The world seems to be in a bit of a free fall at the moment, with many people finding it hard to get what they need at the supermarkets. What started with toilet paper has now extended to most household items, and shelves are being stripped bare of meat just as quickly. So while you still may be cooking BBQ, we thought that we’d give you a few suggestions to make the most of every part of your cook with some tips for BBQ leftovers (assuming you have them!)
Good mince has a percentage of fat content in it (you’ll notice it in the grade of it – 3 star, 4 star, 5 star etc), so keep all the trim from any of your cooks and make your own. Because we’re usually trimming the fat off, it makes for great mince when mixed with cheaper things like chuck steak.
Depending on how much you are cooking at any one time, you may not have enough, but this will freeze quite easily and can then be defrosted to be minced.
Get yourself a good mincing machine (or here for US readers), or an attachment for something like a KitchenAid (here for US). Then use the mince for burger patties or bolognese.
Stocks are super simple to make, and a base you can use for a bunch of other dishes like risotto, soup and more.
Because you’ve usually already smoked the meat on the bone, you’ll have an amazing flavour base to use. If you’re using raw bones (like a chicken carcass), brown it in the oven to start with before adding to the stock.
Add the bones of whatever you have stripped into a pot of cold water with vegetables. We use onions, celery, carrots, leeks, whatever we can find, and even if we don’t have bones, a vegetable stock works just as well. Chop them roughly, brown them in the pot then fill with oil, add salt, peppercorns and a bayleaf as well.
Cover in cold water, bring to the boil and skim any of the scum off the top. Reduce to a really slow simmer for a few hours.
Once it’s off the heat and cooled a little, line a fine colander with cheesecloth and pour through to strain. Push down on it with a spoon to get the most of the liquid out, and discard the vegetables.
Let it cool and pop it into the fridge. You will notice that the next day, the fat will have solidified as a layer on the top of the stock. Skim this off, pass it through the sieve again and you have a perfect stock to use.
I like to bring stock to the boil, add in some vermicelli noodles and frozen wontons, and let simmer for about 12 minutes. Sprinkle in some chopped spring onion, and you have a really easy cheats soup.
Assuming you have enough leftover meat (which let’s face it, sometimes we do….) then, it can be resurrected again in a new meal.
Pulled pork is an easy reheat the next day, and can go well in things like tacos or on top of nachos.
Brisket is also pretty hardy, and can even be rescued from being under cooked, like we did with our nachos recipe. It will also work in things like pies.
If you’re looking for a good book on what to do with leftovers, I recommend Save with Jamie, where he takes a single cook and makes another 4 or 5 out of each with the leftovers. The number of times I have turned brisket into a tasty beef rendang….
Bonus: Apple Cider Vinegar
Not meat related, but another tip we’ve found to make one of the most commonly used BBQ ingredients is for leftover apples, and that’s apple cider vinegar.
This one take a little time, but is well worth it. If you have apples that you haven’t been able to use up before they began to turn, dice them all up (peel, core and all), and pop them into a sterile, wide-mouthed jar. Leave about an inch at the top.
Dissolve sugar in water (1 TBS per cup) and pour over the apples until they are covered, and place cheesecloth over the top the jar and secure with a rubber band. Set in a warm, dark spot in the kitchen. Stir every couple of days and remove any scum that’s forming.
After two weeks, strain out the fruit out and return the liquid to the jar. Cover again with the cheesecloth and leave for another fortnight and you’ll have your own apple cider vinegar.
What about you? Any other tips for leftovers?
Iñigo De la Maza
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