Don't let luscious leftover lamb loiter at the back of the fridge, try our recipes and clever ideas to transform the remnants of an Easter or Sunday roast into a delicious new dish.
We've all been there after Sunday lunch - too full to even contemplate dessert (well, for at least an hour), but faced with an abundance of uneaten meat. But there's no need to waste a scrap of a luxury like lamb - we've put together our best recipes, tips and tricks to show your leftovers some love.
Store it safely
Food safety always comes first, so as soon as you've finished eating, cool your meat at room temperature (ideally within 90 minutes) and pop in the fridge. You can safely store cooked lamb for up to three days in the fridge, or in the freezer for 2 months. Make sure that it's fully defrosted before using, and if it's been frozen once, don't re-freeze. Reheat until steaming hot throughout - bon appétit!
This British staple is a classic for a reason – senior food editor Barney reckons that leftover lamb makes the best shepherd’s pies. ‘Just pulse the cooked meat in a food processor until chopped into small pieces then pour into a large oven proof dish with some leftover gravy. Mix well, top with mash and bake in the oven - how shepherd's pie should be!’
If you’re looking for something a bit more portable than a pie, wrapping your leftovers into a pastry parcel makes a perfect on-the-go meal. Pop in any leftover mashed potatoes and use ready-made puff pastry for an even speedier supper.
Turkish lamb pilau
Sweeten up nutty basmati rice with cinnamon and dried apricots for an exotic one-pot, bursting with contrasting textures and flavours. To avoid overcooking your meat, keep the lamb to one side until nearly ready to serve, then add during the last five minutes, so it’s warmed through rather than overcooked.
If you’re still feeling stuffed the day after an indulgent roast, try this low-fat, low-calorie lunch, which packs an impressive four of your five a day. Using leftover lamb slashes the amount of stir-frying time required – just add to the pan and warm through before tossing in the pre-cooked noodles and vegetables.
When’s a pastry not a pastry? When it’s made with bread! This savoury Turkish dish is stuffed with feta cheese, raisins and toasted pine nuts, and served with a tangy tomato dip. Rather than frying the lamb, add your leftover meat to the filling, and stir well before spooning onto the rolled out dough.
Fresh and light, salads are a quick and delicious way to use up cold cooked meat, and can be customised to include your favourite flavours. Food editor Cassie says: 'I like to fry up any leftover lamb until the edges go nice and crispy then drizzle it in pomegranate molasses and toss it through salad leaves.' If you've got some oven chips lurking in the freezer, why not use them up in this summery salad with feta, spinach and mint - as you don't need to cook the lamb, just skip step 2 completely.
Barney loves using slices of lamb in a kebab-style supper: 'If you can get hold of shawarma seasoning (or make your own using a blend of paprika, cumin, allspice, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper and garlic) this is great sprinkled on leftover reheated lamb. Serve in pitta and add all your favourite kebab shop trimmings.' If you're feeling inspired, try stirring some harissa through shop-bought houmous, then follow step 2 of this spicy flatbread recipe.
Need a hand purchasing or preparing your lamb? Save some cash with our guide to buying cheap cuts of lamb, or watch our video guides to learn how to prepare a leg of lamb and how to butterfly a leg of lamb.
What's your favourite way to use up leftover lamb? Let us know in the comments below...