Pork Loin Braised with Bay Leaves; how much meat?

Last week I wrote about counting  calories.

Very good idea.

But unless you’re buying prepared food that lists the calories (and contains enough salt to float a ship) how do you know how many calories are in stuff?

Well, you can look everything up in a book or online…. And this is a good site for that. (I used it lots when mon mari became diabetic – not for the calorie count but for the carbs.)

You can also take the global view and just look at portion size.  And this is a good site for that. I especially like the ‘potato the size of your computer mouse’ and a ‘pancake the size of a compact disc’.

The one that always brings me up short, though, is a serving of meat being ‘the size of a deck of cards’.

That bit of wisdom always caused me to just shut my mind off and quit listening / reading whatever.

A piece of meat the size of a deck of cards is about 2.5oz (75gr).

It’s not worth firing up the grill to cook a 2.5oz steak.

I finally realized that was just the serving size…. And one could have 2 or 3 servings per day.

To put that into practical terms:

If you have meat at every meal the ‘deck of cards’ size is your goal.

If, like me, you only have meat for dinner, you can feel darn superior tucking into that 7oz (200gr) steak – since you’re safely under the 7.5oz daily limit.

I started looking into this when I got the last issue of Cooking Light and noticed that often their portion sizes of whatever meat or fish was 4oz.

So…. that’s too much if you have 4oz at two meals and not enough if you only have it at one.

Personally, when I eat meat I want more than 4oz…. but I’m pretty happy with 6oz.

No surprise, then, that my recipes, which serve two, normally call for 12oz of meat or fish.  If the dish is particularly high in vegetables – like Stuffed Zucchini or Oriental Peppers or some stir-fries it will be less – maybe 6oz or 8oz or 10oz.

Let me give you a bit of info – and you decide for yourself how much is right for you.

The values are for 12oz (350gr) of the meat, raw.

Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, (about 2)    399 calories

Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless,   (about 4)    416 calories

Turkey breast                                                    402 calories

Ground beef, 15% fat                                         752 calories

Ground beef, 5% fat                                           480 calories

Beef flank steak, trimmed of all fat                    578 calories

Pork chop, loin, boneless, lean only                     448 calories

Salmon, Atlantic, farmed                                    728 calories

Shrimp, mixed species                                       328 calories

Kind of all over the place, aren’t they…. Any surprises?

Now here’s a lovely braised pork loin – and it makes enough for two meals…. or four servings.

Pork Loin Braised with Bay Leaves

Braised Pork with Laurel (Bay)

1 pork loin roast, 24oz (750gr)
1 onion, sliced
12 bay (laurel) leaves
1 cup of white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tsp juniper berries
1 tbs olive oil

In heavy pot or oven with tight-fitting lid, brown pork in olive oil. After turning pork, add sliced onions to brown as well. Add remaining ingredients, turn heat to low, cover and braise for 1 1/2 hours. Remove pork and keep warm. Strain juices, then return to pan. Reduce pan juices over high heat until slightly thickened and syrupy. Slice pork, pour pan juices over and serve.

Maybe a nice Chunky Pork Hash with the leftovers?

Or, in our case, we slice the rest for mon mari’s lunchtime sandwiches.  We don’t buy ‘sandwich meat’.

7 thoughts on “Pork Loin Braised with Bay Leaves; how much meat?”

  1. We are in that odd position in which the docs have told Charles to eat *more* meat. Interesting to see how they compare caloricly!

  2. Meat each day? Way to much! Regardless, I’m zeroing in on your pork roast….looks succulent and since I don’t eat meat each day – a double portion for me.

  3. I strongly agree with two of your posters above. Farmed salmon, never. As further impetus(for those in the US) not to buy farmed salmon, the new frankenfish salmon, AquAdvantage, is NOT going to be required to be marked as genetically modified by the FDA.
    And meat every day? We try get the majority of our protein from beans, lentils, pulses and other vegetative sources like seitan or tofu, plus fish.
    Sheesh! still overwhelmed with summer squash and tomatoes. Freezer is full so I’ve gotten out the dehydrator. 🙂

  4. Zoomie, I normally buy wild as well… I was just trying to give more common examples
    Natashaya, V too, protein and fat. He gets to eat lots of fat – the good kind, but still… I buy lots and lots of avocados
    Peter, I should have been more specific…. saying ‘meat or fish’ rather than ‘meat’ every day. My usual shorthand typing that is perfectly clear to me, LOL
    brassfrog, I would be happy eating more beans and lentils in place of the meat (or fish – see above comment) but V has to get lots of protein and watch the carbs…. And eating a lot of legumes isn’t good for him… Plus he has to watch his weight…. If I’m not careful he starts to lose and he really needs to gain! He normally has meat twice a day, me once (he makes his own lunch ;-))

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