This is an excellent recipe for using up left-overs. The key ingredients are potatoes, meat and onion. The version here is my basic recipe, but it can be adapted to incorporate all sorts.
- 30g lard, butter or dripping
- 1 onion, finely chopped (I sometimes add a leek too)
- 1/2 a turnip (or swede, if you are English), peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- (optional, shredded cabbage, diced celery, etcetera)
- 600g potatoes, peeled and roughly sliced
- Around 100ml stock or left-over gravy
- Around 200g chopped cooked meat (could be varied according to what is available, both in type and quantity)
- A grate of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Melt the fat in the bottom of a large pan, and fry the onion (and leeks, celery, if you are using this) over a low heat until soft and almost browning.
- Add the potatoes and stir them in. When they are hot, add the carrots and the turnip and any other extra vegetables, and stir to mix.
- Heat the stock and pour it in, adding the chopped meat at the same time. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and stir again.
- Cover the pot and simmer over a low heat for around 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are beginning to break down. Check from time to time to see how the potatoes are cooking, to stir together and to assess whether any more stock needs to be added.
Very warm, filling and thrifty.
We had had venison the other night, and so I made this curry with the left-overs. The original recipe uses venison fillet from a roe or sika deer, but the venison we had was of a more formidable cut. We had pot-roasted it, and so I diced up the remains and hijacked a few other recipes for ideas. I also used up a few bits from the depths of the fridge.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, or other vegetable oil
- 2 small red onions, finely sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 500g diced cooked venison
- 200ml coconut water
- 200ml coconut milk
- grated zest and juice of one lime
- 4 small cloves of garlic, minced
- 50g ginger root, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves, or 4 cloves
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp hot chilli powder (I used Kashmiri chilli powder)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground star anise or 2 star anise
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 50g tomato puree
- I use an old coffee grinder attachment with my blender to grind up spice mixes, but a pestle and mortar will do the job. In the spice grinder, grind together the fennel, salt, cumin, cloves, ground star anise (if this is what you have) and garam masala. Add the chopped ginger and the garlic, and grind again. Then add the tomato paste and mix well.
- Melt the coconut oil in a large pan and fry the onion with the whole star anise and the cinnamon. Fry over a medium heat for five to ten minutes, until it is begining to brown. Add the spice mixture and continue frying for another couple of minutes
- Add the meat and continue frying for another couple of minutes, until it is hot, and then add the coconut water, coconut milk, lime juice and lime zest. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until the meat is hot through, around another five minutes.
This is good with plain white rice.
We are eating what is in the fridge, to avoid going to the shops, and keeping it simple. We had some cuts of cooked pork in the freezer, and this was a really quick meal to make. The quantities below should serve 4-6 people, depending on their appetites, and the rest of the meal.
- 300g pasta such as penne rigate or pipe rigate, or tubetti
- Olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 450g left-over cooked pork. chopped to 1cm dice
- a small glass of red wine
- 1 tin of tomatoes, preferably San Marzano tomatoes
- chopped flat-leaf parsley
- grated pecorino cheese
- Heat a large pan of salted water ready to cook the pasta
- In a skillet, or large heavy frying pan, heat the olive oil and then fry the chopped onion over a medium heat until it softens, around five minutes
- Add the pork, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and scrape round the bottom of the pan to pick up all of the flavour there.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, and rinse out the tin with a little water, adding this to the pan.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for around 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the pack. When it is done, drain it and add it to the sauce. Add a little pasta water if required, to get the sauce to a consistency that you like.
- Serve in bowls, garnished with parsley. The cheese should be grated and served in a dish on the table for people to serve themselves.
I had no idea that Jhal Faraizi was designed to use up left-overs. In fact, this recipe is almost like stovies, but with more meat, and green Chillies. Madhur Jaffrey’s book Curry Easy gives a short history of the origins of the dish, which originated in Bengal. Some versions have a sauce, but this is more pared back, and quick and easy. I didn’t have any left-over potatoes or beef, so this version includes cooking from scratch.
- 4 medium floury potatoes
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil or other vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 fresh hot green chillies, chopped finely
- around 350g beef (could be left-overs) – diced
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- Boil the potatoes whole, and then set aside to cool
- Poach the beef in some water and ginger, for around 20 minutes, then strain and remove the ginger. I kept the liquid back and used it as stock in another recipe.
- When the potatoes are cool, peel them and cut into small dice.
- Put the oil in a large frying pan, and heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle briefly.
- Add the onion, potatoes and chillies, then turn the heat down a bit, and stir, cooking until the onions are translucent, around five minutes.
- Add the meat, a good pinch of salt and lots of black pepper. Stir and mix for a minute, and turn the heat down very low. Press the mixture down into the pan and then cook gently for around 15 minutes.
- We had this with poached eggs on top.
For Christmas, we had pot-roast venison, with a lemon and horseradish gravy. We had a lot of venison for two people, so I also made this curry. It is adapted from a very odd recipe from the BBC website – the quantities were mad, and didn’t match between imperial and metric, so I sort of made up the gaps. It was delicious, although rather hot. I’d like to make it again, so here is what I did.
- 1kg venison, diced into 1 inch cubes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2cm of ginger root, grated
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp kashmir chilli powder, or 1 tbsp ordinary chilli powder
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp ground turmeric
- 2 tbsp crushed juniper seeds
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp molasses sugar or other brown sugar or treacle
- 2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- greek-style thick plain yoghurt
- 500ml stock (I used the lemon gravy)
- Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole dish, and fry the chopped onions over a medium heat.
- After around 5 minutes, add the crushed garlic, grated ginger and chopped chillies.
- When the onions are browning, add the venison, and stir in to cook and brown the meat.
- Add the spices and cook for a few more minutes, stirring them in well.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and stock, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Cook over a low heat on the hob or in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender. If you are using left-overs, half an hour should be enough.
To serve, stir in two tablespoons of yoghurt, and garnish with the chopped coriander. Serve with nan bread or rice, and with a side-dish of yoghurt.
This is a classic soup – so classic that I couldn’t find it in any recipe book. Apparently we are to learn how to make it as a hereditary skill. This recipe makes a huge vat of soup, but I don’t see how you could make much less.
- 1 large ham bone, ham hock, or left-over cooked ham
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped into small chunks
- 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 3 potatoes, diced (optional)
- 500g bag of yellow or green split peas – rinse the peas.
- 1.5 litres of stock (ham stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 level tsp smoked paprika
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pan, fry the chopped onions and celery gently in the olive oil, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two longer
- Add the carrots, peas, stock, ham, paprika and bay leaves to the pan, and bring to the boil.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add water if it is becoming too thick.
- If you are going to add potatoes, do so at this point, and simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the ham bone from the pan and set it aside to cool. Pull any meat off the bone, shred it and return it to the pan.
- Season with salt and pepper if required, and heat to a simmer before serving.
If you want to freeze this soup, don’t add any potato. If you’d like a smoother soup, you can blend it with a soup wand before adding the shredded ham.
We always have some lamb left after we have roast lamb, but it is never as good the next day. This was very good, I found it on the internet when I was looking for something else, never found it again.
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 large sticks of celery, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- Chopped left-over lamb – enough to fill a 1 pint jug.
- 200g brown rice
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- finely diced streaky bacon, or salt pork, or pancetta, or lardons or similar
- Boil the rice in a big pan of water for 15 minutes, drain and set aside. It should be slightly underdone.
- In a large pan, fry the bacon, onions, celery and carrots for at least five minutes
- Add the lamb and rice, stir together and then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, paprika, and worcestershire sauce.
- Bake in a low oven for 45 minutes.
- Serve with a green vegetable, such as broccoli.
You can make this with any left-over bolognese Ragu, or do as I did – make the ragu from scratch. I made double, ate some for tea with pasta, froze some, and made the risotto with the rest. This is from Risotto Risotto.
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 stick of celery, diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 slices of unsmoked bacon, chopped
- 250g minced beef
- 1 glass of red wine
- 400g can of tomatoes, pureed in the tin
- 1 bayleaf
- salt and pepper
- 500g risotto rice
- 1.5 litres of stock
- 25g butter
- 50g grated parmesan
- Make the ragu sauce first, preferably the day before. Fry all the chopped vegetables and bacon in the oil until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the mince and the wine, and fry until the meat is brown and the alcohol has boiled away.
- Add the pureed tomatoes, bayleaf, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and leave to simmer for 2 hours until rich and dense. Check frequently to ensure that it is not ‘sticking’.
- Next, add the rice to the ragu, and stir at a simmer until the mixture looks dry.
- Keep the stock on the boil, and add a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before the next ladleful is added.
- Continue in this way for around 20 minutes; the rice will be firm and cooked through, and the risotto will be creamy. Take the risotto off the heat, remove the bayleaf, and stir in the butter and parmesan cheese.
- Cover and leave to rest for a few minutes, before transferring to a warmed platter and serving.
Here is the traditional turkey risotto recipe ready for boxing day. It is adapted from Risotto! Risotto!
- 1 onion
- 1 celery stick
- 75g butter
- 400g left-over turkey, diced
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 200ml dry white wine
- salt and pepper
- 1.2 litres of stock or gravy from the turkey
- 400g risotto rice
- 5 tbsp single cream
- 50g parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
The above quantities will feed 4 to 6 people. If you are cooking larger quantities, use multiple pans, with around 400g rice cooking in each pan.
- Gently fry the onion and celery together in 30g of the butter, until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the meat, cook through and then add the lemon juice and lemon rind, the wine and seasoning, and simmer together to create a tasty stew.
- Add the rice, mix together, and then start adding the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and keeping the risotto at a simmer. When the liquid has been fully incorporated into the risotto, add another ladleful.
- After around 20 minutes, the rice will be firm but cooked, and the sauce will be creamy and coating the rice. Take the risotto off the heat, and add the rest of the butter, the cream and the parmesan. Give this all a good stir, and leave it to rest for a few minutes.
- Serve on a warmed platter, garnished with parsley.
A good recipe for left-over mashed potato.
- Mashed potato, seasoned well with salt and pepper – around 250g
- 50g plain flour
- Add the flour to the mashed potato, stirring it at first and then pulling the mixture together to form a dough the consistency of pastry. It doesn’t look like it is going to work at first
- Roll the pastry out very thin, and cut into portion-sized triangles
- Fry in hot butter, turn with a fish-slice to ensure each side is cooked to crispy brown. We used dripping this morning, in place of the butter.
Serve as part of a very ill-advised and delicious fried breakfast.