Leftovers Are Delicious

One of our major food rules is to Buy Meat On Sale. Giant Eagle Market District by our house has some really nice deals; BOGO roasting chickens are the top of that list, with pork chops being not far behind. This week it was pot roast. Not fancy or revolutionary, but reliable and filling. We spent maybe $11 (I forget the actual numbers, but if anything, I am overestimating) on a cut that would last us at least each three meals. (These are often BOGO as well, which means we probably have another in the downstairs freezer. Awesome.)

The second food rule is Embrace The Leftovers. I know people who won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, and those people have just been misguided. Likely because to them, leftovers means “reheating the same thing four times.” Not in my kitchen. We do sort of a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle thing. Except not in a gross garbage sort of way.

On Sunday night I cooked the pot roast, very simply. I knew that we would probably only eat one meal from this as prepared, so I didn’t want to do anything too fancy. I used this recipe exactly (very rare for me) but without the carrots. Two days later, it made a delicious meal served with green beans.

It’s now Thursday, and while most people might go OH GROSS YOU MADE IT ON SUNDAY, the pot roast is still totally fine. Letting it rest is always good for the flavors, and after it’s cooled in the fridge you can skim off a whole load of nasty fat, so I rarely recommend eating a pot roast the day it was prepared. Although, I wouldn’t let it go more than a week without doing something to it – eating, casserole-ing or freezing.

I came across this amazing looking blog this afternoon, and knew that today would be round 2 for the pot roast: bbq sandwich.

Step 1: Google for a BBQ sauce recipe that speaks to you. For this preparation, I am partial to the ketchup-based kind, and mine had worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, brown sugar, liquid smoke and brown mustard. I knew the pot roast already had garlic, salt and pepper, so I omitted that from my sauce.

Step 2: Portion out some of the meat. I made enough for myself for today and extra for AJ. I made my sauce based on 3/4 cup of ketchup, and that was PLENTY.

Step 3: Mix your sauce, and dump it and the meat into a sauce pan. Heat for roughly 5 minutes on low until the meat starts to break away. Because you cooked it so nicely in the first place, it should “pull” itself with a bit of help from a wooden spoon. Once it’s hot, turn the heat off and cover with a lid for a few more minutes to let the sauce soak in there.

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Step 4: Ignore the fact that you have no cabbage for a proper cole slaw, and shred some lettuce.

Step 5: Ignore the fact that you have no blue cheese, and put a schmear of sweet onion dressing on the bun of your choice, top with lettuce and the now properly saucy pulled beef.

Step 6: Enjoy.

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So, I want to encourage you to try something new with your leftovers. Just because you cooked it one way in the first place, doesn’t meant that you can’t go another direction. Just let your taste buds lead you. It can’t be too bad, and if it is, you can always rinse the meat off. (I’ve done that. And then made a shepard’s pie. It’s OK. I promise.)

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Simple

I’m going to make this really easy for you. Here are the steps to a delicious Sunday dinner.

1. Wake up Saturday morning and make coffee.
2. Curl up with a cup, some blankets and reading material of your choice.
3. After three cups, decide you want more, and load up the French press again. (note: if you are not yet making your coffee in a press, I’m not sure what you’re doing here.)
4. After you’ve started your fourth cup and realize you really don’t need any more, start to brainstorm what you could use the extra coffee for.
5. Two words: pot roast.
6. Two more words: crock pot
7. No seriously. Throw the (defrosted) roast in a big ziploc-style bag, add your leftover coffee and (almost equal parts) Italian dressing. For real. Close it up, give it a squeeze for good measure, and throw in the fridge.
8. Go about your Saturday.
9. Wake up Sunday morning, remember the meat, and get your butt in the kitchen for 5 minutes. Cause that’s all you’ll need.
10. Take the roast out, sear both sides in a hot pan, and dump right into the crock pot. Add come carrots and onions, maybe a little salt and pepper if you’re feeling spicy, and dump the rest of the marinade on top.
11. Put the lid on, turn on the heat an walk away for eight hours.
12. Serve dinner, receive praise, and feel fancy.

(This is even better than yesterday’s braised steak. I believe I coined it my best meal ever.)