Just Walt's Mental Meanderings

Walter Blevins

Walter Blevins
Vista, California, USA
August 22
I'm a 60 year old guy who lives in Vista California with my wife. I spent the 30 years before moving to Cali in Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota. And I have 2 grown children, a son and a daughter who live in Virginia and Iowa and a 22 year old step-daughter lives with us here in Vista. I'm a proud grandpa with 2 grandaughters living in Virginia. I like to write about a whole variety of things from my kids to cooking to politics to the car industry to my status as a "Cheap Bastid" and "Old Fart" and just random thoughts. And I really love writing about cooking really good, homecooked comfort food cheap. That's why they call me the Cheap Bastid. By the way--all the stuff I write is my stuff and you can't use it without my official OkeyDokey

MARCH 20, 2012 8:56AM

Foodie Tuesday: Fun With Jane Smithie's Leftover Pot Roast

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Last week, “graciousjanesmithie” did a post on “Insanely Delicious Pot Roast”.  No two was about it; this was a tasty, succulent dish.  But, what do you do with the leftovers?  How do you take this inexpensive dinner and convert it to several more dinners that are cheap?  Here’s the link to her post:

Well, a few months back, Cheap Bastid fixed a big slow-cooker full of what Mrs. CB has always called “Roast Beast”.  It was a big bottom round (aka London Broil) which I cooked up to find out how many different ways I could fix it.

shredded beef2

Here are some ideas you might want to try.  First thing is, get as big a pot roast as you can squeeze into your slow cooker—buy it when it’s on special at the grocery store.  The idea here is to make good food and make it as cheap as possible.  So here are some things you can do:

First, shred the left over beef and put in an airtight container.

Beef Stock

The first thing I’m going to do is take the liquid from that pot roast and strain it into a big bowl and then put that bowl in the fridge overnight.  Then I’ll take it out of the fridge and skim the congealed fat off the top.  After than I’ll put it into ice cube trays and put those into the freezer.  When frozen, I’ll pop the cubes out and put them into freezer bags.  This is a deep, rich, brown beef stock with tons of flavor.  One cube is the flavor equivalent of about a half cup of broth.  (Try licking one.  It’s like a beef-cicle).

Shredded Beef Sandwich 

shredded sandwich2

Chop up about a cup of red bell pepper and about a half cup of onions into strips about 1 ½-2 inches long and sauté them until soft and caramelized.  In another pan put a couple of cups of shredded beef in with a tablespoon of oil and a couple of good glugs of Worcestershire.  These 2 steps will take about 5 minutes.  Then layer first shredded beef and then onions and peppers on top of each other on a round of flat bread.  Roll it and enjoy a really tasty sandwich for lunch or dinner.

Shredded Beef Taco

shredded taco2

Well, this one is pretty obvious.  Shred up some lettuce.  Chop up a tomato. Chop some onion.  Get out some shredded cheese (jack and cheddar).  Then take a sauté pan, add a glug of oil and toss in a couple of cups of shredded beef (I like to use a well-heated pan to try to get just a bit of “crust” on the meat).  Now add some dark chili powder or ancho powder, cumin, garlic, a bit of salt and a bit of chipotle.  Remove from heat, get out some flour tortillas and build your tacos.

Shredded Beef Torta


Take out your sauté pan, chop about ½ cup of onion and toss it into the pan.  Then add a couple of cups of shredded beef along with some cumin, garlic, ancho or chili powder and some chipotle (all to taste).  Open up a small can of either green chilies or salsa verde (I’m too lazy to make it from scratch). 

 torta done2

For these tortas I used those skinny little buns that came out the last couple of years—they’re perfect for this, not too bready and at least have the appearance of being more “healthy”.  Put down a layer of beef, some onions, a couple of tablespoons of the green chilies and a handful of shredded cheese.  Zap it or toast it if you want to melt the cheese. 


This has become one of my favorite “go-to” dishes for leftovers with beef, pork, chicken or shrimp (yeah, like there’s ever leftover shrimp!).  It’s a term I made up combining Grits and Hash except I pronounce it as if it’s spelled “greesh”. 

greesh fixings

Pick up a bag of stone ground grits/polenta (I use “Bobs Red Mill” which is about $2.30 for a 1 ½ lb bag).  For 2 people make a total of 1 ½ cups grits mixed with 4 cups water and 1 cup broth along with a couple of tablespoons of butter or margarine.  (Bring liquid to a boil, turn heat all the way down, slowly add the grits, stir well, cover and leave it alone for about 15-20 minutes, then add a handful of cheese, stir and serve). 

bobs grits  pot of grits2

Chop up bell pepper, a fresh jalapeno if you have one and onion.  Either open an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce or chop up a medium tomato.  Get out a couple of the beef stock cubes I mentioned earlier.  Heat your medium sauté pan and add a glug or 2 of oil.  Drop in the chopped vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Then add a couple of cups of shredded beef and heat thoroughly.  Add the tomatoes/tomato sauce and the stock cubes.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic.  Turn down the heat and let this thicken just a bit. 


Then plate with a healthy bunch of grits topped with the meat and vegetable mix. 

Well, that’s 4 dishes that you can make with left over pot roast/shredded beef.  What other possibilities are there?

Beef Fried Rice friedriceplated
Soup--beef barley, beef vegetable
Chili with Shredded Beef
"Brinner"--skillet finisheda skillet hash made with potatoes, chopped shredded beef, eggs and cheese
Shepard's Pie--shredded beef, peas and carrots, gravy topped with a “crust” of mashed potatoes.
BBQ Beef--shredded beef and barbecue sauce sandwiches with beans and slaw

How many other ideas can you come up with?  I’m sure there are other dishes that can be made simply and cheaply.

Cheap Bastid is all about saving money and eating well at the same time.  In today’s world, money is tighter than ever and food keeps taking a bigger and bigger hunk out of our budget.  I’ve turned saving money on food into a “sport”, always looking for ways to save while cooking homemade meals that are nutritious, simple and tasty.

And, if you want to see more Cheap Bastid recipes please visit my foodblog at:  http://www.cheap-bastid-cooks.com/

That's the Cheap Bastid Way:  Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!

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Gary--thanks. Give it a try. It's one of the easiest and tastiest ways of doing left overs.

Jane--thanks. You inspired me to a post that I've been wanting to do for a while.
And....generally speaking, the biggest difference between "polenta" and "grits" at a restaurant is about $6.00 on the menu.
Gawd but that looks good. You and Gracie Jane oughta open a restaurant.
Do you travel and cook for destitute but worthy Maryland families in return for some very good beer?

We make soup for the third meal. With that rich broth, you don't need much meat, just potatoes, carrots and cabbage, and maybe a can of tomatoes.
My dog likes leftover pot roast.
Vegetable beef barley soup, roast beef hash, hot roast beef sandwiches, chalupas... I'm sure I can come up with more if I give it a few minutes thought.
Now I can eat that... gluten free..
Chicken Maan--thanks. I think that if Jane and I got in a kitchen together you'd have to first hide all the knives and then take bets on which one would survive the mayhem.

Jon--I'd love to cook in Maryland, especially if your provide the crabs.

HighLonesome--while soup isn't always the 3rd meal, it always factors into the equation. The pan juices are just too valuable and tasty to waste. I have also taken the left over potatoes, carrots and onions and mashed them to make "hashcakes". Really tasty.

Larry--well, dogs need to eat too! Get one with a bone.

Mrs. Raptor--yep, you're right. There's plenty of possibilities. To use an old "marketing" term--you just have to have "top of mind awareness" of the possibilities. And those possibilities are easy, tasty and cheap.
Linda--thanks. Go for it and really enjoy!
Jane--thanks. Of course, the biggest practical difference between the 2 is that with polenta you can cook it up, pour it into a pan, chill it and then do some stuff with it like grill it or fry it. Otherwise, there is little difference. Technically, there's supposed to be a difference between how the corn is processed but increasingly this difference is disappearing--although there are "foo-foo foodies" who will vehemently argue the point.
Interesting note: the first time I posted here about "Grish" was on June 16, 2009 and it was in a Cheap Bastid post about "roast beast" and leftovers.
My gawd Walter. Just the pics make my mouth water and it ain't even lunch time.
Can you send me some by email??
Just kidding. These sure look good.
All of them.
Mission--thanks. Save 'em, print 'em off. Give 'em a try.
Another suggestion is to saute some onions and peppers (red or green bells, anaheim or ancho chiles), add some of your beef, and throw on a jar of Trader Joe's curry sauce. Not too expensive. Serve over rice.
On the keeping it cheap issue, if you have Big Lots stores (formerly Pic 'n' Save) they have a lot of those Bob's Red Mill products very cheap.
Off the top of my head I'd add these ideas: French dip and Philly Steak RB sandwiches and a hearty beef and burgundy stew (can't spell the French bourgenon???) with sliced carrots, mushrooms and baby onions.
GeeBee--thanks, I'm going to have to explore the curry sauce thing. Sounds good--I wonder if the dollar store has it? And Big Lots for Bob's Red Mill--great idea. Next time I'm in the neighborhood of one I'll check it out (at $4.50 a gallon a 5 mile one way special trip adds too much to the cost now).

jmac--thanks. yep, we did the French Dip thing a couple of weeks ago--and the stock from the original roast makes a great au jus. I've tried the Philly Steak thing too and it's not bad--a bit of a stretch for the "real deal", but close enough. And burgandy stew would be great for those who use alcohol/wine in their cooking, which we don't.
I'm with Gary. The Grish sounds great, especially with the Polenta./r
Christine--thanks, give "Grish" a try. It's a great way to use leftovers and give it a tremendously rich texture and flavor.
Okay, I am stoked for grish. I put grits on the shopping list.

I bet it would be good with leftover corned beef & cabbage.
Gary--go for it! Grits (the real kind that you have to cook, not the instant or quick kind) have become a "staple" in my pantry (although once open I keep them in the fridge). They're terrific for left overs or to do something like Charleston shrimp and/or even for breakfast when you don't want potatoes.
I'm not a huge fan of beef but I can't find one recipe that you have posted that I would not dive into!
Chrissie--thanks. these are all quick and easy, tasty and cheap because they're made with left overs and stuff you're also likely to already have.