Take Leftover Holiday Lamb And Make A Savory Shepherd's Pie

After spending so much time in the kitchen preparing a holiday feast, having plenty of leftovers can be a real treat. You get to experience the festivities again and again ... Okay, maybe there's a pretty low limit on how many times you can enjoy the exact same meal. Instead, view your leftovers as ingredients rather than standalone dishes, and transform them into something entirely new.

That leftover holiday lamb is a perfect example. The robust meat is easily transformed with this simple shepherd's pie recipe into a rich, bubbly, creamy casserole. Because the meat is already seasoned and ready to go, you aren't starting from scratch when it comes to building a foundation of flavor. It's also one of the many delicious ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Plus, a stewy base is an ideal vehicle for using up all sorts of items you may have lingering after a big holiday meal.

Repurposing leftovers into a delicious shepherd's pie

If you made something like braised lamb shanks with figs and rosemary for your celebration, get in there with your hands and shred the meat with your fingers. Lamb chops and roasts — or leftover beef or pork — can be diced into small cubes. Cooked vegetables like corn, peas, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, or asparagus can be added to the bowl with the waiting lamb — just ensure the veggies are all cut to roughly the same size. Wilting parsley, floppy chives, or a few spoonfuls of lingering mint sauce could make nice additions, too.

If you happen to have mashed potatoes, warm them up and thin them with a little milk or broth to reach a spreadable consistency. Leftover root vegetables like turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, or winter squash could also be smashed and added to the mix. If you don't have any, whip up this easy mashed potato recipe instead.

A simple gravy ties everything together. Saute some onions and garlic in butter or oil, then sprinkle with flour to make a roux. Whisk in any kind of broth or stock, such as lamb, beef, chicken, or vegetable, and simmer until slightly thickened. If you have any leftover drippings from the meat or gravy that you already made, you can add that too. Stir in the meat and vegetables, transfer the mixture to a baking dish, and top with your mash. Bake until browned and bubbly!

More lamb and potatoes leftovers glow-ups

There are plenty of ways to elevate leftover lamb and potatoes. Instead of making a mash, turn both spring and root vegetables into a delightfully savory breakfast hash. Crisp your ingredients up in a pan with a little oil, and toss in the lamb to warm it through. Top it off with a runny egg and some crumbled feta cheese. Alternatively, use those same ingredients as an omelet or frittata filling. Mashed potatoes and lamb can also be mixed together and formed into croquettes. Dip balls or logs into flour, then egg, and finally breadcrumbs before shallow frying to create crispy, savory bites.

Just keep in mind that lamb is typically quite lean. Cooking it for too long will result in a dry and tough dish. Always add leftover lamb toward the end of the recipe to fully warm it through without overcooking it.

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