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From Our Chefs: Livening Up Your Leftovers

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During any school week, but particularly this year, convenience is a key part of meal planning. One-pot and one-sheet meals, make-ahead freezable meals, and meals big enough for leftovers are your friends when you need to get dinner on the table between after-school activities, homework, and the bedtime routine.

Balance efficiency and creativity with your weeknight food prep by finding different uses for a large piece of meat. The example we’re using is a 10-pound boneless chuck roast, but you can apply this same approach to other meat cuts and types as well.

Start by making our Beef Ragù recipe for your first meal. Shred the remaining meat and store it in a covered, refrigerated dish. The flavor will enhance over time. Use up the leftovers within 10 days and create other meals:

  • Add it to grilled cheese or quesadillas for extra protein.

  • Serve it over your favorite pasta or rice with sautéed veggies — both gnocchi and cavatappi would hold the sauce well.

  • Combine it with fries and cheese to make poutine.

Beef Ragù

Servings: 12, including leftovers for additional meals
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3-6 hours, depending on method

1 cup peeled, diced onions
1 cup peeled, diced carrots
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 ¼ teaspoons chopped rosemary
10 pounds boneless chuck roast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups red wine
5 cups crushed tomatoes
2 ½ quarts beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 300°F, unless using a slow cooker.

Step 2: In a food processor or blender, add the onions, carrots, garlic, and rosemary. Pulse until well chopped. Set aside.

Step 3: On a cutting board, slice the beef into 3-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Step 4: In a large skillet over high heat, add the vegetable oil. Add the beef in batches, searing it until browned on all sides. Transfer the beef from the skillet to a deep braising pan or slow cooker.

Step 5: Add the onion-carrot mixture to the skillet, stirring to remove the caramelized bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Step 6: To deglaze, add the red wine to the skillet and stir to remove all the browned pieces off the bottom of the pan.

Step 7: Pour the red wine mixture over the beef. Add the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, and bay leaves.

Step 8: Place the braising pan in the oven for 3-4 hours or until the meat is tender and almost falling apart. For a slow cooker, heat on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

Step 9: After removing the pan from the oven or turning off the slow cooker, strain the liquid and skim off the fat. Reduce the sauce in a saucepan to thicken if needed.

Step 10: Arrange the meat on a platter and top with the sauce and parsley.

Serve with roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

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