03 February 2012

Pork Loin Lasagna

So... I like food.  And I love making yummier foods out of simpler, especially leftover, foods.  And for the last month, we've been eating out of the freezer and pantry, which has increased creativity in some ways and limited it in others. 
To make greatest use of leftovers or pieces of frozen meat or bags of frozen veggies, often you also need to run to the store to buy a few supplementary ingredients.  And I've not been able to do that.  I blew my fifty dollar budget at the beginning of the month, so from January 10-31, I spent 7 dollars.
So, this week, I got to buy some food.  And I thought being able to grocery shop would make all the difference.
And then yesterday afternoon I ended up crafting supper from things I already had - didn't buy a one since January 10th - and we all really enjoyed it.

And I need to write it down, because the three Forsters who express such opinions have already asked that it be added to the rotation.
So, here we go.

Pork Loin /Caramelized Onion Lasagna Roll Ups

For the meat stuffs:

2-3 cups leftover balsamic pork loin, pulled into shredded goodness. (See here)
2 good sized yellow onions, sliced
3 T butter
3 T olive oil
1 cup good quality barbecue sauce (either homemade or a good brand name - I had half a jar of  Cherry Republic stuff, but I think it'd be good as long as it wasn't cloying Kraft stuff) 

For the sauce:
4 T butter
4 T flour
2 cups chicken broth (from bullion cubes for me)
2 cups milk (I used 2 percent)
1 cup ricotta (I had this in the fridge) 
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne (or more or less to taste)
2 tsps dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp italian seasoning blend

3-4 cups mozzarella
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles

Caramelize the onions in the butter and oil for about 20-25 minutes, add the shredded meat and bbq sauce, heat through. 

While the onion is cooking, make your sauce.  Make a roux with the butter and flour.  Blend in the broth, stir until it thickens.  Blend in the milk, stirring well.  (Using a whisk (coated if your pot is non stick) will make your life easier).  Add all spices and the ricotta.  Turn to low and let it simmer for a bit until all is melted, well blended, married, melded, all that jazz.

Now, grab a large pan (11 x 14 if you have one) or a 9 x 13 and a small loaf pan to supplement.

Put 12 raw noodles in the pan.  Pour boiling water over it to cover.  Let sit for 10 minutes or so until the noodles are pliable.  

Take 1/3 of the sauce and spread it on the bottom of your pan.  

Now, onto each noodle, place 1/12th of the meat mixture and 2 Tablespoons or so of Mozzarella cheese.  Spread it along each noodle.  Now, roll up the noodle.  Place seam side down in the sauce lined pan.
Continue with all 12 noodles.
Pour remaining sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover pan tightly with foil.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
Remove cover.  Bake 15 more minutes.

You could also add spinach to the pork/onion mixture to get some green veggies going in there.
You could also probably use shredded chicken rather than the pork - just make sure it's thinly shredded and flavorful.
I used whole wheat noodles because I had a package in the pantry.  We normally use white noodles, but these were so well received, I think I'll convert.  
You could also make a traditional lasagna, just layering meat/onions, then cheese, then sauce, then noodles.  You know how to make lasagna, people.

For lasagna, this is actually a very healthy option.  Pork Loin is better for you than ground beef; 2 percent milk and only 1 cup of ricotta makes the sauce not to heavy, and even with the full 4 cups of mozzarella, at 12 servings, that's only 1/3 of a cup per person, which isn't going to win any health awards, but, again, for lasagna, it's pretty darn good.

Anyway, it is yummy and was oohed and aahed by Eason, who is my hardest to happy.

Yay for creativity; yay for austerity; yay for cooking!  I feel like a new woman this morning! 


  1. It was delicious... I was about to email you for the recipe - so thank you for posting!

  2. I was looking for this exact thing. I haven't ever made it like this before ( with Pork Loin ) but I made two the other night and I have the whole second one ( 1/2 of an entire roasted loin) just sitting here looking at me wanting to be much more. LOL
    I was debating on whether or not to slice it thinly and use the slices to layer in the monster I am about to build or to pull the loin apart as you have suggested.
    I have more than one pack of the whole wheat lasagna though and my pan ( lid included) is large enough to make this 6 noodles wide and 6 noodles high. ( I did say Monster ) i was thinking. I have a nice pack of Italian style salami as well. seems celery might go well in there, vidalia onions, sliced Baby portabellas, green bell peppers and black olives.

    You gave me the go on the project I guess. LOl I am making my own recipe now it appears. I think that's what lasagna is all about though really. I am not a huge fan of ricotta, small cure cottage cheese is what i will be useing 32oz (I do the same thing with my manacotti) I just grated 2 pounds of mozzarella but this will be so big I think i might do up another pound for good measure. I like to use olive oil and garlic to sub for butter.

    this should be interesting. I noticed that these noodles "Rozoni healthy harvest" have a directions for uncooked assembly, I think i will just make it like that9 like a reg one in layers I mean, with the extra wet saucy type and cook it covered for a long time on lower heat till they are all cooked like i need them to be, then crank it up and take the lid off for around 10 or 15 minutes at the end to get the gnarly top i like.

    thanks for the inspirations. Yay for cooking! :O) im sure this will not be everything i am going to toss in there but it's a wicked start. I have two big fluffy loaves of whole wheat french bred to serve this up with as well. Looking like I need to invite some people over this eve, LOL.