Bev's Leftover Turkey or Ham Casserole

Let's face it. We are usually fed up with turkey and ham by the time Christmas has finished. I know that I don't even like to see it in the fridge but there it is staring me in the face every time I open the fridge door.

Gather it all up and chop it into bite sized chunks and put aside in a casserole container.

Find some left over saggy veggies or if all else fails, some frozen veggies from the freezer and throw them in with with meat.

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Meanwhile heat up some water to a boil, throw in a cup or more (depending on how much meat you have left over) of pasta of any kind. When it is cooked, put it in with the meat and vegetables.

If I have boiled eggs left over from being over zealous in making potato salad, I chop those up and throw them in with the meat and veggies as well.

If you have some white/cheese sauce packet mixes in your pantry then fine, make it up according to the directions on the packet and mix it in with with meat/veggie mix.

If not, then make up a white sauce mix using plain (all purpose) flour, butter (or margarine) and milk. I use this ratio: 1 table spoon butter, 1 tablespoon flour to one cup of milk.

I melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl big enough to take the amount of sauce you want to make, in the microwave. Add the flour and cook for 40 seconds. Add a little milk and stir into a paste, then gradually add all the milk and mix so that no butter is on the bottom of the bowl.

I nuke it for at least 4 minutes and stir it but if you have a big enough container you can do it less often. I only do this because mine boils over if I don't do that.

If you don't have a microwave, do it on the stove top.

Either way, all you have to do to cook the sauce until it thickens. If you want a cheese sauce, add some grated cheese to taste.

Mix this in with your meat/veggie mix and combine it until it is mixed thoroughly. Sprinkle with grated cheese and pop in a 350 degrees oven for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

Even if you can't face eating it right after Christmas, you can freeze this for another time or do what I do and assemble it in a round container. I use a (5 quart) ice-cream container and freeze it. It will fit perfectly into your crockpot. I cook my frozen assembled lasagnas and these casseroles in my crockpot from frozen no problem. I usually leave them in for about 5-6 hours on low but then again our Aussie crockpots tend to cook higher and quicker here. Don't know why but they do, so your's might need to be cooked longer.
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No matter how you decide to cook it, in a casserole dish, crockpot, or even mixing it up in a saucepan on a stove top and eating it as a type of stew, you will have another meal when your budget is stretched.

You don't even have to limit yourself to Christmas leftovers either. Where I live the supermarkets sell off cheap deli meats (ham, turkey, salami etc.). They are usually the ends of rolls that the shop assistants can't cut any more off. They can be reduced by big dollars and a cheap meal all around using this method.

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