We don’t have Thanksgiving here in the UK, even though I think we should. We have much to be thankful for and a day to celebrate those things, rather than the ‘bank holidays’ we have that mean nothing except a day off work.
Whatever day you chose to eat it on I have always found that one of the main problems with turkey is what to do with the leftovers.
I remember back in the 60’s we had a turkey that was so big it wouldn’t fit in the range, I had to cut the legs of it and cook them in another roasting tin. There was plenty of meat left that time, but luckily it was winter and the scullery was cold enough that the meat didn’t spoil.
Nothing was wasted though without a freezer we were turkeyed out by the end of the following week.
There wasn’t the ingredients around years ago to do some of the wonderful things that you could make with the leftovers these days. One of my favourites was to mix chopped turkey with left over stuffing and wrap it in bacon.
- Lay the bacon fat over lean until you have a ‘sheet about a foot long.
- Put the turkey mixture along one of the long edges, about three inches wide is a good amount.
- Put something sweet on top of the turkey mix, apple sauce or cranberry sauce will be just fine.
- Use a flat knife to lift the turkey mix edge of the bacon and roll it over and over so that none of the mixture inside is visible.
- Bake until the bacon browns.
This is very tasty and uses up the full flavour dark meat. It eats well hot or cold as well, so it ended up in school lunches as well as getting served with some chutney and a chunk of crusty bread and butter for supper.
Of course, I made the usual stews and casseroles, adding the meat last so it didn’t go all stringy as turkey is apt to do.
Another meal my brood enjoyed was turkey and vegetable pie, that always went down well, as did turkey and potato cakes which were very simple. Leftover vegetables mixed into mashed potatoes and then chunks of turkey added. After rolling the mix into balls and flattening them I’d cook them on the range top in a small amount of bacon fat until they browned, very nice and they were quick to make and cook.
The bones would make stock, some of which I stored for a week or two and the rest made the base of turkey and vegetable soup. all those little tiny bits of meat are really good for soup.
Finally, the bones would be put into the oven when I wasn’t cooking anything else, or sit at the back of the range if I was and when they were dry they’d be smashed up and added to the compost heap.
Well, that’s my ideas for dealing with turkey leftovers. I hope you and the family have a wonderful day, I’ll speak to you very soon.