Jan 5, 2014

Our Year Without Food Waste

Abigail and Dolley readers this year I have set a goal to eliminate food waste in our home.  From a financial perspective, it is estimated that Americans are wasting 40% of the food we buy.  That is astounding when you contemplate the staggering costs to the family.  I recognize that we won't be perfect but we are going to give it a good try, and if I do have something go bad as long as it's fruit or veg, it will go to the compost bin.  There are tons of blogs about repurposing your left overs and I am sure in the coming year, I'll be consulting them for inspiration.

On New Year's Eve, I used my turkey roasting pan made a huge Bottom Round Roast with potatoes, celery, onions, mushrooms, and carrots.  I'd never made a Bottom Round Roast; always been a Chuck Roast kid of gal.  My son isn't a fan of chuck roast and it doesn't make good lunch meat, so I rolled the dice and bought a Bottom Round Roast.  All the recipes say to brown it off and then braise in the oven fully submerged in liquid.  Well, a turkey roaster holds A LOT of water.  I cooked it to medium temperature and it was hard as a rock, so I put it back in the 250 degree oven for a couple more hours.  I'd seasoned the water but this roast did not release a ton of juice so the au jus was just plain watery.

The veggies sort of slowly boiled and the meat had a good flavor, so we ate pot roast the next night.  I tried to play it off, because holy cow there was a ton of this stuff, but in the end it just wasn't that good.  So I started out the New Year with a giant pan of not so good pot roast.

Here's what I did with it...

  • Drained about a quart of the au jus and froze it
  • Used another quart of the au jus and made a big batch of brown rice, which we then curried with coconut milk.
  • Pulled out the potatoes, ran them through a quick chop in the food processor and made hash browns.
  • Thinly shaved about a pound of the roast beef and made sandwiches
  • Cubed another pound of meat and made some brown gravy for beef gravy over toast
  • Made a cream of celery and carrot soup with goats milk
  • Sauteed the mushrooms with a little butter and wine and used them as a side dish

All in all, not a bad beginning to my repurposed life!  So friends, if you ever find yourself wondering what to do with left over pot roast, here are some ideas!