Should you save the gravy? Storing Christmas leftovers and what to cook with them | Leftovers

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HaChristmas lunch is over and you are staring at a table laden with glazed hams, turkey carcasses, crusty salads no one wanted to eat, and rapidly shrinking pavlova. You’re probably still too drunk to go to the supermarket for extra supplies. Now what?

Aside from throwing everything on a plate and eating the same meal again on Boxing Day (no bad shouts), there are some reliable and delicious ways to survive Christmas leftovers. Here are some ideas for what to do with the rest of your lunch today, and some advice for avoiding food poisoning along the way.


Storage method: Elina Marais of Food Safety Consultants Australia says the best way to hide ham is to put it in a suitable ham bag soaked in vinegar. If you want to keep it longer than that, she says you should cut it right away and put it in the freezer.

Woolworths Christmas Ham Bag, $4. Photo: Woolworths

Run it out: “I think ham is easy,” says Adam Liaw, host of The Cook Up. He advocates starting with the classics.

“A ham sandwich for a few days is probably your norm, and that’s not a bad thing. A Boxing Day test and a ham sandwich are institutions.”

But if you’re pinched, it might be time to fire up the skillet. can be added.

As with Liaw’s carbonara, YouTube cooking sensation Nat’s What I Reckon says you can substitute ham for basically any dish that calls for bacon. in addition?

“You can make fried rice, pizza with Lebanese bread and throw everything on top. The fritters are great. The risotto is really great. But it’s not pea and ham soup weather.”

Or, if all else fails, grab some potatoes and go classic foam and squeak.

“It’s a vacuum cleaner of what’s cooked for dinner,” says Nat. “Just suck it all into the pan and fry it.”


Storage method: Men recommend cutting leftover turkey into small pieces so it cools faster when put back in the fridge.

Usage: At the Riau family, leftover turkey was always in one dish: red curry.

A dish of red curry.
A store-bought red curry sauce is just right for leftover turkey. Photo: PRABHASROY/Getty Images/iStockphoto

“People tend to eat the turkey breast first, and no matter how good you are at carving a turkey, there’s always a fair amount of meat left in it. I think I’ll make a standard red curry,” says Liau.

Turkey isn’t actually on the menu at Nut’s shop. “I cook turkey for Christmas not because I want to eat it, but because I was told to,” he says. “I think people prefer chicken most of the time. It’s a lot less stressful than cooking a giant turkey and has a much better strike rate.”

His suggestions for how to survive your leftovers – which bird?

“I would do something similar [with chicken] Use the turkey to make a pie. A turkey and leek pie would be pretty good, or you could stick it on a quesadilla or make chili. Worse. ”

Whatever you do, make sure it’s hot, says the man. When eating, reheating food is an important step in killing bacteria. So, if it’s not boiled in curry or chili, hit the meat in the microwave until enough steam comes out of the meat. This allows it to be safely taken on the second day.

Other ones

Gravy frozen in ice cube trays.
Freeze the gravy right away in an ice cube tray and you’ll be able to appreciate it for months. Photo: FoodCentrale by ddp media GmbH/Alamy

Storage method: The objective of this game is to keep cooked food as cold as possible. The man says that dishes like turkey and ham should be kept out of the fridge for about two hours. If you sat at the lunch table all day – In particular Over 4 hours – Leftovers should be in the bin, not the refrigerator. This is especially important in Australia, where Christmas day is hot and food spoils quickly.

Easier said than done, Marais advises not to overstock your refrigerator. This ensures enough cold air flow to keep everything cool.

“In the summer in general, and especially at Christmas, I run the fridge a little cooler because I keep the door open and closed to let in hot air,” she says.

Run it out: If you’re a Christmas lamb household, Nat suggests smashing leftovers between two slices of bread. If you have a large family, you probably won’t have any left.”

And don’t throw those shrimp heads away.

“If you have shrimp peelers around, you can use the shrimp heads and shells to make shrimp stock — even if they’re already cooked,” Riau says. You can also get flavor out of the shrimp heads, and if you have a lot of them, you can also use them appropriately.”

Liaw also suggests making two batches of gravy and saving half for later use. Think stroganoff vibes — stir pasta with turkey or just pop it in the freezer. Your future self will thank you for using ice cube trays to portion out.

“We can keep 100 roast chickens juicy all year round,” says Liaw. “Gravy is really useful. If you can focus on making something good at Christmastime, you can pull it out of the freezer the next time you make a stew. You can do a little more: richness and umami.” .”

If in doubt, throw it away

A little common sense helps when reaching for a wilted salad on December 28th.

“If it tastes bad, smells, looks weird, is slimy or looks a little dull, you shouldn’t eat it,” says the man. “When in doubt, throw it away. That’s probably the key to his Christmas hood.”

Of course, in the name of food safety, consider this license to eat leftovers ASAP.

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