A gorgeous pork loin roasted over the weekend for our wine group along with a big bunch of Simon and Garfunkel Vegetables left me with two large containers of fragrant meat and vegetables in the fridge. What to do?
below: before and after
While I’m happy to eat some leftovers cold–as is Dave– I also often just heat them up, or sometimes make tacos, soup, salads, sandwiches, panini, or pasta. But eventually I’m at the end and need to throw them all into something hot and comforting on what looks to be a long, snowy night. In other words, it’s time to be done with them. Think “last of the Thanksgiving turkey.” (I’ll blog the Simon and Garfunkel Roasted Vegetables soon. They’re the same as most, except they’re tossed with “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme” before they hit the oven.
On a fairly regular basis, a reader or student will tell me they’re thrilled I’ve included a second-use recipe or some info about leftovers. It’s particularly critical if you’re cooking for one or two. I recommend sometimes NOT cooking for one or two, but to cook for 4 or 8 or 12 and use up the rest by either sharing food, inviting friends,
below: part of the wine group on another occasion
freezing leftovers, creating something new the next day, or just having a ready-made lunch or picnic for tomorrow’s travel. For some, however, the cooking of leftovers is a burden, an unknown path, or a dreaded activity. So guess what? Here’s a blueprint for decadent, delectable pot pies using leftover meat or poultry and vegetables (cook more vegetables if you need to). The process is basically the same for any savory pot pie, though the seasonings could be a tad different from pie to pie:
Pre-heat your oven to 425 F. Sauté a little chopped onion and celery with parsley. Add the leftover meat and veg. Heat through and sprinkle with flour; cook a minute or so. Pour in enough broth or broth and milk or cream to make the mixture soupy. Heat through ’til bubbly/thickened. Adjust seasonings. Pour into pan, top with biscuits or puff pastry or rolled pie dough and bake ’til browned and crispy.
below: first, Dave carving the pork loin and, second: Simon and Garfunkel Roasted Vegetables
ROAST PORK POT PIE WITH PARMESAN-BLACK PEPPER BISCUITS
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups each roasted or cooked seasoned leftover mixed vegetables or root vegetables and diced roasted pork+
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose, unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup milk or half and half
- Hot sauce
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, optional
- 6-8 unbaked Parmesan-Black Pepper biscuits for the “crust” (recipe below or use your recipe or BISQUICK, adding 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan*)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and set an oven rack in the center of the oven.
- In a large deep skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter; add the olive oil, onion, celery, and parsley. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper and stir until the vegetables are softening, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the cooked vegetables and diced roast pork. Stir and heat through well. Sprinkle evenly with the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute or so.
- Pour in the broth and milk. Stir and add a dash or two of hot sauce. Cook, continuing to stir, until thickened, but not too thick; the sauce will thicken in the oven. Add frozen peas, if using, and cook another 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. (The seasonings of the pie filling will be dumbed down with the addition of the biscuits and baking, so it’s better to over-season a bit than to under-season. This is like making sure you have enough salt and pepper in the gravy before adding it on top of your mashed potatoes.) Pour filling into a greased 2-quart rectangular (or other) casserole and spread evenly.
- Top with 6-8 biscuits, 3-4 on the top half of the rectangle and 3-4 on the bottom half–or however you choose to make your artistic statement! Bake 30-40 minutes or until biscuits are browned and filling is bubbly.
- Serve hot with a crunchy salad.
+My Simon and Garfunkel roasted vegetables were quite well-seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. If yours are plain, add a teaspoon of dried thyme and half a bay leaf to the vegetables as they warm on the stove.
*I haven’t done this, but you might try frozen or pre-made biscuits, too. I think homemade biscuits are faster than running to the store. To say nothing of how good they are and how loved you’ll be if you keep making them!
PARMESAN-BLACK PEPPER BISCUITS makes 6-8
- 1 cup all purpose, unbleached flour
- 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, diced (if using salted butter, cut down the salt by a pinch or so.)
- 1/3 cup milk or cream plus a little more, if needed
In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour – sugar.) With a pastry cutter, your fingertips, or two knives, cut in the butter until it is the size of both small and very small peas in the flour. Pour in the milk all at once and stir until the dough holds together, adding a few drops more as needed. Turn dough out onto a floured counter or board and pat into a ball. With hands, pat out into rectangle 1/2-inch thick. Cut out 6-8 biscuits using a round or other cookie cutter or slice into squares or rectangles.
Alternately, make the biscuits in your food processor. (I make them both ways.)
EXTRA BISCUITS “BAKED” IN A PAN ON THE STOVE TOP OR ON A GIRDLE, as they say in Scotland. My mom often baked on top of the stove, as did many women before they had home ovens. (My mom–above with my niece Sharijoy– did definitely have a home oven, though, she just followed the old ways sometimes, I guess.)
I had a little biscuit dough leftover and “baked” 4 tiny biscuits stove top in a covered cast iron pan. Heat greased pan to medium high, add biscuits and let cook a few minutes. Turn down heat to low, cover, and “bake” until done through, turning once after bottoms are browned.
Skipping biscuits? You can also just heat the pork mixture through either on the stove top or in the oven and serve it along side some parsley brown rice or with greens.
Here are two ways to cook some pork and vegetables and have the leftovers for this pot pie:
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