Now that we are a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like for most people the initial flurry of home-cooking activity has subsided. But we still have to cook and eat, every day. One way to relieve some of the pressure of cooking so many meals at home is to embrace “batch” cooking, making things like big roasts, such as this slow-cooked pork shoulder, and then getting creative with the leftovers. Take this crispy pork hash as an example, which uses meat leftover from that roasted pork shoulder to produce a hearty crowd-pleaser that can be served any time of day, whether for a weekend breakfast or weeknight dinner.
Like cooking a pot of beans, a slow-roasted pork shoulder is a hands-off project that rewards you with a big flavor payoff. You can simply tear into the roast and pair it with a simple sauce like chimichurri or give it a full-feast treatment like this Thai-inspired roast pork spread. But you can also turn leftovers into easy offshoot recipes, similar to the way that a big batch of cooked white beans can be used in anything from a mapo-style stew to a tuna and white bean salad and a creamy white bean dip.
This crispy pork hash uses our preferred techniques for making great potato hash—par-cooking potatoes with vinegar to maximize internal tenderness and outer crispiness, as well as cooking all the components (potatoes, vegetables, and pork) separately so that they end up perfectly crisp rather than turning into a steamy, soggy mess. After charring asparagus and a serrano chili in a cast iron skillet, we crisp up leftover pulled roast pork shoulder in reserved rendered pork fat from the roast (hopefully you know not to throw out good pork fat, but if you did, you can use vegetable oil in its place). Once the pork takes on a carnitas-like crunch, we turn our attention to crisping the par-boiled potatoes before tossing them with ground coriander, chili powder, and cumin (this hash owes a great deal of inspiration to one of the all-time great taco filling combinations, chorizo and potato).
The vegetables and pork are added back to the skillet, and everything gets tossed together with any reserved drippings from the roast (once again proof of how much good flavor you can get out of one roast). Top the hash with scallions and cilantro, maybe a fried egg or two if you’re feeling the brunch vibe (it doesn’t need them though), and serve it up with warmed tortillas, fresh lime, and bright salsa verde. This hash is a leftover meal that is anything but a rehash.