What can I cook with 3 or more kinds of leftover meat?
October 9, 2011 8:19 PM   Subscribe

What can I cook with 3 or more kinds of leftover meat? With the elder Fnorde boy off at college, I'm finding more and more often that dinner leaves us with a small amount of meat left over, too small for a serving, but too big to blithely throw away. What ideas can you give me for things to cook that can use multiple different cooked meats? For example, the fridge now includes about 3 ounces each of grilled beef, pork tenderloin, and chicken legs. I'd like to use them up in a single dish. I can think of making fried rice or lo mein with mixed meat, or maybe burritos or hash. Any other ideas?

I haven't got a crockpot, but I'm otherwise pretty well set with basic cooking technique and equipment. There are no dietary restrictions.
posted by Jasper Fnorde to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'd probably eat the chicken legs cold or turn them into chicken salad and use the other two for a pasta sauce. Reheated chicken gives me the willies.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:23 PM on October 9, 2011

You could make a somewhat unconventional gumbo.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:24 PM on October 9, 2011 [3 favorites]

posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:24 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This situation was simply invented for chilaquiles! A Mexican staple: kind of an enchilad-y hash-y type casserole-y pastiche involving cut up corn tortillas, meat, salsa, and whatever you have around. Totally delicious, filling, and wonderful comfort food. A regular thing in our house, fits for b.fast lunch or dinner.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 8:35 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Tacos! Same basic prep for each meat, just use a different meat in each taco. Go the lots of tomatoes/cheese/lettuce/peppers/salsa route and keep the meat portions very small.

Chilaquiles is also an excellent answer, yum.
posted by carsonb at 8:36 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I would probably focus on turning each into a separate lunch rather than mixing the meats. Chicken and steak work as salad toppings, chicken and fish can be made into a salad with mayo and eaten on a sandwich, beef and pork can be eaten cold with barbeque sauce on a bun...
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 8:43 PM on October 9, 2011

Make some pastry and turn your leftovers into 3 individual pies. Serve with a neutral gravy and vegetables.
posted by unliteral at 8:45 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Buy a tasty squash, like kuri, cut the top out and clean out the inside like a jack-o-lantern, fill it with rice, spices, vegetables, and meats, put the top back on, and bake it in the oven.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:52 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

3 ounces of meat is just about right for one quesadilla.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:53 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like to make a casserole-style thing with layers of meat, sliced zucchini, cheese, and sauce (pizza sauce, salsa, enchilada sauce, pesto, green chile sauce -- there are tons of options here). Layer everything (sauce, then zucchini, then meat, then cheese. Repeat, ensuring that the top layer is cheese), then cook at 350 until bubbly and browned on top, about half an hour. With three different kinds of meat you could create three "zones" of flavor within the casserole...
posted by vorfeed at 9:03 PM on October 9, 2011

Pizza? Quiche can be baked and frozen if you aren't in the mood for it now.
posted by meeshell at 9:05 PM on October 9, 2011

Rice and beans, with meat! (Sometimes I'll do this deliberately. Then I have to do it again because I have a little bit of each meat left from doing it the first time.)
posted by madcaptenor at 9:12 PM on October 9, 2011

Chicken, beef and prawns in the same dish?! Worry not. Heaps of Asian restaurants in Australia do this. Just throw it all in a stir fry with your fave vegetables. Add rice or noodles.

If you want a recipe name to get you on the right track, our local place serves a hunger destroying three-meat char kway teow [typical of Australian foody fusion culture, it is nothing like the traditional recipe].

There's also the highly sociable steamboat meal where small cuts of meats and vegetables are cooked and eaten at the table.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:39 PM on October 9, 2011

I bookmarked this recipe for Nasi Goreng just today, thinking it would work well as a base recipe for adaptation to use any leftover meats and vegies.

And I do NOT read Woman's Day, fellow Australians!
posted by malibustacey9999 at 10:03 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

In Egypt I often ran across a dish where rice was cooked with scrap meats for flavor (often offal). No special ingredients, just pop the meat in with the rice as it boils, maybe add a bit of extra salt and pepper.

If none of the meats was heavily flavored one way or the other, you could just throw them all together in a stew as well. If you cook enough vegetables all together for long enough all the flavors meld together anyway.

Note that I've never combined pork with chicken as I don't touch the stuff, so YMMV.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:52 PM on October 9, 2011

Sounds like chili to me.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:59 PM on October 9, 2011

My first thoughts were "chili" and "pizza". Now I'm having a brilliant thought: dumplings! With the amounts you have, you won't get a ton, but have fun with stretching it. Get yourself some wonton wrappers (or be hardcore and make your own dough. Chop up a bunch of cabbage or potato or both or whatever you want to give it some body & a more specific flavor. If you want to combine them all into a mish-mash with the veggies, go for it. Or, separate the veggie bits into portions appropriate to how much meat you have from each. Mix up filling & fill the doughs. Fry/steam/freeze as desired.

Now I want dumplings made from your meats.
posted by knile at 1:08 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Jambalaya and cassoulet (and any number of similar dishes around the world, like jolof rice) are purpose-built to use a mixture of meats. The normal way to make them involves cooking the meat with the rice or beans, but you could easily make a version where you added the leftover meats late in the process.
posted by Forktine at 4:20 AM on October 10, 2011

We use our meat leftovers to make stovies from time to time, though I cannot imagine them with chicken - usually beef, pork and lamb would go okay. This is comfort food, not health food. We had stovies at our wedding!
posted by sagwalla at 4:52 AM on October 10, 2011

"Hash is more than the sum of its parts--basic leftovers combine with short preparation and cooking times to produce a satisfying and filling supper."
posted by taz at 5:12 AM on October 10, 2011

Make a pâté! I used to think that it's hard, but I was wrong.
posted by hat_eater at 5:20 AM on October 10, 2011

I'm not sure how this would work with the chicken, but maybe a Bolognese sauce. Cook's Illustrated just had a recipe for five different meats, mostly pulsing the meat in a food processor.
posted by lillygog at 6:05 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

French Canadian Meat Pie. My grandmother would save all the leftover bits of meat from the week and grind them up, add in a potato and seasonings and bake it in a crust. It's still the only think I will eat ketchup on.
posted by andreap at 6:35 AM on October 10, 2011

Best answer: I don't hesitate to mix leftover meats into "garbage soup" (even pork, which for some reason rarely features in actual soup recipes). Another option is shepherd's pie/pot pie.
posted by SomeTrickPony at 6:43 AM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

SomeTrickPony: "I don't hesitate to mix leftover meats into "garbage soup" (even pork, which for some reason rarely features in actual soup recipes). Another option is shepherd's pie/pot pie."

I always called it "Refrigerator Soup" as in, whatever's left in the refrigerator.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:46 AM on October 10, 2011

This sounds like how I make chili. I go to the grocery store and usually buy a combination of turkey, beef, and something else. Yum yum.
posted by jmd82 at 8:00 AM on October 10, 2011

Yeah, grind them up for chili or tomato meat sauce to serve over pasta.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:34 AM on October 10, 2011

Sounds perfect for empanadas, calzones, as pasties.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 8:41 AM on October 10, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, all. Soup and Chilaquiles look like the first things I'll try. But Nutraloaf? I'm not yet ready to start using food as a disciplinary device yet.
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 8:57 AM on October 11, 2011

My mom often makes a salad for lunch that's leftover pork, chicken, and/or turkey and basically waldorf - apples, a little mayo, raisins, walnuts. Beef probably wouldn't work, but all of the others do.
posted by ldthomps at 4:20 PM on October 22, 2011

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