Leftovers. I’m the Papal Nuncio of leftovers. Very much in favour. Unlike Edna, my late mother-in-law, who threw ‘em all away. But she’d had a hard life and, having married a chef, didn’t see the point, saw them as reminders of the hard life.
A week ago we had streaky pork slices, marinaded, then deep grilled along one edge. There were a few left. Mrs RR cut them into cubes, cubed and boiled a large potato along with a chopped onion, added a skinned tomato, wrapped the lot in a flap of short pastry and – through the Neff’s magic – turned it into a pasty. Pasty-ising adds subtle flavour to these simple ingredients. Mrs RR’s been doing it for decades. Time to recognise it as a family classic, I said.
A cylinder of brisket becomes a sort of calendar. Day one, eaten hot with vegetables, day two, the cylinder shrinks as we have cold slices with a baked potato, day three, sandwich filling to go with a mug of soup.
My invention. I microwave a small bowl of leftover meat-thick stew and ooze it over two slices of buttered toast. Eat with knife and fork.
Remainder of pork joint is cubed. Cubed potato, grated carrot, and chopped onion are boiled in same pan, mashed, mixed herbs added. Meat and veg combined, wavy design imposed on top with a fork. Into the Neff for shepherds pie.
None of this is haute cuisine. Merely eating what we ate earlier in a different form. But there’s a (possibly West Riding) frisson about not being wasteful.
When we have sausages (Herefordshire is sausage rich) Mrs RR puts one of hers to one side. They taste best eaten cold, she says. Often she shares the cold one with unworthy me.