I've got nothing but leftovers in the fridge, the family is hungry, and I'm just not feeling all that creative. WAT DO??
Turn for help from the internet, of course.
It really is amazing what Google will turn up in a simple search for "leftover beef recipe." Mostly it's amazing because it seems like there are an awful lot of people out there who think "hash" when they think of leftover beef, and I've done that to death.
And then I ran into "French Leftover Beef" - A blog post which was published in 2005 on a blog called Mantia's Musings. As blog author Alyce tells it, the recipe is derived from boeuf miroton, a French dish which is specifically about using up leftover beef, and was originally published in "a women's magazine years ago." Alyce's description of the dish sounded delicious and I knew right away I had found what I was going to make for supper.
Such a recipe is enormously flexible, and so I made a few tweaks of my own to the ingredients. I think it turned out great, and so did the rest of the family. Except the dogs. They never got to try it. The gravy is heavy on the onions, and onions are not at all healthy for dogs.
French Leftover BeefServes 4 to 6
2 tablespoons olive oil3 smallish onions, thinly sliced2 tablespoons flour1/2 cup chardonnay1/2 cup beef stock, plus more as needed2 tablespoons tomato paste1 teaspoon sweet paprika1 tablespoon Gravy MasterSalt and pepper to taste3 cups leftover cooked beef, cut into cubes
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and add the sliced onions. Sautee until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize. Stir in the flour and continue to cook until the flour is lightly browned, then stir in the chardonnay, beef stock, tomato paste and paprika. Continue to stir over the heat until the mixture thickens, darkening the color of the mix as you wish with the Gravy Master.
Cover the gravy and simmer it over very low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef stock as necessary to prevent the gravy from getting too thick and scorching the dutch oven.
Stir in the meat and simmer, covered, for an additional 20 minutes (adding broth when needed as before.) Serve with a tossed green salad and cheese toasts.
Alyce suggests serving Cheese Toast with French Leftover Beef, and I agree. It's easy to make: just butter some slices of ciabatta or French bread, sprinkle it with grated Parmesan cheese, and run it under the broiler for a few minutes to toast the cheese and make the bread crispy.