How to Serve Leftover Meat Like a Greek

How do you serve leftovers like a Greek? The answer is two words: French fries. It’s possible I’ve just been hanging out with the wrong crowd, but from my observations, Greeks have an enormous capacity to eat french fries at any time, with anything or even just dipped in mayonnaise, day after day after day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mama serve leftover meat without a side of fries, and sometimes the leftovers are more like the side dish with the fries playing the starring role. Anything leftover from meatballs to beef patties to chops to roasts to chicken gets served with fried potatoes. No wonder Greek kids love their mamas!

Frying potatoes to serve with leftovers.

I bought a ridiculously large chuck roast last time I made Beef with Green Beans, but Zoe suggested I just go ahead and cook it all, and then freeze the extra meat to serve with french fries. So I did!

Leftover meat with fries.

I forget how I reheated this meat. You can put it over low heat on the stove, especially if there’s some leftover sauce with it. I probably reheated it in the oven in this case though. You could also warm it up in the microwave. You can see I also stirred in some frozen peas, because I have a hard time sitting down to a plate of meat and potatoes with nothing green. Zoe was dubious about this addition at first, but then she said, “Well, we do also make beef with peas, so it’s a reasonable addition.” At least I didn’t suggest putting in basil!

26 Comments »

  1. Comment by maria verivaki

    french fries are a bit of a nuisance, so we only have them once a week at the most - i dislike the idea of dirtying my kitchen with oil (hubby doesn’t like the taste of fries cooked in a fritteuse) and i think it’s unhealthy.

    here’s what we do with leftover meat: the next day (after the sunday roast usually), cook horta or a bean dish, and serve the leftover meat as a side dish - kind of healthier than frying

    maria verivaki’s last blog post..Caretta Caretta

  2. Comment by Lulu

    Maria, I want to come live with you!

  3. Comment by Paula

    My son would want to come live with you, Lulu! He LOVES fries. I actually don’t make them at home very often, but boy the family sure loves it when I do. My mom used to fry up potato wedges at least once a week, usually with chicken, and I loved those. The next time I have leftover roast, I should make some fries. Do you do anything special to the potatoes before you fry them?

    Paula’s last blog post..Olympic Dynamic Duo - Sausage and Beer!

  4. Comment by Lulu

    Paula, honestly, I’m not a big potato fryer myself. But what Mama does after she cuts them up, is to soak them in a bowl of water for a while (basically until people express an interest in eating, probably half an hour to an hour) then she dumps them in a colander, sprinkles on a generous amount of salt, tosses them with the salt right in the colander, and lets them continue to drain while the oil is heating. Then she fries them.

  5. Comment by Peter G

    Spoken like a true Greek! Patates tiganites are delicious at all times. We do the same thing at my place…leftovers always have potatoes and a salad and bread and….its endless! It ends up being another mini feast!

    Peter G’s last blog post..Loukaniko

  6. Comment by Ivy

    Frying them with olive oil makes Patates tiganites much healthier than french fries but even with olive oil I try to avoid them. However, my kids love them and I can’t deprive them from eating them.

    Ivy’s last blog post..Eclipse over the Acropolis with a Greek Fish in parchment paper

  7. Comment by kat

    It’s not just you. Anytime we go to my fiance’s mom’s house, she serves french fries with whatever meat is being served, leftover or not. She considers it a vegetable. I refuse to serve them at home because I hate the messy frying and oil, so it works out that my fiance gets them without me being troubled. I, on the other hand, serve different sides and actual vegetables ;)

  8. Comment by kat

    btw, the ‘click to edit’ option doesn’t work. I tried to edit something with 29 minutes remaining, and it says my time has expired.

  9. Comment by noobcook

    Your leftover meals definitely look better than my normal meals! :D

  10. Comment by Lulu

    @Peter G :-)

    @Ivy - I bet it’s kids who started this dietary custom. Either that or desperate moms!

    @kat - What browser are you using? The “edit comments” plug-in I’m using does not work in Opera, and I’ve alerted the author to that. My experience is that it works in IE, but I don’t know about any other browsers.

  11. Comment by Lulu

    @noobcook - as long as it doesn’t look like strapatsada!

  12. Comment by Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    I am blaming you, Lulu. After you left a comment on my blog regarding “Start your Fall Kitchen Garden NOW”, I - naturally - had to come and visit you, and read your entry on fried potatoes. This was shortly before lunch. And since I had some recently dug potatoes, I sliced them thin and fried them with a little salt. Oh so yummy. I don’t fry food very often, maybe twice a month, things like catfish, green fried tomatoes, sage leaves and falafel. But your post was in my brain so fried potato “chips” is what we had for lunch, along with just picked heirloom tomatoes, green beans and corn - all from the garden. No meat. White peach sorbet.
    I am blaming you (I am thanking you too!)
    Oh - and go and start some seeds now!

  13. Comment by Lulu

    Hi, Sylvie, thanks for stopping by! I’m always happy to be a bad influence! Okay, you’ve inspired me to drag out my box of seeds to see what I’ve got and what I need to get. :-)

  14. Comment by Bellini Valli

    When I was in Greece they seemed to serve everything with fries. There were even fries in the gyros. Don’t get me wrong because I love fries and theirs were especially tasty. The Greeks have perfected the French fry:D

    Bellini Valli’s last blog post..Is That Vegetarian Caesar Salad?

  15. Comment by Lulu

    I agree, Val, I’d never had such good french fries before until I had Mama’s. Still, I can only eat them so often and then :-P.

  16. Comment by manju

    Yummm! I didn’t realize the Greeks had a penchant for fries too, that’s too decadent…

    manju’s last blog post..Random Musings…

  17. Comment by Lulu

    Oh, manju, it’s incredible how often they eat them!

  18. Comment by Cheryl

    It’s funny that you bring up the fries. Before moving here they weren’t such a regular part of our diet. On top of that, I always baked the fries…I know…no fun. But now we have them at least twice a week but not usually with leftovers…just with whatever. MIL gave me her deep fryer so it’s a snap and the kids love them. Leftovers in our family are usually eaten with salad and lots of bread.

    Cheryl’s last blog post..Leeza the Toad

  19. Comment by Lulu

    Cheryl, I keep thinking about getting a deep fryer. If you ever feel like writing a post about yours, I’d be very interested. Opinions about them are all over the place on consumer forums. We probably have different brands here, but just generally, the main questions are:
    Oil consumption as compared to using a frying pan
    Ease of emptying & cleaning
    Quality of results
    Bulk and ease of storage

    And just think of the romantic, artistic deep-fryer photos you could take!

  20. Comment by Cheryl

    You know…I just might have to write a post because I use it often and it makes life a lot easier. Our fryer is so old- but there must be a brand name on it somewhere. Off the top I can tell you that the results are always great and friends have often commented on how tasty the fries turn out.
    And yes, romantic would be a great way to describe photos of the deep-fryer since my husband is so in love with it!

    Cheryl’s last blog post..Leeza the Toad

  21. Comment by Lulu

    Cheryl, LOL!

  22. Comment by Reina Glass

    Greek Fish baked with tomatoes Fish recipes are surprisingly rare in Greece, since they normally cook fish with minimal fuss on the grill. Reina Glass

    Reina Glass’s last blog post..Cabinets on two long Walls, the Galley Kitchen

  23. Comment by Lulu

    Yes, Reina, that’s true.

  24. Comment by Heni

    I think it’s not just a Greek thing. Here in Algeria, we eat french fries with almost every meal - like bread it’s a staple. And everything is dipped in harissa hot sauce and mayo LOL!

    Heni’s last blog post..Mediterranean land of the sun I.

  25. Comment by Lulu

    Hi Heni! Actually fries dipped in harissa sounds pretty good!

  26. Comment by Lyndsay Pearson

    I think you explain the whole situation very well.I have no point to raise in against of what you have said.

    Penny Pick Alerts</a

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