Get ready for a fun week. Fun for me anyway 'cause I get to eat it all!
But for for you all as well. While these will be leftover recipes using pulled pork, my hope is that these will inspire or stick in the back of your head as examples of what you can do with your leftovers. Be those leftovers filet mignon or meatloaf... Mac and cheese or mashed potatoes.
A cook does not serve up leftovers as just a repeat a meal served hot from a microwave. A cook will consider leftovers as an ingredient. A cook will take those ingredients and create an all new taste, an all new meal. Just cause it will be the same ingredient, does not mean it is going to be redundant, boring or repetitive.
My first leftover meal is one of my favorites... Shepherd's pie.
I can make a shepherd's pie from just about any meat... and have. Of course, shepherd's pie is traditionally made from lamb, with Cottage Pie being the same dish made with beef. In recent years, few people say cottage pie, using the term, shepherd's pie to name any dish with a meat base and mashed potato crust.
Leftover meatloaf easily becomes a shepherd's pie. How about an Italian version with leftover meatballs in marinara sauce? Did you pick up a rotisserie chicken Friday night? Rotisserie chicken shepherd's pie is a terrific fast next day lunch.
You can make this is a large casserole dish to serve lots of people. Or, you can do as I did here and just make a couple of single serve amounts in oven safe bowls.
Don't tell anyone, but no matter how complicated it looks, when using leftovers, it takes less than 5 minutes to assemble, and only 30 minutes in the oven to heat.
I have a terrific recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes...
Actually, it is an Alton Brown application (he does not give recipes, just applications that can be easily altered or built upon (like this... mashed potatoes become shepherd's pie)).
But, for this dish, I was lucky enough to have one of our neighbors bring over a dish of mashed potatoes for our neighborhood BBQ. A leftover dish indeed!
I got an idea from a post Girlichef did on her version of shepherd's pie. There are plenty of complicated recipes out there. Add a TBS of this and 2 tsp of that and chop and dice for half an hour... OR, for something really easy, fast and VERY tasty, add a can of creamed corn to the meat and suddenly you get the vegetables, the sweetness of the cream and moisture to prevent drying out the meat. A perfect solution to making this fast and easy.
Add some peas on the top for an additional serving of vegetables and finally, just a bit of grated cheese. I used Parmesan today for a bit of nutty, salty taste added (without adding additional salt). If you have bits of cheddar, adds a different taste, as well as additional color to the dish. I always have bits of cheese that need to be used up. A topping for a shepherd's pie is a great place to use bits of this and bits of that.
And you are done... Here's exactly what I did...
Makes 1 serving, easily doubled, tripled or more...
1 cup leftover Pulled Pork
1 cup leftover Mashed Potatoes
1/4 cup leftover Creamed Corn
2 TBS diced Red Onions
2 TBS leftover Peas
1 TBS leftover freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- Mix the pork, corn and onion together and layer the mixture in the bottom of an oven safe bowl.
- Top with the mashed potatoes
- Top that with the peas and finally the cheese
- Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for @30 minutes
Now that's a meal. No need to apologize for these leftovers!
My personal favorite use for leftover pulled pork is just a sandwich. A little Firecracker Cole Slaw, some candied pickled Red Onions and I am in hog heaven...
That's going to be my lunch day after day this week. But at night, let's see what I come up with during the next 7 days!
Anyone have any suggestions for a leftover meal that is better than the original ingredient???