Roast Dinners that Just Keep Giving

Published / Written by Anna Scott / No Comments Yet

I’m an advocate of incorporating a regular roast dinner into your weekly routine. There’s nothing quite like making a Sunday afternoon special again with the smell of pork crackling or crispy roast potatoes wafting through your home. But that’s a blog post for another time… Now, you might be asking, how is having a roast dinner saving money? This is a site about feeding folk on a budget, after all.  Ok, so getting a good joint of meat can put a bit of pressure on the purse strings, but there is a way to claw back some of those pounds…

The great thing about cooking a large joint of meat is, unless you’re feeding a mammoth family gathering, there’s going to a fair amount left over. And if you’re creative, you could get several days’ worth of food out of one Sunday afternoon bounty. Sandwiches are the obvious option, and I’m not about to start knocking a good sandwich. There’s nothing quite like a couple of slices of cold roast lamb and lashings of mint sauce bursting out between two slices of thick white bread… but you can’t just live off sandwiches for two days…ok, you probably can, but you might start to get a bit bored. So I’m going to share a few of my favourite Sunday roast leftover solutions…

First up, this one might take a bit longer, but it’s so worth it. Make up a béchamel sauce and shred the leftover meat. Combine with the sauce and some chopped up chives, or whatever herbs might go with whatever meat you have. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours, then roll into balls, dip in breadcrumbs and fry. Then try and stuff as many as you can in your mouth in a remarkably short space of time. Ok, I don’t really recommend that last point, but, be warned, you might be powerless to resist.

Time to be a bit more seasonal and appreciative of time constraints – salads. Grab a pre-prepared bag of leaves, add your favourite salad ingredients (personally, I love a bit of red onion and sliced beetroot), then chop up your leftover meat. Make up a salad dressing that will compliment your choice of pickings – mustard dressing with beef, for example, or something a bit sweeter to go with pork – and you’re away. Stating the obvious, but this method is a little bit healthier than the fried croquettes above.

What are your favourite mid-week meal choices? I’m betting pasta and stir-fry might be among them. Instead of spending more money on more meat, just chop up your leftover chicken/beef/pork and use that instead. My favourite pasta recipe is just frying up some cold chicken with sliced onions and peas, and then adding cream and loads of black pepper. And pasta too, obviously.

And last but not least, my ultimate go-to leftover idea. Because you can still do it after you’ve use up all the meat for the above. Yes, STOCK. The options with beef and lamb joints involve a tad more work, but if you’ve got a chicken carcass that’s been picked to the bone, just put it in a large pan with some onion, garlic, carrot and seasoning and simmer on a low heat for a few hours. Then drain and use how you would a bog standard stock cube. And if you don’t want to get that stock boiling straight away, just chuck it in the freezer and save up a few more chicken bones so that eventual result is even more flavoursome.

See, having a roast dinner actually saves you money. And you get an excuse to eat sticky toffee pudding for afters once a week which is no bad thing…