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Leftover Recipes

what cooked meats can yo freeze

I usually get the meat when its been reduced to be super thrifty in creating my cheap dinner ideas. It’s not always easy creating fresh cooked meals for one. Thats why I started freezing some cooked meats, firstly to avoid waste and secondly to be able to rustle up quick taste meals for one.

Tips To Freeze Cooked Meats

  • Always allow the cooked meats to cool down to room temperature
  • Use good freezer bags, something that will not tear and expose the meat
  • If you have a vacuum sealer use that as it will keep quality of the cooked meat better
  • Always label the bags with the meat and the actually date you froze the cooked meat
  • Freezer burn is never good, especially on cooked meats as it destroys the moisture that was left in the meat
  • Ensure that you freeze it as soon as it cools to room temperature

Bolognese For The Freezer

The easiest one to freeze for a quick meal is the Bolognese sauce, classic and simple. For a quick meal all you need to do is take it out of the freezer and place it in a pot. Make sure you use a gentle heat so the sauce does not dry out, by the time the pasta is cooked the Bolognese will be ready.

The bolognese sauce will keep in the freezer for at least 3 months. I always cook a large batch and freeze in portions, great for when I have the kids or just feeling lazy. I usually use a mix of beef mince and pork mince to add more depth of flavour to the sauce.

a plate of spaghetti Bolognese

Frozen Cooked Taco Meat

Another great cooked meat to freeze is taco meat. The trick is to freeze it with some of the cooking liquor. I always cook the meats in the oven first, then shred the meat and then pan fry until sticky and crispy. One of my favourites is my sticky pork tacos, they are also super easy to make as well.

All you need to do is gently reheat the sauce until it gets crispy, sticky and decided that you are having with it. I usually have in the fridge some Turkish cabbage Salad, of course a tortilla, maybe some sharp cheese and avocado. You can also do this with carnitas, a slow cooked pulled pork Mexican mix usually with orange juice and spices. The taco meat will happily stay in the freezer fo 3 months .

Crispy Korean Pulled Pork

Frozen Cooked Char Sui Pork

Pork is so easy to overcook and make it dry, especially fillet of pork. I cook the pork tenderloin to the internal temperature of 140f, (if you intend to eat any straight away then the temp needs to be 145f) Once the meat has cooled I slice it into small slices for freezer. The basic char sui recipe, this one I used pork minced as I could not get hold of a reasonable priced piece of pork.

I use the frozen char Sui pork in my special egg fried rice using microwave rice. I also use some other frozen meats to make it special, the great thing is that its ready in minute.

Frozen Cooked Pork Belly

Pork belly when cooked correctly is such an amazing flavoured tender meat. Again I always buy it when it’s been reduced, cook its that day and then freeze it. I usually cook it with basic flavours so when I use it out of the freezer I can incorporate the flavours of the cuisine I am cooking. I slice it 2 different ways for freezing, one is tin largish squares for when I create a dish around the belly pork.

Secondly I cut its into thin slices and freeze, the thin slices are great to add to the cheats special fried rice. This frozen pork belly will easily keep in the freezer for 3 months.

easy egg fried rice recipe
Special Fried Rice with leftover ham

Frozen Ham Gammon

As live alone I try to come up with dinner ideas for one person, even if I have the kids there is always leftover gammon. The gammon joints seem to come in sizes of, medium, large and huge, so that’s why I need ideas for frozen ham recipes. I cut the leftover ham into little bite size cubes for freezing, and then they can be used for lots of different quick recipes. Of course the first one is the easy egg fried rice.

You can use the frozen ham in pasta dishes, omelettes and soups. Read my post on what to do with leftover gammon for some great ideas.

Pea and Ham Soup

Frozen Cooked Beef

To get a good piece of Sunday roast beef you need a decent size of beef. If its to small sit will soon dry out in the oven. I like my roast beef to be nice tender and preferably rare, if its well rested then no need to worry about blood on the plate. So its not very often this happens because beef isn’t a cheap cut of meat. When I do cook it when I have the kids I like to make sure that I use up every last piece.

rare roast beef and chips

Rare roast beef is great on sandwiches and beef is great for freezing as well. Yes another one that you can shove into the special fridge rice, of course you could do the same with noodles. You can get the frozen beef out earlier in the day and let its defrost. If you do forget to get out the cooked frozen beef then just ensure you cook it very slow to keep the moisture in.

Frozen Cooked Duck Breast

Everything usually comes in a pack of 2, we’ll duck breast always seem to do. So again I managed to pick up a pack of 2 duck breasts reduced in price. Usually I eat the second one the next day, either just thinly sliced and dip it in hosing sauce. Sometimes I will go to the effort and make a cold duck salad

could duck breast salad
Duck breast salad with quails eggs and blackberries

I used the defrosted duck breast in a Chinese stir fry and it was good. The second time around, which was just about 2 weeks in the freezer the duck breast tasted a little different. So for that reason I would not recommend keeping cooked duck breast in the freezer for longer than a week.

Frozen Beef Short Ribs

Now any meat that has a good fat content is great for freezing as it helps retain moisture in the meat. Beef short ribs are great to freeze part cooked and so many flavour combinations to choose from. As it’s low and slow for beef short ribs I usually take one out about an hour before its cooked. The cooked short rib of beef will keep for 3 months in the freezer.

short rib of beef
Asian Short Rib Of Beef

Sometimes I take out some of the cooking liquor and place in the bag with the short rib. Other times I will let the sauce cook down with the other rib and then add it to the rib that’s going to be frozen. This way the stock is so much More reduced and flavoursome. Its just a judgement call because the one left cooking needs enough sauce. Thats so it doesn’t dry out intake final cooking time. Ideally the frozen cooked beef short rib needs to be taken out of the freezer thee night before. Allow it too slowly defrost in the fridge, when you get home from work an hour in the oven should see it cooked. Remember always check the temperature to ensure everything is cooked.

What cooked meats do you freeze and what do yoyo use them for ?

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leftover ham recipes

Leftover Ham Recipes on a Budget

Cooking on a budget does not mean lack of flavour or indulgence. In fact some dishes taste intensely more divine the day after, Bolognese, stew and soups once the flavours have matured and eased into one another. Cooking with leftovers is an adventure, an excuse if you will to explore the endless possibilities of food combinations. The best part is how it makes economical sense. So come with me and discover what you can do with leftover ham on a budget.

Leftover Ham Recipes on a Budget

Yes it is also know as gammon, it is the same thing. It is exactly the same cut of meat and when it is uncooked you call it gammon. Cooked its called ham. Yes its a simple as that.

Leftover Ham Recipes on a Budget

Buying Your Gammon Joint

Now you have a choice to make, do you get a plain joint of gammon to make your ham or do you go smoked gammon? Personally I go smoked every time as I believe it has much more flavour. Secondly the size of your gammon. The rule of thumb is the more you buy the cheaper it usually is so always buy big (Currently £3.80 p/k Morrison for the large cut). If it is to big for your brood then cut it in half and put it in the freezer for another day.

Always always (if you don’t already have a freezer full) buy a gammon joint if it has been reduced in the supermarket I promise you will not be disappointed or stuck for recipes after this post. Even if it only has 1 day shelf life cook it the same night and you will have it in the fridge for a least 3 days then the rest goes into the freezer. Once you have decided what you are going to use it for.

Cooking Your Gammon Joint

This could be an endless list in itself, do you just roast it or boil it. Wait the other option is boil it first to reduce the salt content a little and then roast it afterwards. When roasting is it just plain or do you smother it with a marinade?

Classic Gammon Marinades

There are so many ways that you could cook your gammon joint to add the extra flavour so we shall look at some classics along with the unique.

Ham In Coca Cola by Nigella Lawson

How can you not be seduced with the tempting flavours Nigella puts before us. She has the knack of leaving you always wanting a little bit more.

nigella.com

Only those who have never tried this raise an eyebrow at the idea. Don’t hesitate, don’t be anxious: this really works. No one who cooks it, cooks it just once: it always earns a place in every repertoire.

I’ve prepared my ham in cola now for several years and wouldn’t do if any other way – a tradition now in our home at Christmas. Recipe now followed by many of my friends too.

Ham in Coca Cola | Nigella’s Recipes | Nigella Lawson

Easy Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze by Betty Crocker

My most common glaze base that I use is brown sugar. Sometimes with honey or any oranges left in the fruit basket. The sweet and the acid of the fruit also makes for a great pouring sauce as well.

Betty Crocker Recipe

Roast Gammon with Cider and Calvados by We Love Pork

Calvados is one of my favourite cooking spirits of all time. I fear that it is a little out of fashion at present but I promise the depth and distinctive taste will never be forgotten. Made from apples its only natural that it will enhance the flavour of the cider and apples in this dish. I very rarely drink Calvados. It has a similar flavour profile to Brandy so I always buy an average priced bottle. If you pay to little for any spirit it will not have had time to round of the harsh edges and taste a little fiery in the cheek. No Brandy isn’t for me

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How To Cook Your Gammon Joint

There are hundreds of recipes out there for cooking gammon. Make your own recipe, just follow a few basic rules and make your own family classic.

  1. Cooking Times
    1. Boiling : allow 20 minutes per 450g (1lb), plus an additional 20 minutes.
    2. Roasting : allow 30 minutes per 450g (1lb), plus an additional 30 minutes, and cook it at 180°C (350°F or Gas Mark 4).
    3. Boil then Roast : just split the cooking time 50/50
  2. Add Something Sweet
    1. Sugar
    2. Honey
    3. Marmalade
    4. etc
  3. Add a Liquid
    1. Fizzy pop
    2. Booze, Any (spirts, larger, beer, cider)
    3. Water
  4. Add Something Acidic
    1. Fruit, (Oranges, apples, etc)
    2. Mustards (any)
    3. Vinegar ( balsamic, wine vinegar, etc)
  5. Add Some Spice (Optional)
    1. Chillies
    2. Ginger
    3. Asian spices
    4. Chinese spices
    5. Cloves
    6. Hardy herbs (Bay leaf, Rosemary, Thyme)
  6. Be Bold
    1. What ever flavour you add to your gammon it usually only flavours the outer meat. So don’t be scared pack the  flavour in.
  7. Keep The Juices
    1. these can always be transferred to a pan and reduced to intensify the flavour, I usually add a little cream and brown sugar to make it super indulgent. Its that tasty I could spread it on the table mat and eat that.

I hope the list has given you a little inspiration and the desire to never buy an expensive shop  precooked ham joint. Plain roasted ham is great to. We like to make sure that you can the maximum benefit from the leftovers. Save those pennies and less waste.

leftover ham recipes

Roast Ham

Leftover Ham Recipes on a Budget

The first step you need is to preserve that leftover ham so it does not go to waste. The freezer, but before you bag it up you need to slice it appropriately. Cubes is the most versatile method for leftover ham recipes. The great advantage is they easily come out of the freezer bag and defrost quickly. More great cooked frozen meat ideas

Leftover Ham Omelete

Easy as that, grab a hand full of ham from the freezer and place in the pan first. This will quickly start the ham defrosting and the edges getting browned. Crispy edges equals another level of flavour depth. Throw in the eggs and some cheese for a delicious quick tasty lunch. If you need lunch on the go the perfect option is to throw in some leftover cooked potatoes as well. Tortilla the Spanish omelette, perfect for a working lunch. Cooking for a crowd ? try this healthier baked omelette ideal for the family.

leftover ham recipes

Leftover Ham and Pasta

Now ham and pasta, always a delight to eat and can be super quick as well. I must confess that my ham and pasta creations are not that healthy. I like the indulgence of a little cream, mustard, mushrooms, peas  and parmesan cheese running through mine.

leftover ham recipe

Leftover Ham, mushrooms, peas, parmesan with a cream and mustard sauce

Feeding a hungry family! then you need Penne bake with Ham and Cheese. Any pasta bake would be great with ham and cheese. When I make macaroni cheese I always throw in a handful of leftover ham.

leftover ham recipes

Penne Bake

Easy Egg Fried Rice

This is one of my late night weekend treats with a cold beer. Super quick, super tasty and with throwing in the leftover ham I suppose its actually Special Fried Rice.

easy egg fried rice

Special Fried Rice wit leftover ham

Ham in Soup

Now every Grandma had a ham soup recipe in their personal cookbook. A tradition which sadly is declining, the family cookbook passed down generations. On the positive side and moving towards the future a digital family cookbook will be the standard of our children.

Speedy Ham and Pea Soup

200g of leftover ham from the freezer and 400g of frozen peas in the pan with butter. Heat through until defrosted then add 700ml of boiling water with a chicken stock cube. Once bubbling blitz with blender then add 150ml of cream. (add chopped mint from the garden) Dried will suffice. Reheat, taste and season, serve with a chunk of bread.

leftover ham recipes

Pea and Ham Soup

Ham, Cabbage and Potato Soup

If your looking for leftover ham recipes on a budget and looking to cut the calories then I have the soup for you. Ham, cabbage and potato soup. Prep time is less than 15 minutes and with no exotic ingredients it should be a doodle. The potatoes could be anything you have in you. Just be carful with the timing on cooking the potatoes so they do not turn to mush(unless you like it that way. The cabbage could be, white cabbage, Savoy cabbage or even greens. Try the recipe from The Gourmet RD

leftover ham recipes

Ham-Potato-Cabbage-Soup

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More to come so please check back, just cooking dinner for when the kids get back from school (Shepards Pie)

Leftover Ham & Ricotta Ravioli For One

I had made the basic pasta dough with the kids on Sunday as I like to get them involved in food. The I made a classic mistake of asking if they wanted tagliatelle or ravioli. The twins wanted tagliatelle and arghh the big one wanted to make ravioli.

So as I am a softy when it comes to the kids I decided to make both. I had already cooked a gammon with oranges and brown sugar earlier in the day just for this. So I finely diced the ham then added ricotta cheese along with Parmesan cheese. Then mixed well and placed on the pasta and made ravioli, it really was that simple.

leftover ham ravioli & ricota

Fresh Pasta Tagliatelle For Two

So for the twins they made the pasta and cut it into tagliatelle shapes by hand. They preferred that from using the pasta making machine this time. The sauce was a quick blend of pickled roasted red pepper, one clove of garlic and then ricotta cheese. Then into a pan with the diced ham and then add the cooked pasta with some of the pasta water to make the sauce.

I was amazed that it tasted great and the kids enjoyed the sauce as well. Apologies for the photo quality as it always seems to be a mad rush when the kids are around

roasted red pepper sauce for homemade pasta with leftover ham on a budget

Leftover Ham Recipes On A budget. These chunks of ham go great in my Char Siu minced pork balls

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