Stock Your Freezer

(And your pantry!) I must have been living under an internet rock, because I only just recently discovered the Civilized Cavemen’s cooking blog. If you like good eats, click on over there and check his stuff out – not only are the pictures gorgeous, the recipes are fabulous! I’ve been making my NC born and bred husband pretty happy lately with the crockpot pulled pork.

The best part? You can make the rub and the BBQ sauce in large quantities and store it in your pantry/freezer, giving you super easy go-to meals. All you need to grab is a pork shoulder. (Or, for my Halal and Kosher friends, try boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Can’t say I’ll be taste testing that combo anytime soon, though, because the pork is SO good).

I took advantage of the super gray and drizzly day and did a big cook up today. I started by making a batch of the spice rub for the crockpot pulled pork [note: you do NOT need the entire recipe for one roast. It is easily enough for 3 or more batches, depending on the size of your meat]; now it’s sitting in my pantry, ready for the next time I need a quick, delicious meal.

Then I made a batch of the “beasty BBQ” sauce. This is the second time I’ve made this sauce now. It’s very forgiving and is a great way to use the last few of your summer tomatoes, or any tomatoes you had to freeze to keep from spoiling (have used both). Both times I’ve made this, I took George’s advice and added a can of pineapple. It really mellows the tangy spiciness out. Next time, however, I think I’m going to make a double batch but only put one can of pineapple in to try to keep it a little more on the vinegary side. Taste test as you are cooking to see what you like!

Last, but certainly not least, I made a big batch of bolognese sauce. We’ll use some for a meal this week, but the rest is off to the freezer. I’ll pull it out for a quick weeknight meal of roasted spaghetti squash, bolognese, and salad. This recipe comes courtesy of The Pioneer Woman, and it is fantastic. Simple and filled with good stuff, I omit the milk to make it dairy-free (and yes, I keep the wine in there. It adds a great depth of flavor that you would really miss). The warm smells of basil, oregano, and garlic, simmering away in a beefy, tomato-y, wine broth kept me happy in spite of the drizzles. What’s even better is that this sauce is like a good chili recipe: it gets better with age.

What are your go to stock up recipes? I’d love to add more to my list!

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