Belfast Telegraph

Don't make a meal out of leftovers - new recipes to try out this Boxing Day

To use up all those Christmas leftovers, chef Gary McDowell shares some delicious new recipes to try out this Boxing Day

Man of piece: Gary McDowell
Man of piece: Gary McDowell
Christmas brie and bacon panini
Christmas roast beef sandwich
Not-your-average veggie Christmas sandwich
Ultimate leftover Christmas sandwich

By Gary McDowel

For many, the Christmas dinner leftovers are one of the gastronomic highlights of the festive season. Gary McDowell, award winning chef and head of food innovation at Deli-Lites Ireland, has devised four delightful recipes to help you create the perfect Christmas sandwich no matter what your taste.

Gary suggests that a festive sandwich can be as tasty as your turkey dinner, and here he shares some of his top tips to make sure you have a mouthwatering meal to savour.

"When it comes to Christmas dinner, we always make extra just to ensure there's enough for a generous round of sandwiches using the leftovers," he says.

"Christmas sandwiches are almost as good as the main event if you know the tips and tricks to make them truly delicious - no-one wants a dry turkey doorstop!"

Gary's recipes include a brilliant veggie option, a tasty roast beef alternative, an oozy melted brie and bacon panini, as well as the ultimate traditional Christmas lunch rolled into a sandwich.

Gary's top tips for the perfect Christmas sandwich:

÷ Ensure you always use fresh bread, unless you're toasting it in which case you can get away with good quality bread a few days old.

÷ Plenty of mayonnaise is a must to ensure a tasty, moist sandwich.

÷ If you're not a fan of mayonnaise, cranberry is a great addition for any festive sandwich.

÷ Try toasting your turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwich as it helps bring out the flavours and is a great winter warmer.

÷ Heat your sandwich in the oven and melt cheese on the top, rather than inside the sandwich, for a super luxurious toastie.

Gary and his team, including head chef Dean Skinner, who was recently shortlisted for the title of Sandwich Designer of the Year, have produced a Deli-Lites range of Christmas sandwiches. These are available in retailers across Northern Ireland.

Ultimate leftover Christmas sandwich

What you'll need

2 slices malt and seed bread

40g pulled ham 40g

30g stuffing

40g turkey

20g mayonnaise

5g dried cranberries

5g dried apricots


Spread the mayonnaise over two slices of fresh malt and seed bread (or bread of choice).

Place your turkey, pulled ham and any other leftover meats on top of the bread.

Mix the dried cranberries and apricots with your stuffing.

Place the dried fruit and stuffing mix into your sandwich and close. For another option, use a drizzle of leftover gravy to make a super moist, epic sandwich, or why not try adding a 'gravy-soaked layer' of bread like Ross from Friends!

Christmas roast beef sandwich

What you'll need

2 slices of thick malted bread

10g wholegrain mustard

20g mayonnaise

65g roast beef (use the ends for extra flavour)

35g stuffing

5g rocket

10g chopped walnuts

10g crumbled goat's cheese


Generously slice your thick malted bread. Spread the mayo and mustard over two slices of the bread. Place the roast beef onto the bread. Mix the walnuts and goat's cheese into the leftover stuffing to add a delightful depth of flavour. Place the stuffing mix on top of the roast beef, top with rocket and close the sandwich.

Not-your-average veggie Christmas sandwich

What you'll need

1 tortilla wrap

5 balls falafel

30g roasted butternut squash

10g pomegranate

15g spinach

30g couscous

15g mayonnaise15g cranberry sauce


Cook the couscous according to package instructions and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Mix the cranberry sauce and mayonnaise together in a small bowl and spread evenly on to a tortilla wrap of your choosing.

Combine the cooled couscous, squash and pomegranate together and place in the centre of your wrap.

Carefully place your falafel and spinach on top and wrap tightly. Voila!

Christmas brie and bacon panini

What you'll need

1 panini

4 slices brie

8 pieces streaky bacon

30g cranberry sauce


Slice your panini in half and spread the bread with plenty of leftover cranberry sauce.

Place a generous layer of bacon, followed by an ample addition of brie onto your sliced panini. Optional: if necessary, wrap the filled panini in clingfilm and place a heavy object on top for five minutes to compress your panini.

Toast for 2-3 minutes until the brie is gently melted.

Tip: If you don't have brie but have leftover cheese from the festive cheese board, try oozy camembert, fontina or gouda as alternatives.

Belfast Telegraph


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