Everyone goes a bit overboard at Christmas – it’s the one time of year apparently you’re allowed to relatively guilt-free. So, in the spirit of waste not, want not, we thought we’d put together a few ideas of how to make the most of the leftovers and have Christmas dinner last until New Year.
From a post-Christmas centrepiece to a boozy pudding pancake, plus Christmas pasties – perfect for long moorland hikes and easier to eat on the beach than Brussels Sprouts bubble and squeak.
1. The Obvious One - Bubble and Squeak
It makes sense. A bit of everything for everyone. Just make sure there is a good proportion of potato in there to stick it all together.
It’s simple – tip all the remnants of the Christmas dinner into a big bowl – lots of roast spuds, the inevitable soggy veg and bits of turkey from the remaining carcass, plus a good dollop of cranberry jelly and some seasoning – and mash it so the potato is broken down and starting to stick everything together. Choose a frying pan of size, throw in as much butter as your diet will allow, and fry till brown and crispy on the outside, and hot through on the inside.
You can squash the mash into individual, burger-size patties, but Beckii in the Property Department likes to fill the frying pan with one big slab!
2. The post-Christmas Centrepiece - Christmas Pie
We shouldn’t just save this for Christmas – it’s too good! An impressive feed-the-family golden crusty pie, fresh from the oven, oozing festive goodness. You can cheat and buy the pastry ready-made (shortcrust), but Anna H, one of our Property Managers, insists you should make your own.
‘I never weigh, I just do it by feel – using mostly plain flour for the pastry, but a little bit of self-raising too. Roughly chop up all the leftovers – meat, veg, potatoes, including the leftover gravy, sprinkle in cashew nuts and a big scoop of any leftover chutney or pickle. The secret addition is lots of redcurrent jelly as that helps to stick it all together if eating it cold. If there isn’t enough gravy I mix in Creme Fraiche as an instant creamy sauce so the pie isn’t too dry. I always pinch around the edges of the pastry to get that traditional look and then make pretty patterns on the top with a fork so hopefully the pie looks like a work of art on the table!’
A good tip for an impressive crust we heard on the television recently is to egg-wash the pastry top, then leave it to set before giving another good coating and leaving that to set before baking in the oven (don’t forget to poke a hole in the top to let the steam out).
Oven temperatures vary wildly, but if you start off hot (over 200C) and reduce after ten minutes to around 190C for a further half hour, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling at the edges, you should avoid a soggy crust!
3. The Boxing Day Walk Snack - Christmas Pasties
Ok, so this is really just a mini Christmas pie, but a nifty way to enjoy your dinner on the go. A true Cornish pasty is crimped on the side, never on top, but it also has to be made in the county, so if you’re elsewhere you can crimp it however you can!
Use the recipe above, but roll out your pastry and cut out small dinner plate rounds. If you’re making your own pastry, use a strong bread flour as it will hold together better.
Pile a well chopped, well seasoned assortment of leftovers on one side, leaving a good inch around the edge. Dollop a spoonful of creme fraiche/cream/butter on top with your redcurrent jelly for a rich moist filling.
True pastry crimping is an art, so cheat a little and eggwash around the edge then fold the pastry over the top and fork/crimp/squash the edge to stop everything falling out. And egg or milk wash over for a lovely glaze.
Pasties are best slow baked so will need the best part of an hour on a medium temperature. Enjoy hot or cold!
4. The Not-Forgetting-The-Veggie Option - Chestnut Roast
Not all roast dinners involve roasting animals. If you have a meat-free Christmas, or the meat was the only thing not to be leftover, try this recipe from Adam in the Marketing Department.
Finely chopped – 1 red onion, 1 stick of celery, 2 small carrots, 200g mushrooms, 125g walnuts, 1-2tbsp your favourite fresh herbs
Plus, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 50g pre-cooked chestnuts, 1 egg, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 cup tasty grated cheese.
‘Preheat the oven to 200C. Soften the veg in a frying pan for five to ten minutes then mix in a bowl with all the other ingredients and a good amount of seasoning.
Grease and line a loaf tin (about 5 x 8.5 inches) with baking paper or well-greased greaseproof paper – usually I’d just line the base and grease the sides but for this loaf I would line the sides as well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-60 minutes. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a serving dish. Serve in slices with gravy, chutney or tomato sauce and lots of vegetables on the side.’
5. The pudding
It’s still Christmas, you’re still allowed – the diet doesn’t start until next year!
Tanya in the Property Department likes to break up Christmas pudding into bits and mix it into vanilla ice-cream with a splash of Baileys Cream liquor on top. She says ‘some people swear by cutting Christmas pudding into slices and frying it, but I can’t say I’ve ever tried it…!’
For something a bit different, how about:
Boozy Pudding Pancakes
Add some sugar to your standard pancake mix and get flipping. Dollop a big spoonful of the pudding/ice-cream mix to the centre of a hot pancake, fold over and drizzle with Baileys Cream liquor.
6. And a little bit extra on the side
Liz C in the Booking Office has a bit of a twist on the traditional mince pies.
24 Coconut Topped Mince Pies
Roll out 375g shortcrust pastry and cut out rounds to fill your lightly greased bun tray. Put in the fridge until needed.
Beat together 100g caster sugar and 100g softened unsalted butter, then slowly beat in 2 eggs. Fold in a tbsp plain flour and 100g desiccated coconut.
Dollop some sweet mincemeat in each pastry case and top with the coconut mix. Maybe sprinkle some flaked coconut over the top to look pretty the bake at 200C for 15 minutes.
When you run out of leftovers, go out to eat instead. Find where on our Classic Guide.