vegetables are cooked as tender as you like them. Season with garlic powder and pepper. Dissolve the cornstarch in the soy sauce and add to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and then let boil for about a minute. Add the bean sprouts, carrot, and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes more. Serve with rice.

Sauté the pork:

picture of Pork Cubes

Add the vegetables:

picture of Pork Celery Onions

Thicken the sauce:

picture of Thickened Chop Suey

If you are really in a hurry and don't have all these vegetables on hand you can just cook the pork (and onions and celery if you have them) and then add a can of drained oriental vegetables. You can also substitute other vegetables such as baby corn, bamboo shoots, more mushrooms, water chestnuts, etc. About 2 cups of vegetables would be a good amount to aim for.

picture of Canned Suey Vegetables

Chop suey was one of the first meals I ever cooked as a teenager. I used a recipe from an old edition of Better Homes and Gardens called Speedy Chop Suey. It was a speedy recipe because you were supposed to make it in a pressure cooker. We did not have a pressure cooker, so I had to simmer it a bit longer, but it was still pretty good.

When I taught high school home economics we could borrow educational films through the county library system to show in our classes. I tried to preview them before class, but one week I ordered a film called "How to Buy Pork" to show to my class and it arrived late and I was unable to preview it. When I showed it to my class I was dismayed to find that it was a film about how to purchase hogs! It was an old black and white film showing farmers examining the pigs at a market. Fortunately I have never had to buy that kind of pork. 🙂


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7 Comments on “The other white meat”

  1. #1 Deb
    on Mar 13th, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Hi Becka ~ this recipe looks like something I would love, but I’m sure I would never have a chance to prepare it as my husband isn’t a pork eater. I’ve probably bought pork chops only once or twice in our 30 years of marriage! But I look at recipes like yours and drool!

  2. #2 Marilyn
    on Mar 14th, 2010 at 6:36 am

    That looks so delicious and easy! I’m going to have to try it. How many servings is the recipe is design for?

    Regarding the old film on how to buy pork – I think it would be a hoot to see it! I wonder what your class thought of it?

  3. #3 Becka
    on Mar 14th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Marilyn, I would say this would serve 4-5 people, depending on appetites and what else you are serving with it.

    As I recall my little foods class thought the film was hilarious. The farmer in the film had a black hat on and he held a pointer-like stick that he used to prod (not in a mean way) the pigs to inspect them. I did later learn that certain shaped animals are desirable when you are buying livestock. 🙂

  4. #4 Becka
    on Mar 14th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Deb, you can make chop suey using chicken or turkey. I often make it with leftover turkey.
    My dad didn’t care for chop suey so I think that’s why I stated making it when I was a teenager when he was working afternoons and wasn’t home for supper during most of the week. Back in those days you could actually buy a package of cubed pork at Kroger’s called “Chop Suey Meat.”

  5. #5 b.j.
    on Mar 15th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I will have to try this recipe! We have so much pork in our freezer from raising our own pigs. I am so tired of trying to come up with different recipes for pork! (though thankful for the healthy, inexpensive food) This is great timing! my husband will love it, though I am not as much a fan of these types of veggies. I will eat it though!

  6. #6 Ann
    on Mar 17th, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I made a pork loin last Sunday for guests – with onions, garlic, and mushrooms, broth poured around it – and fig preserves on the top. It was unusual but quite good!

  7. #7 Carrie
    on Mar 18th, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Your chop suey looks good, but my favorite part was about the pork-buying film. Hee hee!

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