Beef Stroganoff - ©

Leftover Rhapsody: Roast Beef

I can’t seem to make a roast beef dinner without having lots of leftovers. Good thing there are a lot of ways to make yesterday’s roast today’s culinary triumph! I particularly love dishes where the roast gets another long, low, slow braise…

Beef Stroganoff - © www.twofrugalchicks.comNow, there’s a nice Beef Stroganoff!

Go French!

Among my fancier resurrections for leftover roast beef is Beouf Bourgignon. Or Beef Stroganoff! They’re very similar in some respects. There are dozens of good recipes online for both and you may have one of your own. The thing to remember is, your Roast Beef is already browned and cooked through. Now, you can go straight to the braising stage. Add veggies (a Mirepois) if you want a richer flavour. Add some beef stock if you’ve got it, or some boxed stock from the store, or – if you must – some water and some powdered ‘beef base’. Please, PLEASE don’t resort to Bouillon Cubes! They’re 90 per cent salt!

And follow the recipe from there…

Go Asian!

Slice the roast beef into thin slices about 1 in. x 3 in. (2.5 cm. x 7 cm) and marinate for a half hour in some Soy Sauce, a drop or two of Sesame Oil, Dry White Wine (Mirin, of you have it), enough Brown Sugar so you can taste the sweetness and a dash of Lemon Juice. While the meat is marinating, thinly slice some Green Onion on the bias (or regular White or Red Onion). Then thinly slice some peeled carrot and some well-washed and dried Celery – so they look just like what you get from the Chinese Restaurant. Finely chop a couple of nice cloves of Garlic. If you’re an Asian food fan, you might have Water Chestnuts in the house, or Baby Corn. Or maybe even some nice fresh Snow Peas.

First, put a medium or large wok or a deep flying pan on medium high heat and add two or three tablespoons of a neutral high heat oil, such as Peanut, Canola or Corn. When the oil comes to heat, you’ll be uncomfortable placing the palm of your open hand any closer than about 4 in. above the level of the oil. Add a teaspoon or so of Chinese Five Spice mix to the oil to toast and add the garlic, stirring to get it all coated. Add the Carrots and Celery first, as they take longest to cook. They should sizzle merrily. Keep them moving in the pan. After a couple of minutes, they’ll start to look cooked around the edges. Add the Snow Peas, Onions and Water Chestnuts and sizzle for a couple of minutes more. Then, add the Beef, which you have removed from the marinade, reserving the marinade for later.

Once the beef has started to sizzle around the edges, add back the marinade and some additional White wine, if the sauce you’ve just created is too strongly flavoured. Give the whole thing another couple of minutes to come together and you’re ready to serve, over regular or fried rice or noddles of your choice. Tweak the recipe to your liking…

Good old Pot Pie!

For every four person’;s you’re feeding: Make up a mixture totally two cups of one part Carrot coins, one part Celery pieces and two parts Onion slices, all about 1/4 in. (1 cm) thick. Peel and cube one medium Potato for every four persons you’re feeding, making your Potato pieces about 3/4 in. on a side. Have on hand, for adding later, a half cup of frozen Peas and a half Cup of frozen Corn Kernels. Cube the leftover Roast Beef about the same size as the Potatoes.

Sauté the Onions, Celery and Carrots in a couple of tablespoons of Olive or Canola oil, on medium heat. A mixture of the two works well at higher temperatures. Add fresh Thyme and Rosemary to taste. Once the onion has softened, add the Potato cubes and continue to sauté until the cubes are lightly browned. Add the Roast beef Cubes and sizzle for another couple of minutes. Now, add enough Beef Stock to just cover all the other ingredients and simmer with lid on fort an hour. After the hour, remove the lid and add half a cup of Flour Slurry. That’s just half a cup of Flour dissolved in enough water to make what looks like a thin batter. Pour the slurry into the stew’ slowly, stirring all the while to ensure that it doesn’t lump. The stew will thicken quickly. Start with half the slurry and stir until the ‘pie filling’ had thickened as much as that amount of slurry will thicken it. Add more in the same manner of you want a thicker, tighter meat pie filling. Add the Peas and Corn and allow the whole mixture to simmer gently for about 20 minutes more, to cook the starchy flavour out of the ‘gravy’. Taste for Salt and Pepper.

Let the filling cool to room temperature before placing in a bare glass or ceramic pie plate or individual ramekins and top with your favourite Short Pie Crust or some store-bought Puff Pastry. Bake just until the crust is done and enjoy immediately!

Go Tex-Mex!

How about String Beef or Fajita tacos or Burritos? While your home-made refried Black Beans are simmering in a separate pot, thinly slice the Roast Beef into strips, also slice some Green, Red and/or Yellow Sweet Peppers in strips and slide some Onion in narrow slices. Slice some fresh Jalapenos very thinly. Dice some firm, fresh Tomato about 1/2 in on a side. Quarter some fresh Limes.

By that time the beans will be cooked enough that you can purée them in a food processor or blender. Add a touch of Chili Powder, Cumin, and Lime Juice to taste. Put back on very low heat and simmer gently until the mixture becomes very thick – and stir often to make sure it doesn’t stick.

Now, toss the beef, veggies and a couple of cloves of minced garlic in a shallow pan over medium high heat, with a little Corn Oil, a pinch or two of Salt and Pepper and Chili Powder, and squeeze of Lime Juice.

Go ahead and serve all your goodies on warmed platters and get ready to stuff them into warmed tortillas!

Go easy…

And don’t forget the old favourites! Hot Roast Beef Sandwich! Roast Beef Hash! Rare Roast Beef Julienne Salad! Phillie Cheese Steak! Beef and Barley Soup! The list goes on and on – as long and wide as your imagination!

~ Maggie J.