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leftover beef from stock-making

I've got a good pound (at least) of leftover beef chunks that I picked out of the strained-out sludge from my last batch of beef stock. It seems so wasteful to just throw it all a way and it still has some good flavor and texture, cooked-to-death as it is. I was thinking of seasoning it with a good spice mixture or sauce and baking it into some kind of pastry, like empanadas or patties. Does anyone have any good ideas or recipe along these lines (or not along these lines)? Looking forward to responses!

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  1. If you tasted it and it still has flavor, then yes, use it up. Empanadas or pasties or whatever you want to call them, are a good choice. Adding some spices/herbs, and some onion will help. I don't really use recipes for this type of stuff, just grind together (or chop) the onions, beef, a bit of gravy (thickened stock), but only enough to hold it together, not too much. Then one can use a bread dough or a pastry dough to fill, and bake. If you want to stretch it further, add some cooked potatoes, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal

      Well, yeah, this was basically my plan. I have no questions about the technique, I'm more looking for favorite spice mixtures or sauces that people like to use when they make empanadas, or something similar, that i can riff off of.

      Although, nothing involving pasties, please. You'll have to excuse me but I am pasty-snob, thanks to my Cornish grandma, and pasties require fresh steak and nothing less!

    2. Well, first, I'm not sure using chunks of beef is the best way to make stock. Better to use bones (neck, rib, shoulder or leg) with some cartilage. Oxtail isn't bad either.

      But that said, I would use the beef chunks in a Beef Pot Pie.

      15 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        ya know, i made beef stock yesterday. oxtail was over $5 per pound! too spendy compared to the other stuff.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I use plenty of bones in my stock, but I also use shanks because they have a lot of connective tissue (and marrow bones too) and the meat gives the stock more flavor. The meat chunks are from the shanks.

          1. re: Lady_Tenar

            I actually do something like this on purpose. I buy a pack of beef shanks, which is one of the cheapest forms of beef I can get. I poach them in water for about half an hour, remove and thickly slice (slicing when raw is a lot harder), and finish poaching until tender. Then I cool and freeze the meat for quick meals, and save the broth for soup.

            For very well cooked meat, vaguely Mexican does well (onions, garlic, cumin, paprika, lime juice, chipotle pepper) over rice, in a tortilla, as a sandwich filling.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            I used beef neck bones for the first time yesterday, and the result was outstanding. They were 1/4 the price of oxtail, almost to the penny, plus the meat left on the bones was pretty much as close to flavorless and one could expect.

            It cost me $7 for about 5 lbs. worth of neck, that yielded 9 cups of such flavorful stock with a strong beefy aroma, that I'm sitting here debating whether I should go whole hog and turn this batch into a demi-glace or not (something I've never done).

            1. re: RelishPDX

              neck bones are so awesome, both beef and pork. i use the latter as part of the stuff in my red sauce. have been making lots of bone broth lately and have had to reduce the liquids pretty substantially because i have such a small freezer. go for it!

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                I was thinking of trying neck bones, saw some today. I couldn't tell, though, are the bones a mess, after braising? Are they small or easily fished out (or left behind), or do you strain them out?

                1. re: wyogal

                  they stay pretty intact. and any pieces are easy to find. have never had an issue and i highly recommend using them. i have totally stopped using meaty bones for any kind of stock. it seems like such a waste of good meat. i don't like the flavor or texture of poached chicken, and would really prefer eating braised shanks instead of trying to doctor the meat to make it semi-palatable. beef stock for me takes at least 8 hours, more like 12, any meat in there is wrung to death.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    I have self-imposed limitations on what cuts I can use to make stock because I try my best to stick to grass-fed for ethical and environmental reasons. So I use what is available and suitable to the purpose at hand. The beef shanks were available and they help make a good stock (along with all the bones I'd been stock-piling when I can get them) and, even after 8-12 hours, there's still some meat left that I think will be just fine, as long as it's well-seasoned and repurposed.

                    I admit I frequently get tempted by conventional marrow bones, neck bones etc.--things that you can't always find and that are soooo cheap! I haven't decided whether or not using these would jibe with my ethical standards, since they are "scrap" that will be thrown away if not sold and "whole animal" is another part of being ethical about meat. But this sounds like a rationalization to me. lol *sigh*

                    1. re: Lady_Tenar

                      Have you tried talking to your grass-fed beef supplier about ordering some specific cuts for stock? I have been amazed at how many farmers can throw some extra cuts into the cooler to bring to market with a little notice. In the meantime, shanks sound great!
                      JeremyEG
                      HomeCookLocavore.com

                      1. re: JeremyEG

                        lol, my winter-time grass-fred supplier is, unfortunately, Whole Foods. But that's an excellent idea for when the farmers' markets reopen around here (spring). Thanks!

                        1. re: Lady_Tenar

                          my butcher is happy to give me these kinds of bones and cuts cheaply, from grass-fed beef, because hardly anybody wants them. i don't know how much actual butchering they do at whole paycheck? you can always ask. honestly, i can't afford grass-fed ribeye.

                          the bone broth for my health has been a recent addition to my repertoire, so i've had a learning curve with bones, lol. reduced and frozen, the stocks keep for about ever in the freezer too.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            Yeah, I can't afford it either, which is why it's so frustrating that, when the farmer's markets are closed, for the season, it's hard to find anything BUT very high-end grass-fed cuts at places like Whole Foods. Not everyone who cares about where their meat comes from and how it's produced has $25 to spend on a single steak. It's so annoying. But my local Whole Foods will, once in a while, have cheaper cuts (like the shanks) and they will sell grass-fed bones sometimes. I'll ask them next time I'm there if they've got any other good stock cuts back there. My local Italian delicatessen also sells grass-fed steaks (once again, for their weight in gold) and I suppose I could ask them if they could order some stuff from their supplier for me. There is the advantage of them not being a huge mega-corporation.

                            1. re: Lady_Tenar

                              Can't you ask the suppliers at any other time of year or place, other than farmer's markets?
                              http://eatwild.com/products/massachus...

                    2. re: hotoynoodle

                      Are we getting the same kind of bones? The neck bones I bought this week were covered in meat. Not meat I'd want to eat, it seemed a bit chalky, but meat nonetheless. It still roasted and simmered into beautiful stock.

                      1. re: RelishPDX

                        they seem to vary in meatiness. i suppose it has to do with the fastidiousness of the particular butcher.

            2. you could mix the shredded meat with some sambal sauce and goat cheese, maybe some cilantro, and fold into spring rolls to fry. these freeze well too.

              whatever you do, include some other kind of moist ingredient -- like mashed potato in the empanada.

              bits of meat fall off the neck bones and soup bones i use for stock, but i don't find it palatable after so many hours of simmering.

              1. Shred the beef and saute with onions, peppers and diced potato, salt & pepper. That's what my mother used to do after making beef stock for soups. It's an Italian version of a beef hash.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ttoommyy

                  Yes, that is what I did when using the leftover stock meat which wasn't (when I did it) that tasty. I also used garlic (of course), leeks, parsley, and some tomato paste and maybe paprika as I remember. It ended up tasting good. I cooked so it was somewhat crisp like as you said hash.

                2. Chop beef fine; add to a beefy reduction made with some of the stock, garlic/onions and rich red wine; pour all over baked potatoes (or large slices/chunks of boiled potatoes) with a bit of sour cream.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DuchessNukem

                    Yum! You know, THAT would be good inside a pastry! With maybe some chunks of potato mixed in...

                  2. You could also do a pot pie, mix together with cooked potatoes, carrots, reduced stock (make a gravy with it), baby onions, (or whatever in the onion family that you have), peas. Put in a casserole and top with a crust of your choosing.
                    Or a shepherd's pie...

                      1. Italians often eat "bollito" with a "salsa verde" after a first course with the broth. Here's a panoply of Batali condiments:

                        http://labellecuisine.com/archives/su...

                        (I would actually prefer hash or maybe a Cornish pasty, but don't tell my husband.)

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: lidia

                          I say again, for those of us with real Cornish heritage, Cornish pasties are made with steak. Not stock meat, not ground beef, but steak. Period. :-P

                          1. re: Lady_Tenar

                            oooh! I meant not to offend! I'm sure the ones with steak are ultra-delicious. It was just an idea off the top of my head as an alternative to throwing the stuff away… I guess I should have called it "a generic meat pie of your own devising". ;-)

                            1. re: lidia

                              and to those that are not of Cornish heritage.... and in Michigan....... it can be ground or cubed meat. No offense meant, it's just that there are variations from the "original." And are still considered pasties by many.

                              1. re: wyogal

                                lol. No offense taken! I hope it didn't come off that way (that's why I added the smiley.) I just like indulge in a little snobbery some time. The Cornish take pasties VERY seriously. It's kind of funny sometimes.

                                1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                  Kinda like lefse for me. I brought some to friends, and a guy put peanut butter on it, thought it was really bland. Heresy!!!!!!!!

                        2. As long as you are not concerned about being strictly traditional, you can pretty easily adapt those meat chunks to a version of ropa vieja, pastel de choco, a saucey rice dish (along the lines of arroz con pollo -- a columbian recipe would potentially work well as a base because of the hogao), and many variations of casserole dishes - not just shepard's pie: leftover rice seasoned with meat sauce and onion/green pepper/cilantro/green onion and covered with some cheese, a tomato, broth, and tomato base with potatoes and the good old cheese topping. Beef (I usually use salted beef) goes nicely with braised squashes, which you could eat with rice, but that could also be the filling for something, including even things like lasagna or made into a risotto. A picadillo style filling is nice for fried empanadas and there are other latino fillings with meat and almonds.

                          Update: a couple of other ideas for leftover beef are pastel de platano (Puerto Rican lasagna using plantains) and if you make ropa vieja it can also be stretched to other meals by serving with mofongo