Leftovers again?

From meatloaf and mashed potatoes into comforting Cottage Pie

Last weekend’s blizzard* had us cooking up a storm of our own.  We used the opportunity to work through and turnover the stores in the pantry and freezer.

On Saturday night, we had meatloaf and mashed potatoes and green beans (from a can…what can I say?!?!).  There was a decent amount of all three leftover.

Tonight, on the eve of the next storm, I decided to turn Saturday’s leftovers into a quick Cottage Pie. 

I set the leftovers on the counter and eyeballed the amounts of each.  Where I was pretty sure I could make the meat and beans comfortably fill an 8″ by 8″ baking dish, I wasn’t as confident that the mashed potatoes could be stretched far enough to adequately cover the filling.  Rummaging around in the cabinets, I found two individual sized covered casseroles that would work nicely.

Since the reheated meatloaf might be a little dry, I decided to add a little moisture to the mix.

I made up a cup of beef bouillon (we always keep a jars of bouillon base on hand…beef, chicken, and usually vegetable and lobster as well) and set it aside.

In a small pan, I sautéed about 1/3 of a cup of diced carrots in a tablespoon of olive oil.  After about six minutes, I sprinkled two teaspoons of all purpose flour over the carrots.  Reducing the flame to med low, I continued to stir as the flour coated the carrots, absorbed the oil and cooked just until it took on a little color.  Then I added about a 1/4 cup of the beef broth to the pot and whisked it in. Once it started to thicken, I turned the heat to low and let it simmer slowly.

Turning my attention to the meat, I crumbled the remaining meatloaf into a bowl.  Then I added the left over green beans and mixed it in.  Next, I removed the pan with the carrots and now thickened sauce from the stove and stirred the contents into the meat and beans mixture.  It looked like it could use just a little bit more moisture so I stirred in another two or three ounces of the beef broth…just until the mixture glistened.

The two individual casseroles, I sprayed with a little PAM , and then spooned the divided meat mixture into them.

I took the mashed potatoes and spread half of it over the meat mixture in each of the dishes. 

The casseroles were covered and placed on a baking sheet…just in case of any spillovers…and placed in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.  At the end of that time, the covers were removed and the dishes placed under the broiler for about 5 minutes, just until the mashed potatoes started to brown a little bit.

Out they came…two individual cottage pies, made from leftovers in less than an hour.

*In the United States, the National Weather Service defines a blizzard as sustained winds or frequent gusts reaching or exceeding 35 mph (56 km/h) which lead to blowing snow and cause visibilities of ¼ mile (or 400 m) or less, lasting for at least 3 hours. Temperature is not taken into consideration when issuing a blizzard warning, but the nature of these storms is such that cold air is often present when the other criteria are met.[1] Temperatures are generally below 0 °C (32 °F).
I don’t believe that here in Trenton it technically ever reached blizzard status as defined by the National Weather Service, but it was a decent amount of snow accompanied by some strong winds.

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