Leftovers Glorified: Meaty Pies

If you ever cooked a large hunk of meat, say, pot roast, picnic pork, leg of lamb, the abominable Thanksgiving turkey, or chicken, you probably have experienced the big feast aftermath syndrome.  Doesn’t ring the bell?  Well… you cook that beautiful cut of meat, you feed everyone until their are full to the brim, and then… and then you pack the leftovers into a large piece of foil or into a glass container, cover snugly and resolutely tell yourself you are going to utilize these leftovers in earnest.

Glorified Leftovers: Meaty Pies

The time goes by, you open the fridge day after day, the wretched container staring you smack in the eye, and you guiltily push it deeper and deeper into the fridge, until one day some months later, you find it all the way in the back, looking unassuming and humble. You open it, wondering what it might have been, and find a nondescript specimen vaguely looking like something from CSI  show.  An attempt at investigation gets cut short by a few gasps for fresh air, and into the trash can it goes, leaving behind a trail of rancid perfume and lots of guilty feelings…

Glorified Leftovers: Meaty Pies

Anyone? No? Is it just me? Alrighty then…  Well, I have done that often enough, so having overcome the denial, anger and shame phases, I can now talk about it on the Internet.   Let’s admit it, the large hunk of meat is only truly tasty the first day, unless it’s an honest-to-goodness slow roasted chunk, intended from the start for sandwiches.  In my family, it’s practically impossible to feed anyone roast leftovers. I’ve tried.  Cooking smaller meat cut to eliminate leftovers altogether results in poor roast, because it’s too small to develop any kind of decent flavor. Freezing tasty bits until later tends to make me forget all about them, so when I find them two years later in a state of severe freezer burn, they are no longer of any use to me.

Glorified Leftovers: Meaty Pies

So what does one to do?  Repurpose, I say. Repurpose. Roast, lamb, turkey and chicken leftovers make perfect pie fillers, bake components and pasta sauce meats.  Here is what I did with slow cooked leg of lamb leftovers today: I sautéed two medium onions, finely chopped, until nicely golden and lost all their juices. Added my boring meat to the onions and cooked through, until meat resembled pulled barbecue.  Added some punchy spices, in my case it was garam masala. Then added some pine nuts for added texture interest, fresh herbs finely chopped.

Glorified Leftovers: Meaty Pies

Then I rolled out two squares of pre-manufactured puff pastry, slapped the meat onto the pastry.  Then I folded the pastry in a very neglectful and un-gourmet-like manner.  25 minutes at 425F and dinner was done.

Combine that easy-as-pie repurposed meat masterpiece with a cup of creamy soup, in my case it was broccoli soup, and you’ve got yourself a nice solid dinner, and zero guilt.

Other ways to repurpose meat leftovers:

Turkey Challenge

Open Face Lamb Pies

Swineherd Pie

Curried Chicken Pie

What is your favorite way?

Glorified Leftovers: Meaty Pies

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Categories: Baking, Batch Cooking, Leftovers, Pies, Quick & Simple

Author:Eat Already!

I am a cooking and writing addict born and raised in a cosmopolitan city on the Black Sea coast. Currently my interests include, but not limited to gardening, traditional nutrition, raw milk, fermentation techniques, books by Sitchin, Weston A. Price ideas, artisan bread making, anything handcraft, and many other, quite random, things. I believe in making things from scratch, in unpretentious dishes, visually un-altered food esthetics. I believe in reporting on daily cooking endeavors, not just on special occasion dishes. I believe everyone should learn how to cook at home because it's a great way to connect with your loved ones without saying too much, with your heritage without becoming an archivist, and with the world without learning languages...

One Comment on “Leftovers Glorified: Meaty Pies”

  1. July 24, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Make me one of these and I will be your friend for a day. Make me 20 of these and I will be your friend for a lifetime.

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