Leftover Loveliness



For me there is a certain delight in eating up the post-Christmas goodies in as many ways as possible. Sausage and Squeak, sandwiches and curry take up most of it but there’s always that ragbag of bits and bobs which, in themselves, wouldn’t make a meal but if you stitch them together and add a few judicial extras this can make one of the best meals of all.

You just need to gather up all the elements – the last of the ham, some bits of stuffing, a few shreds of turkey or chicken, maybe a sausage or two, all the ends of the cheese, onions/potatoes/veg from the rack, a bit of cream left in the pot…and away we go.

This amount served five very generously.

Start by chopping an onion or a leek and frying in a little oil and butter until transparent then add any chopped meat/sausage/stuffing and stir and fry until heated through – I used 1lb of cooked diced ham, four cooked sausages sliced up, a few of slices of chicken and about 100g leftover stuffing.

Sprinkle over about two tablespoons of flour and keep stirring and frying for another minute or so… then add a pint of milk, stir until bubbling and add enough water, a little bit at a time, until you have a nice smooth sauce. Stir in the cheese, cream and some frozen peas if you have them and allow everything to meld together into a sauce. If you have some wholegrain mustard this is the point to stir it in. I didn’t. So I didn’t. But I did chop up all the leftover parsley and added that instead.

Tip the sauce into a shallow casserole dish – I used one of those brown ceramic rectangular ones, about 40cm x 30cm – and allow to cool.

Chop 2kg of maris piper potatoes into small cubes then place into a large saucepan, cover with cold water, bring up to the boil and simmer until just tender. Drain. Add a couple of knobs of butter to the pan and shake the potatoes until roughly covered in melted butter – some will be, some won’t.

Tip the potatoes onto the mixture in the casserole and spread out evenly. Dot with additional butter and sprinkle with extra grated cheese (from the New Year cheeseboard if necessary) and bake at 200ºc until golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling.

Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Then serve with a dressed salad/coleslaw/extra veg/baked beans (no judgement)




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