Leftover lamb tends to become overcooked and dry when reheated, but you do not have to avoid using your leftovers because of this. There are ways to reheat leftover lamb to ensure that bacteria have been killed for food safety and the meat remains moist and juicy.
Planned Leftover Lamb Racks
If you are making lamb racks ahead of time and anticipate having extras, remove the extra lamb racks from the heat when the meat is cooked to rare. Cool the racks to room temperature and tightly wrap. Store the cooked lamb in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit) and cook the leftover lamb, wrapped in foil, for 15 minutes to reach medium-rare heat. Increase the cooking time to 20 minutes for medium. Leave the lamb covered with foil for 15 minutes after removing it from the oven to rest before serving. During resting, the internal temperature of the meat will slightly rise and the juices will return to the inner portion of the meat.
Instead of serving the lamb in the same form, dice the meat and reheat it in a casserole. The liquid from the casserole will keep the meat from drying out and becoming tough. One casserole from "The Blue Ribbon Country Cookbook" combines diced lamb, cooked carrots, mushrooms, onions and lamb gravy together. This recipe is easily adaptable to the ingredients you have on hand. Substitute other vegetables for the carrots and mushrooms and opt for canned beef gravy if you do not have lamb gravy. Top the casserole with mashed potatoes before baking it to make a shepherd's pie.
Safely Handling Leftovers
Cool all leftover lamb to room temperature and refrigerate it within two hours, or freeze, tightly wrapped for up to two months. Thaw frozen leftovers in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Use a food thermometer to determine when your meat is heated through. Reheat leftover lamb meat to an internal temperature of 74 to 75 degrees Celsius (165 degrees Fahrenheit ) to kill any bacteria.
Ground Meat Pockets
Grind leftover lamb in a food processor while still cool from the refrigerator. Fill 6 inch rounds of pie dough with 1 tbsp of ground lamb. Fold the pie dough round in half to make a semicircle and bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes or until golden browned. Serve the lamb pockets with yoghurt sauce for dipping.
- "The Blue Ribbon Country Cookbook"; Diane Roupe; 2007
- "Perfect Party Food"; Diane Phillips; 2005
- "The Complete Meat Cookbook"; Bruce Aidells, et al.; 2001
- "Big Food: Amazing Ways to Cook, Store, Freeze and Serve Everything You Buy"; Elissa Altman; 2005
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