It never fails, holiday meals around here leave us with a plethora of leftovers. After a while, I begin to resent the space they take in my refrigerator, but they’re also too good to let go of.
It’s no wonder that there are a whole host of dishes whose very existence was to use up leftovers in a way that spread the goods out and made complete meals. Things like pot-pies, shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, Chilean pastels, and St. Stephen’s pie (called so because it was usually prepared on St. Stephens day, which is the day after Christmas, using all the ham and turkey from Christmas dinner), all have in common chunks of meat, perhaps gravy, often with cut up vegetables, and some type of topping. Those toppings are usually made from inexpensive ingredients like pie-dough, mashed potatoes, or pureed corn.
Though these dishes can be made from scratch, they are also a ridiculously easy way to use up leftovers. Just mix in whatever leftover meat, cut into chunks, add some veggies (frozen are just fine), pour on some gravy, and top with some mashed potatoes. No measuring, no specific ingredients, no fuss. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy!
Leftovers “Shepherd’s Pie” Recipe
- Meat of any kind, cut into bite-size pieces
- Vegetables cut into small pieces, frozen vegetables like peas, carrots, or a medley are good
- Gravy, very hot, and of a thinner consistency
- Mashed potatoes, hot
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Place the meat in the bottom of an oven proof casserole dish. The meat should be only one layer thick. Sprinkle in the vegetables over the meat, allowing smaller pieces to fill in the cracks around the meat.
Pour your gravy over the meat and vegetables. You will want your gravy to be a little on the thinner side so that it will settle through the meat and vegetables and provide enough moisture to cook the vegetables and keep the meat from drying out.
Top with the mashed potatoes. Start at the edges and work your way all around the dish, then move inward to help keep the gravy from being pushed out and over the edge. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the gravy is bubbling through and the potatoes are lightly browned. You may need to put a tray underneath if the gravy is bubbling out.
Like many things, time allows for the flavors from all the ingredients to blend, but this will still be tasty if served straight from the oven. Enjoy your leftovers!