I like having ready-to-go meat in my freezer at any given time. Sometimes the meat is raw, but it is faster to make a lot of meals if the meat is already cooked and just needs to be reheated.
I buy large packs of pork meat from Costco, typically boneless spareribs are the easiest to manage, but I have also done pork shoulder. As soon as I get the meat, I prep a large roasting pan with a thin coat of olive oil and season the bottom of the pan with salt and pepper (you can also use garlic powder, paprika, or seasoning salt). You want the seasoning to add flavor but be somewhat neutral so this meat can be used in a variety of ways in the future.
I rinse the meat and place it into the pan then add more seasoning on top. I cover the pan with foil and roast in a 350 degree oven until the meat is well-cooked, caramelized and able to be shredded by hand. This will take any where from 2-4 hours, depending on the size of the pieces.
These fattier cuts of pork meat will make a lot of juice so the meat will braise in it’s own juices. When you remove the foil to check the meat, watch out for the steam that escapes and could burn you. When the meat is ready, you can remove it from the oven to cool enough that you can shred it by hand.
I like to separate the meat into smaller chunks and remove any bits of fat or anything you wouldn’t want to see in your meal. You can choose to shred it more as you reheat it later so at this stage, I am ok with larger pieces. Once you have gone through all of the meat and broken it down and remove the excess fat, I like to use sandwich size zipper baggies to portion out the meat. You may choose to do larger packs but I find smaller packs more versatile and quicker to thaw. That way you can just use a small amount of meat to be a topper to nachos or something similar that does not require a full pound of meat.
I take handfuls of meat and fill each baggie loosely about 3/4 full. Then I squeeze all of the air out, compressing the meat down into the lower half of the bag and seal the bag. Each bag is typically about 1/2 full after compressing. This will take up less space and compressing the meat will make it less susceptible to freezer burn.
I roll all of these baggies up, label them as pork and put them in a larger container together to freeze for future use.
This meat can be use in a variety of ways: tacos, BBQ pulled pork, bahn mi sandwiches, nachos, quesadillas, enchilada filling, taquitos, chile verde, the list goes on and on.
You can thaw in the fridge overnight or using the cold water defrost method, however, I typically just pull out a packet from the freezer, remove the frozen pork meat and put it in a medium skillet with about 1/2 cup of water, cover with a lid and simmer on medium low heat. Once the water has evaporated the meat is usually thawed and you can break it apart in the skillet and add whatever additional seasoning you would like for this meal.
I love being prepared with ready to go meal preparations like this in my freezer at all times. I hope you will try it. Enjoy!