What interesting things can I do with my Christmas Day leftovers?
Sure, Christmas dinner is great, but leftovers can be even better. Yesterday’s meat and veg encased in pastry for a pie, for example, or a turnover is a winner come Boxing Day, says Lisa Goodwin-Allen, executive chef of Northcote in Lancashire and The Game Bird at The Stafford in London. “They’re super-simple and can be made from everything left in your fridge.” She melts 20g butter, adds a diced onion and 100g sprouts, and cooks until soft. “Add crushed garlic, 60ml cream, season and cook for four minutes, then add a handful of diced turkey and ham.” Spoon on to squares of rolled puff pastry and fold, “pinching the sides to ensure you don’t have any air pockets. Slash with a knife and bake at 230C (210C fan)/450F/gas 8 for five to seven minutes, until golden.”
Alternatively, keep turkey day going with a risotto, Tim Siadatan of Trullo and Padella, both in London, says: “Make it like you normally would, then at the end go in with chopped cooked turkey, a decent whack of butter and parmesan.” Get it on a plate, top with sliced raw sprouts (“for crunch”) and crumbs of stilton, and finish with good olive oil. Turkey – plus pigs in blankets, stuffing, and chestnuts – would also be at home in ravioli. “There’s lots going on here,” Siadatan says, “but it’s worth it.” Chop your filling ingredients, then enclose mounds of the stuff between sheets of pasta, stamp out your parcels and cook. Sauce-wise, Siadatan recommends “a nice, bitter Italian leaf” such as radicchio, which he roasts, chops and adds, along with butter, to gravy that has been reduced. Crown with crisp sage leaves.
For more carb comfort, transform spent bread sauce into savoury pudding. “Take about half a pint of leftover bread sauce, add two eggs and mix well,” says Richard Corrigan, chef-patron of the Corrigan Collection. “Pour into a loaf tin and bake at 160C (140C fan)/325F/gas 3 for 45 minutes.” Chill, slice and serve topped with cold ham – “That’s not a bad leftover lunch right there.” The same goes for fondue made with odds and ends from your Christmas cheeseboard, says Pip Lacey, chef/co-owner of north London pub Hicce Hart – especially when there are roasties for dipping. “The best thing, though, is leftover meat on white bread with lots of butter and salt – I’m pretty basic about this,” she says. That said, a slather of herby sauce (“chopped herbs, olive oil, sherry vinegar”) would be no bad thing.
For the Guardian’s no-waste columnist Tom Hunt, meanwhile, soups and stews are “the most forgiving way” to repurpose leftovers. And his method couldn’t be simpler: sweat alliums and celery until soft, chuck in diced cooked veg, cover with stock, bring to a boil, then season and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in any meat, nuts or herbs that need using up, and you’re good to go.
Finally, bake surplus panettone bread-and-butter-style. Jun Tanaka, chef-owner of The Ninth in London, lines an ovenproof dish with a layer of the Italian bread then ladles over creme anglaise. “Repeat until all the panettone is used up and bake at 110C (90C fan)/230F/gas ¼ for 45 minutes.” Once cool, “sprinkle caster sugar over the top and blowtorch [or grill] until caramelised”. Add a scoop of ice-cream to live your best leftovers life.