Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New life for old leftovers!

I hear people say 'I don't do leftovers!'. Well, I don't either! I will take them in my lunch but I do not like eating the same thing over and over again! BORING!!!

When I was first married, I went to auctions a lot to buy furniture for our home. They were held in the afternoons and since I was in college, I would schedule my classes so I was off on in the afternoons. We are still using some of my auction buys. I also found that at many auctions, there would be a table of old cookbooks. Since I love to read, I enjoyed reading the tips from those old books. I began collecting them and have quite an assortment today!

One thing I realized when reading those books is that years ago, women cooked so there would be leftovers to repurpose into meals later in the week. Almost like Big-Batch cooking on a small scale. In those books lay recipes for using leftovers in new dishes that no one would know about but me! Since it was just my husband and me, we had a lot of leftovers. I began to try out the recipes and he didn't realize he was eating a recycled meal.

One such meal is roast beef hash. I'm not talking about the stuff you find in a can at the grocery store. I've never purchased it but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't touch my mouth with a ten foot pole! I'm not into mushed up stuff! I'm talking about using last sunday's pot roast on thursday night as a wonderful casserole filled with chunks of beef or pork, diced potatoes, carrots and corn and mixed veggies! I've even served it to guests and have been asked for the recipe!

This is one of those recipes you can size to fit your family. I usually use a round casserole type dish with tall walls.

Dice up leftover roast removing any fat- don't like fat!!!
Dice up leftover potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, anything left from the pot roast.
Add 1 cup of mixed frozen veggies, corn, whatever you like. Canned also works but drain first.
Place all that into the casserole.

Take the juice from the roast(first skim off the fat - don't like fat!!)and either make gravy from scratch or use a brown gravy mix(use twice as much water to the gravy mix). You will need about 2 cups of gravy, you want it runny. Pour over the ingredients in the casserole.

Cover and bake at 350F until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 10 minutes more. I sprinkle with cheddar cheese before serving. Serve this with crusty rolls and a green salad. It is a meal in itself if you're pressed for time.

Tomorrow, I'll give you a shephards pie recipe using leftovers!

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