There is nothing normal about this Easter bank holiday weekend. No family gatherings, no drinks in the pub, no lounging in our favourite parks. But, one thing we might have to cling on to a sense of tradition is a big Easter roast dinner. Whether you made a leg of lamb, roast pork or beef – a big roast with all the trimmings is a brilliant way to create some comfort in these uncertain times. But now, with no extended family members to go in for seconds or thirds, you might be left with an absolute mountain of leftovers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We are all trying to go to the shops less, create less waste and make our food shopping go further. Your roast dinner leftovers are a perfect opportunity to make some delicious dishes to last you over the next few days.
Potato cakes: Mash leftover potatoes and add some flour to form patties. Fry with a little butter on both sides and have for breakfast with beans and cheese.
Rustic mash: Leave the skin on and mash leftovers with a little butter. Throw in some salt and thyme for flavour. You can even add cheese and spring onions for texture.
Reheated potatoes: Roast potatoes actually last OK in the fridge. Simply store them for up to two days and stick them in the microwave until they are piping hot.
Roast chicken Roast chicken leftovers are an absolute gold mine.
Chicken stock: Don’t throw out the carcass and the bones – they can be used to make a delicious stock, which you can then use to make soups, stews and about a million other things. Chicken pie: Peel all the leftover flesh from the bones and make a creamy pie filling with leek, any vegetables and ham if you have it. Chicken stir fry: Inject some Asian flavour into your leftover chicken meat with heaps of fresh ginger, chili, soy sauce and honey. Toss it all in a frying pan with crunch veg and noodles for a super quick dinner.
Leg of lamb
Lamb can taste even better the day after cooking it. Quick lamb stew: Stew your vegetables in the leftover juices from your roast, and warm through the lamb towards the end of cooking. As the lamb is already cooked you won’t need to cook it for as long as you usually would. Result.
Leftover lamb ragu: Make a rich, tasty sauce with leftover lamb, carrots, celery, red wine and tomato puree – and serve it with your favourite pasta. Shepherd’s pie: Chop up your lamb into bite-size chunks, make a delicious sauce with gravy, peas and carrots, and top the whole thing with mash potato.
These roast dinner faves are incredibly versatile. Filled puds: Fill leftover Yorkshires with chilli, cheese and bacon or even mashed potato to give them a new lease of live.
Yorkshire sandwich: Puddings can replace the bread in a leftover roast sandwich. Wrap the meat and veggies up and don’t forget to dunk them in leftover gravy.
Sweet Yorkshire puddings: Fill them with cream, fruit or ice cream to make an unusual dessert the next day.
Elevate this humble vegetable into something spectacular Soup: Blend leftover parsnips with plenty of pepper and a touch of cream if you have any, for a luxurious lunch. Mash: Warm your parsnips in the microwave, add a knob of butter and give it some elbow grease. Team it with sausages and gravy for a delicious dinner.
Root vegetable casserole: Make a hearty, warming casserole with lots of stock and your choice of root veg. Remember to add any cooked vegetables last as they won’t take long to warm through. Gravy Frozen stock cubes: Pour the gravy into an ice cube tray and store in the freezer. These cubes can be added to stocks that you use for casserole or stews.
Shepherd’s pie: Particularly useful if you also leftover lamb. Fry your meat, onions, carrots and any other root vegetables – and the gravy (adding some water and spices if needed) – and top with mash when it’s all cooked.