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What do to with... leftover roast lamb

Made enough for everyone and then some? That’s this week’s lunches sorted, so.

Lamp, pita and tzatziki.
Lamp, pita and tzatziki.
Image: Shutterstock/Elena Veselova

A ROAST LEG of lamb is a perfect weekend dinner, and if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, it’ll be the perfect weekday lunch too.

Lamb is a very versatile meat and can be used in many dishes: soups, curries or a good old sandwich. The meat already has an intense flavour, which pairs beautifully with fragrant spices like ground cumin and coriander or fresh herbs like rosemary.

If you’re cooking lamb on the bone, like a leg of lamb, keep what’s left of the cooked meat on the bone when storing it in the fridge. This will help the meat to retain moisture, meaning no dry, chewy leftovers.

As with any leftover meat, if you’re reheating your lamb ensure it’s piping hot, and only ever reheat it once. 

Give your leftovers some love with one of recipe ideas below…

Lamb tagine: Lamb is well able to hold its own against the fragrant spices that are used in a tagine. Heat some oil in a heavy based pot and fry off onion, garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander for 10 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add in a tin of chopped tomatoes, 200ml stock, a bowl of leftover chopped lamb, dried apricots and season. Simmer for a further 15 minutes and serve with couscous, a dollop of Greek yogurt and some more coriander. This recipe can easily be adjusted to your taste with the addition of some chickpeas, sweet potato or even leftover veggies.

Lamb, spinach and feta filo parcels: These Greek inspired pies are super speedy to make and require very little prep. To prepare the filling, fry chopped onion, lamb, garlic, cumin and tomato paste until the lamb starts to brown. Set aside and prepare the filo pastry by brushing with olive oil and layering with more sheets of pastry until you have a total of four layers. Now, add the meat filling, a few spinach leaves and some crumbled feta, and fold a corner of the pastry across to form a triangle. Continue this process until you reach the end of the pastry, brush each parcel with olive oil, and bake for 10 minutes at 200°C. While the parcels are best enjoyed straight out of the oven, they’re also just as tasty served cold, and make a great lunchbox addition. 

shutterstock_1120006373 Lamb pilaf. Source: Shutterstock/Zu Kamilov

Lamb pilaf: In a large pot, fry onion and garlic until soft, followed by ground cumin, a couple of garlic cloves, turmeric and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir in about 400g rice and whatever leftover lamb you have until coated in spices, and then cover with a litre of stock. Cook at a gentle temperature until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. A simple recipe that the whole family will love!  

Lamb gyros: Lamb gyros are packed full of delicious flavours and make an ultra satisfying supper. Start off by making a tzatziki sauce: mix a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt with grated cucumber, salt, pepper and a clove of crushed garlic. Next, chop up some cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, olives and red onion and set aside. In a hot pan, fry up some leftover sliced lamb in olive oil with crushed garlic, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice until piping hot and browned. To assemble the gyros, spread a thin layer of tzatziki on a slice of pita bread and then layer on the salad mix, piping hot lamb and some crumbled feta cheese.

Shepherd’s pie: This deliciously comforting dish is an ideal way to use up any leftover lamb meat – and last week we got some tips from our readers for making this very dish. Gently fry some chopped carrots, onion, celery and crushed garlic for about ten minutes. Add a glass of red wine, 200ml of stock, a spoonful of both tomato puree and (optional) ketchup and simmer for a further ten minutes. Once the sauce has started to reduce, add in some chopped leftover lamb, and top with mashed potatoes and some grated cheese. Bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden.  

More: What to do with… leftover roast chicken>

More: What to do with… those leftover apples sitting in the fruit bowl>

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