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Grunt: Making the Most of Leftovers


When I was in college my roommates and I used frequently make a dish we called "Grunt." (Hey, we were college students.) It was a take-off on Beef Stroganoff and it featured such things as leftover roast beef, chicken and pork. It was very good, filling, cheap and easy - everything a bunch of young men want in a meal. Some 30-plus years later I still make it - but these days I make instead of dried French Onion Soup and canned mushrooms I make my own sauce. It's not much more trouble and still takes less than 30 minutes. (Larger image.) Serves 2.

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Grunt: Making the Most of Leftovers 1 Picture


  • 12 oz. leftover roast chicken, pork or beef; cut into strips
  • 8 oz. mushrooms; sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter; separated
  • 1/2 sm. onion; chopped
  • 1/2 cup wine (use red for beef and white for chicken or pork)
  • 1/2 cup stock or broth (use beef for beef and chicken for chicken or pork)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 oz. egg noodles


Servings 2
Preparation time 5mins
Cooking time 30mins


Step 1

1. Put a pot of water on high and when it boils, add egg noodles and cook per package instructions.

2. Meanwhile, add mushrooms to a large, dry, non-stick skillet and sprinkle with salt.

3. Cook over medium-high heat and cook until mushrooms begin to brown and give up their liquid (about 6 minutes). Turn mushrooms, sprinkle with thyme, and add 1 tablespoon butter. Cook until browned - about 3 minutes. Scoop mushrooms onto a plate.

4. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining butter, onions and tomato paste and cook until translucent, stirring frequently - about 5 minutes.

5. Return mushrooms to skillet and add wine. Increase heat to medium high and cook until wine is reduced by half - 5 minutes. Add broth and cook five minutes more.

6. Reduce heat to low, add meat, and simmer 5 minutes more.

7. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over noodles.

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