Tuesday, 4 February 2014
We had company for supper on Saturday night and I prepared a hearty wholesome meal for us all, Beef Stew and Dumplings. I served it with fluffy and buttery mashed potatoes and it went down a real treat. I made extra so that I could have leftovers, because . . . as everyone knows things like Beef Stew always taste even better a day or two later on. Not sure why that is, I only know it is. Trust me on this.
I am a person that has never minded eating leftovers. I love them. I do know that some people are not too fussed on having leftovers however, but it seems such a waste to throw good food away so I am going to give you some really great ideas today to use a leftover such as Beef Stew. Bear in mind that this would work with any type of leftover stew really, chicken, lamb, etc. They are both really easy.
If you always have a sheet of puff pastry in the freezer, ready to roll and use, you have the makings of a very easy pot pie, depending on how much you have leftover. I had made the full recipe of stew so I had basically four servings leftover, which would make a tasty meal for a family, especially if you add potatoes and veggies or salad on the side. Simply spread your leftover stew into a pie dish. Cover with foil and bake it in a190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5 oven for about 20 minutes until it gets hot and is bubbling. Then unroll your puffpastry and cut it to fit over top of the warmed stew mixture. Brush it with some milk or beaten egg yolk/water and sprinkle with a bit of cracked pepper, sea salt flakes and parsley flakes and then return it to the oven, increasing the temperature to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6 and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
Doesn't that look good? I can assure you it was very good indeed!
Note: I always add a bit of stock to loosen up my stew mixture a bit when reheating as the vegetables tend to absorb most of the gravy when you store it. If that isn't a problem then just leave it, but if you want a bit of a gravy you will want to add some stock.
Another good thing to make with leftover stew is a cottage pie. A cottage pie is basically stewed beef, or leftover roast and gravy anyways, so it makes perfect sense to use leftover beef stew. My stew is always chock full of lovely veg such as carrots, parsnips and swede, so it's very tasty. I happened to have leftover mashed potatoes from the other night as well, so that was not a problem, but it's really easy to make fresh mash as well. You can also buy bags of frozen mash in the shops now for about £1, so if you keep one of those in the freezer, you always have mash on tap.
Simply spread your stew into a casserole dish and cover with foil. Heat in a preheated oven (180*C/350*F/ gas mark 3) for about 20 minutes. Take your potato and loosen it up a bit with a beaten egg. Remove your casserole dish of stew from the oven and uncover. Spread the mash over top of the hot stew and score attractively with a fork. Bang it back into the oven and cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown.
Doesn't that look tasty? I know! It was really tasty and nobody felt like they were eating leftovers!
And that's the truth. ☺