A good ol’ fashioned British roast dinner just spells home to us; a comforting hug of a meal and a spread we crave wherever we are in the world. And one of the best bits, we think, is the leftovers, whether that’s the joint of meat itself, or the tasty trimmings, such as roast potatoes and vegetables. We just love getting creative with the stuff we were too stuffed to eat on the Sunday, and here are just some of our favourites; our 5 IDEAL recipes for your roast dinner leftovers.
FRIED CHICKEN & CHIPS
For many, roast chicken is the ultimate Sunday lunch. The crispy skin, the moist flesh, the tempting aromas wafting from the kitchen…yes, it’s one of the finest meals known to grace the family dinner table, that’s for sure. This fried-chicken recipe works best if you strip the carcass while it’s still warm; the meat comes away a lot easier than letting the bird go cold. And if you’ve got any scraps of skin left, turn them into crispy chicken skin, adding a finishing touch of finesse to your chicken and chips.
- two generous handfuls of chicken chunks/strips, carved from the carcass
- 1tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1tbsp dried oregano
- 1tbsp fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped
- pinch of salt
- 100ml buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 50g plain flour
- 500g King Edward or Maris Piper potatoes
- sunflower oil
- Beat the eggs into the buttermilk, then place the spices and herbs in a plastic bag and shake well to mix. Dip each chicken piece into the milk and egg mixture, then place in the bag and shake until each piece is evenly coated.
- Heat a wide pan, with enough sunflower oil to come up to halfway, to a temperature of 180˚C, then gently lower each piece of chicken to the pan. Cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes, turning regularly so that it doesn’t stick.
- For the chips, cut the potatoes into chip shapes (it’s up to you whether you peel them; personally, I don’t!), then parboil in salted water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain well.
- Lightly oil a baking tray and place in an oven preheated to 200˚C. Let the tray warm up, then after five minutes, add the chips, and turn them gently so they all get a light coating of oil. Roast for 40 minutes, turning once. If you’re short on time, a good substitute is Skin On Fries from McCain – there’s no need to parboil, and they’re ready in half the time.
- Once the chicken and chips are done, drain on kitchen paper and serve. All it needs now is a cold beer. Or two.
As the weather gets colder (it’s pretty brrr out there right now, huh?) a good pie is a great way to warm up the soul. This is a traditional dish that turns leftover roast lamb into a satisfying bowlful. You can make it with beef – a cottage pie – but we’re going to stay with the classic recipe here.
- 400g of leftover roast lamb
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 carrots
- a sprig of rosemary
- 500ml beef or chicken stock
- 300ml red wine
- 500g floury potatoes such as King Edward or Maris Piper
- Peel and chop the onions and garlic finely, then add to a large pan with some olive oil. You don’t want them to colour, but you do want them to reduce in volume and soften in the heat. Strip the rosemary sprig of its leaves, chop them very finely and add to the pan, then peel and chop the carrots into similar sized pieces as the onions, and add those.
- Let the vegetables and herbs cook for 5-10 minutes until they are softened. Chop up the lamb so that it resembles coarse mince – you don’t want big chunks of meat in a shepherd’s pie – and add to the pan. Let the mixture brown slightly, then add the stock and red wine. Bring the contents to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for one hour.
- Peel the potatoes and place them in a saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re tender to the point of a knife. Drain, add salt, pepper and a generous knob of butter, and mash. How many lumps you leave is at your discretion.
- Let the filling and mash cool slightly, which will prevent them from sinking into each other. Then, place the filling into a Pyrex tray and gently spoon (or pipe elegantly) the mash on top. Make ridges into the mash with the back of a fork, then bake at 190˚C for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Serve with buttered peas and broccoli.
SPICY BEEF SALAD
The strong, assertive flavour of beef lends itself well to spices, whether that’s hot ones like chilli, or aromatic types like cumin and coriander. This spicy beef salad using ingredients popular in South East Asia is vibrant, refreshing and punchy, and is a very perky little dish indeed. Though it must be said, if you used lots of herbs popular in European cooking, like thyme and rosemary, to season your beef during its roasting, there might be a jarring contrast of flavour.
- 300g leftover roast beef, sliced thinly
- juice of two limes
- 2tbsp fish sauce
- 1tbsp golden caster sugar
- a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 mild red chillies
- 1 large carrot
- 2 spring onions
- a handful of unsalted peanuts, roasted
- 3tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- Add the lime juice to a large bowl, then add the fish sauce and sugar. Mix well. Grate (or pound in a pestle and mortar) the ginger and garlic into the bowl, then finely slice the chillis – you can remove the seeds and membrane to reduce the heat – and add them to the bowl, too. Peel the carrot and slice into very thin strips, then chop the spring onions and add both to the bowl.
- In a dry frying pan, roast the peanuts and sesame seeds for a couple of minutes. Be careful, they burn very easily. Once lightly brown, take off the heat and add to the bowl.
- Sear the beef slices very quickly in the same frying pan with just a touch of oil, then add to the bowl. Mix well, and serve.
ROOT VEGETABLE SOUP
Soup is always a winner in autumn and winter, and this one is particularly good. The vegetables you’ll be using have already been roasted, so they’ll add an extra layer of flavour that raw vegetables simply don’t have, so you have a head start on already.
- olive oil
- leftover vegetables from your roast dinner
- 2 onions
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock
- single cream
- a loaf of sourdough bread
- Heat a deep saucepan on the hob, then add a thin layer of olive oil. Peel and slice the onions, then add to the pan and allow to soften, though not brown. Pick the leaves of thyme, chop finely, and add them to the pan, then add all of your leftover vegetables from the roast dinner. Cook over a moderate heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the stock to the pan, and allow the soup to warm for a good 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and use a stick blender to thicken the soup. Spoon a little cream over the soup, and serve with a large slice of sourdough, toasted if you wish.
POTATO & VEGETABLE HASH
This is a great brunch dish that handily uses up all of your leftover potatoes and vegetables and turns them into a delicious snack or main-meal accompaniment. Don’t skimp on the horseradish; it adds a welcome fiery kick.
- leftover roast potatoes
- leftover vegetables
- 2tsp horseradish sauce
- sprig of fresh thyme
- plain flour
- olive or sunflower oil
- Chop up the potatoes and add to a bowl along with the other vegetables. Strip the thyme sprig of its leaves and finely chop, then add to the bowl with two generous spoonfuls of horseradish. Season with salt and pepper.
- Chill the mixture for 15 minutes so that the hash doesn’t break up when you cook it. Take a small handful of the mixture and fry it to check the seasoning. Adjust accordingly. Mould the mixture into chunky disc; they shouldn’t be too thin. With each one, coat in flour, shake to get rid of any excess, then fry for 6-7 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Serve on their own, or with a poached egg for a satisfying brunch dish.