As you can imagine, a hella lotta food gets cooked in the shack household. Although we often invite our family and friends to share our food adventures with us, at times when we're making videos, posting on social media feeds and experimenting in the kitchen it's just the two us... and you've seen the food I cook... often there's a LOT OF EXCESS FOOD.
Apart from our glaringly obvious love of food and our expanding waist lines, there is one thing that me and the missus also have in common. We. Bloody. Hate. Waste. So although we spend a good proportion of our time piss farting about on the BBQ, we spend the other half planning the rest of the week and how we're gonna make our leftovers last without resorting to food boredom. We're foodies after all.
But one thing we will not do, we will not throw ANYTHING in the bin. Admittedly, sometimes this little dude helps us out.
WORLD'S BEST FED DOG
Global food loss and waste amounts to between a third and a half of all food produced. It's estimated that we throw away 1 in 5 of every bag of shopping that we buy which amounts to 7 million tonnes of food across the UK every year. Scandalous!
It's estimated that Every day in UK homes we throw away: 4.4 million potatoes, almost a million bananas, 1.2 million tomatoes, 20 million slices of bread, 5.2 million glasses of milk and 2.2 million slices of ham. That's a lot of food!
Partly, I feel the bloody supermarkets are to blame with their brain fuck deals. Have you ever actually caught yourself buying 8 litres of milk only to work out that you only actually save 20p, then end up throwing a whole carton away and effectively you are actually you're out of pocket? Well you're not on your own, I've done this many times myself and now tend to only buy what I need from the fresh produce aisles so I don't get that sad feeling of tipping lumpy milk curdles down the sink.
So although this is not a definitive list, here are some of the Shack suggestions for reducing food waste in the home.
As my favourite Lee Child Character, Jack Reacher says; "fail to prepare and prepare to fail". It might sound boring but having a rough idea what you're going to eat during the week and getting organised is key to limiting food waste and saving the pennies.
*Roughly decide what you're eating and when. Know when you're coming home from work late, planning a trip to he gym, dropping the kids off to swimming lessons etc and know how your meals are going to fit around it all.
*Invest in a shared shopping app. The missus and I use the "Bring" app and add to the list whenever we notice something missing out of the fridge so it's ready for the next one of us who gets to the supermarket.
*Check the temperature of your fridge. The average fridge temperature in the UK is 7C when it should be set below 5C. This will make your perishables last longer.
*Always have cold cuts and grilled veggies on hand. Cold cuts are great during the week when you simply don't have time to cook a fresh meal. Cold cuts can be thrown in the slow cooker, sauteed in a cast iron or great on their own with a simple salad. Grill or smoke some chicken breasts or a nice gammon joint on Sunday and it will last most of the week. Add a few extra veggies with your Sunday dinner that you know will be used up in the next few days.
*Food prep. Invest in some good tupperware and get your week's lunches ready on the weekend using leftover barbecue with fresh vegetables and healthy sides. Although I'm normally the butt end of the joke in the office as I tuck into leftover brisket and roast potatoes for my Monday lunch, I'm normally having the last laugh as my workmates tuck into their limp meal deal sandwich.
*Sharing is caring! Also invest in some shit cheap ass tupperware too or even paper food cartons and make doggy bags for your guests! Guaranteed to make you very popular.
We love us a chicken at the shack. Spatchcocked, roasted, grilled, on the rotisserie, so many ways to enjoy this lovely lean meat and it's good for the waist line too. We literally have none of the chicken go to landfill, here are our top tips for making the leftovers last.
*Throw any leftover chicken in with the "Holy Trinity" of sauteed peppers, celery and onion, with cauliflower rice and prawns for a healthy and filling CAULIFLOWER JUMBALAYA.
*Sautee some onions and peppers in Jack's Meat Dust and throw in a wrap with leftover chicken, salad, cheese and your favourite sauces for SPEEDY FAJITAS.
*Don't you dare throw that carcass away! Boil up the bones for a delicious homemade BONE BROTH full of collagen and vitamins to add to dinners or even as a tasty drink.
My fellow barbecue enthusiasts will sympathise with my longing need to smoke enormous pieces of meat for hours on end. But when your guests are unbuttoning their jeans, grabbing their guts with tiny beads of meat sweat dripping down their temples, you know you've gone too far and the rest needs to be wrapped ready for the week.
*Leftover brisket makes amazing chilli. Throw the leftovers into the slow cooker with some sauteed onions, a tin of chopped plum tomatoes and a tablespoon or two of Jack's Meat Dust and slow cook that baby to enjoy with rice or a jacket potato.
*Leftover Jacobs ladder or beef rib? Try our recipe for a delicious BEEF RIB ENCHILADA which uses everything - even broth from the bones.
*Reserve any fat from your skillet panned pork joints and bacon in a jar. Makes an awesome cooking fat to add meaty flavour to your cooking during the week and also saves on buying store bought processed oils.
*Use leftover pulled pork as an addition to quick pulled pork burgers during the week, or for something extra different, try our PULLED PORK SPAGHETTI.
It's amazing what delicious treats can be made out of those brown bananas and bread which has started to get a crunchy bite which is threatening those precious dental fillings. In fact, our bread pudding recipe is to date our most successful recipe which was made literally out of a tonne of homemade brioche and Christmas mince meat filling which was destined for the bin!
*Chop and freeze! If you know you're only going to use half a loaf of bread, freeze the other half - frozen bread is just fine when toasted. Chop and freeze any fruit which is starting to go on the turn which can be turned into delicious smoothies in the blender.
*Potatoes starting to get a bit soft? make a big old dish of DAUPHINOISE POTATOES WITH SMOKED CHEESE which can portioned up and reheated during the week. I am yet to find a dish that doesn't go well with creamy, cheesey potatoes.
*Stale bread makes perfect BREAD PUDDING with some ingredients from the cabinet. But if you're looking for something savoury, lightly coat with olive oil and grill and sprinkle some parmesan cheese for some tasty croutons.
*Old bananas are perfect for banana bread like our GOOEY WHITE CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD, just because they're old and brown don't throw them out just yet.
*Fruits and berries such as apples, pears, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apricots (pretty much everything) will make an awesome cobbler even when they're starting to go a bit soft. Use the recipe principles for our PEACH AND APRICOT COBBLER WITH A HONEYCOMB CRUST and just swap out the fruit for whatever you have.
Anyway y'all, I hope some of these recipes and tips have inspired you this week, but we're always interested to hear suggestions from you dear readers. What are your go to leftover recipes? Do you have any inspirational ideas to reduce food waste? Hit me up on the usual channels. Until next week.....