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Five Things You Can Do With Leftovers From A Roast!

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July 31, 2014 / English / By
Nicola

By Simon Doggett (Flickr: Roast Lamb) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Who doesn't love a good roast?

Whether it's at Christmas, on a Sunday, or just for a midweek treat, there can be nothing better than tucking into a good old fashioned roast dinner. However, once the family is full to bursting, there's usually lots left over. There's never enough to make a whole second roast dinner, so what can you do with the leftovers?

These ideas are some of my favourites. It doesn't matter what meat you've roasted - they all still apply. Sometimes, you can make three or four meals out of just one roast, so this is a brilliant way to make your food (and your money) go a little further.

1. Meat

When you buy a whole bird or a large piece of meat for roasting, it's very difficult to buy accurate quantities for the amount your family eats. This means that it's highly likely that you'll end up with leftovers. Unless you've burnt it, meat that has been roasted is usually lovely and tender, juicy and flavoursome, so it's perfect for incorporating into other meals.

My favourite way of using leftover meat from a roast is to throw it into a macaroni cheese. Just make up a simple macaroni cheese as you normally would, and right at the end throw in some chunks of roast meat. Pop it under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top, and you're sorted! The great thing about this is that you can still have a hearty meal, with added flavour and substance, but with minimal effort as the meat has already been cooked.

Alternatively, if you have leftover roast pork, making up some BBQ pulled pork will give you a delicious meal that's right on trend. You can then use this in a variety of ways, including putting it in a bun, on a pizza, or even in the aforementioned macaroni cheese! Delicious.

2. Vegetables

You might not think that there's an awful lot you can do with leftover roast vegetables. I mean, who wants to have a piece of limp, reheated parsnip on their plate? Nobody. That's why you have to think a little further outside the box for this one!

In summer, a roast vegetable risotto is lovely as it's light and healthy - not to mention the fact that it tastes amazing. Simply make up a plain risotto using Arborio rice and vegetable stock; once the rice has cooked properly, add your leftover roast vegetables and warm it through for a few minutes. The mixed textures and rich flavours are like music to your taste buds.

If you're having a spell of slightly colder weather, leftover roast vegetables make the perfect base for a soup. I suggest combining them with tomatoes, onions and vegetable stock to create a wonderfully warming vegetarian roast vegetable soup, but they would work equally well if stirred into a creamy chicken soup, or something similar.

3. Potatoes

When you make mashed potatoes, you always have to cook them first, otherwise they just won't work. Instead of boiling potatoes for mashing, using roast potatoes works as well. It's the same idea (the potatoes are still cooked), it's just carried out in a different way.

This means that mashed potato is a great way to use up leftover roast potatoes. They will be slightly richer in flavour than normal mash, but that makes for a wonderful treat once in a while! The roast potato mash can then be used in just the same ways as you'd use normal mash; as a topping on pies, as a side dish, the list goes on...

4. Gravy

An obvious choice would be to reheat leftover gravy and pour it over another meal which you might cook, or to use it as the sauce for a stew or pie. However, I like to do something a little different with my leftover gravy.

This is a dish which is pulled straight out of the North of England - it's incredibly popular 'oop North' and you'd be hard pushed to find it elsewhere. I'm talking about chips and gravy! If you haven't tried it before, it might sound like a bit of an unusual combination at first, but trust me with this one.

Chips and gravy is exactly what it says on the tin: a portion of chips ('chips' in the English sense of the word - usually thick cut French fries), drizzled with gravy. The combination of the fried potato with thick, meaty gravy is just divine. It's common to have this as an accompaniment to battered fish, a battered sausage - a battered anything, to be quite honest - but if you're a glutton like me, you could polish off a whole portion of chips and gravy on its own. This is a bit indulgent, but it's delicious. Try it: you can thank me later.

5. Everything

We've spoken about most of the different components of a roast dinner, but what do you do if you have a little bit of everything? Similarly, what do you do if you have lots of leftovers but don't feel like turning each one into a different meal; if you want to use up all your leftovers at once?

One word: PIE. There's nothing simpler than throwing everything together into one big pot, especially when all the ingredients have already been cooked for you. All you have to do is mix chunks of your leftover meat with your roast vegetables, cover it in some leftover gravy and place it in an ovenproof dish. Mash up your leftover roast potatoes and use it as a topping for the pie, à la cottage pie. When you place it in a warm oven, you won't be doing so to cook the food, but rather to heat it through.

I love this idea as it's so quick and simple. It has all the flavours of a roast, but you'll get to enjoy them in an entirely new way!

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