Three tips to make daily cooking faster and easier

casaveneracion.com Vietnamese pork and chayote stir fry

Much as I love cooking, my level of enthusiasm to putter in the kitchen varies from day to day. There are days when I am so obsessed that I will spend hours preparing a meal. But there are also days when I’d rather slap something between two slices of bread and consider the result a full meal. Call it biorhythm, call it hormones, call it whatever you like. The thing is, whatever my level of enthusiasm, however low my level of enthusiasm, I want to eat delicious food. So, I’ve developed a system.

There are three things that I keep a supply of and they really shorten the time for preparing every meal. And I’m not talking about store bought items full of additives and unpronounceable chemicals. I’m talking about meat, broth, and a variety of sauces and dressings that I prepare myself.

Cooking meat in bulk

When we buy meat — pork and beef, in particular — I prefer that the meat is uncut. Meaning, a whole slab that weighs anywhere from a kilo and a half to three kilos. I pressure-cook the meat whole with all the herbs and spices that I feel like adding then I cool the meat and chill it. After chilling, the fat turns firm and cutting the meat is easier. I divide the meat into portions, then cut each portion into the size and shape appropriate for the dish I intend to cook the meat with.

I place the cut meat into freezer containers and off into the freezer they go. I just take out a container to thaw the meat an hour or two before cooking and I save on the time it needs for the meat to cook because it is already cooked.

The pork and chayote dish in the photo above was cooked in ten minutes flat. I’ll post the recipe separately.

On page two, the second tip.