This post was first published in 2016
It’s that time of year again for me, time to tackle the leftovers.
We spent Christmas Eve at our eldest daughters. She cooked, always nice to be cooked for! I played silly games with my granddaughter, sang silly carols with alternative words, had a Christmas quiz, we exchanged gifts and generally had a good time, talking and laughing.
Christmas Day I entertained. Lots of prep, lots of food and staggering amounts of washing up. More Christmas Quiz, the crackers had wind up Santas in them and we had fun with those, lots of talking and laughter.
Boxing Day we were at our youngest daughters. More being cooked for, excellent! Yet another Christmas Quiz, and more fun with the windup Santas. Got to see my grownup grandchildren and great grandson and what a little whirlwind he is! The drive home was very cold, ranging from -0.5 to 2 degrees, so it was taken at an extremely sedate pace! I don’t do slippery!
Today, we have been a bit of a walk around the local streets to stretch our legs after so much sitting down, and I have made a start on those leftovers. I wrote a series of posts last year about it, here, here, here, here and a guest post I did for Skint Dad.
So as well as all those ideas, what else am I doing, or can suggest, this year?
Making Turkey Stock from Leftover Turkey
Well first up, I decided to strip the turkey carcass.
There was a fair old amount on there, including a lot of the dark meat, which I much prefer. All the bones and skin went into the big stock pot, together with three bay leaves from the garden, and the house currently smells amazing as it blips slowly away to itself.
When it’s had a couple of hours, I’ll let it cool, then strip off any remaining meat and make my favourite soup with it (a mixed veg one, with red lentils, and that lovely stock)
Turkey liver paté from leftover turkey
The giblets and gizzard etc were still left and as I was hesitating about whether to add them to the stock pot or not, I had another idea. I make chicken liver paté all the time, turkey can’t be that different can it? So out game a big jug, in went the giblets, the soft ones anyway, the liver, heart and kidneys, the neck went into the stock pot.
To the giblets, I added 70g softened butter and a generous splash of red wine, then whizzed it all up. Hmm, needs something else. Generous salt and pepper later it was delicious. But I also added large dollops of horseradish sauce, just because. Also delicious! So I now have a large jam jar of turkey liver paté sat in the fridge. I shall probably have some for breakfast for the next couple of days, then freeze the leftovers and use it over the next 2 or 3 months.
Cottage pie from leftover beef
Next up was the remains of a slow cooked joint of beef. I absolutely love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls recipe for shepherds pie made with leftover roast lamb. So I decided to make a cottage pie with some of this. I found a promising looking recipe on BBC Good Food and set to.
Chopped up some of the beef, quite small, about 200g. Then sautéed an onion and a large carrot in some vegetable oil until soft. I forgot I had the beef dripping set aside, or I would have used that. Then I added about a tea cup of the juices that were in the slow cooker after cooking the beef and left it all to simmer gently for an hour. Then I added some freeze dried tomato powder in lieu of tinned tomatoes and tomato purée.
While that was cooking, I peeled a couple of large potatoes and cooked and mashed them. Then added leftover carrots, swede and parsnip. The veg had been cooked in oil, honey and mustard, so added more flavour. On tasting the mash, it still needed more seasoning, so I added a generous lump of butter, salt and pepper. Once happy with the mash, it went on the top of the meat mix.
We’ll have that this evening with some green veg.
There is still about the same amount of roast beef leftover again as I’ve just used, so if the cottage pie is really really good, I might do that again, or something else entirely, don’t know yet.
Keep the fat
Do you keep all the fat? I keep all the fat when I roast a turkey, or anything else, or slow cook a joint, and skim it off the top of bones simmered for stock. The fat is packed with flavour and can be used for all kinds of things. There is nothing quite like dripping, complete with dark, jellied juices, on a piece of thick toast, and maybe sprinkled with the merest hint of crunchy salt!
Any saved fat can be used to fry things in for added flavour, or as the fat on the outside of a toasted sandwich, in pastry etc etc. Too good to throw away!
Have you made anything lovely with your leftovers yet?