Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Barbecue Leftovers Week: Barbecue Lasagna

Most of us of the barbecue religion wind up with a freezer full of bags of smoked meats by the end of the summer. These make great meals in the fall and winter. And though originally those meats took a long time to cook, the beauty of the frozen bags of meat is that they make delicious meals in no time at all. This week, I am posting recipes from my "regular rotation" of barbecue leftover meals at home. I hope some of you will send me your barbecue leftover recipes that I can post the following week.

We'll start with Barbecue Lasagna. It's a classic use of leftover pulled pork or brisket.

For one 9X13 pan of lasagna
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either grind up your leftover meats, or finely chop to make approximately 2 cups. If using pulled pork or brisket, first remove any large chunks of fat. Heat in a pan and drain of excess oil. You don't want a greasy lasagna! Smoked chicken is also excellent in lasagna and does not have to be degreased.
Mix 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce (optional) to 3 1/2 cups of tomato sauce - either from scratch or from a jar. If using the "oven ready" lasagna noodles that you layer in uncooked (love those!) , be sure to make your sauce on the wet side. The noodles really soak up the moisture. My lasagna pictured here could have used a little more sauce, but it was tasty.
Next mix 14-16 oz of ricotta cheese, 1 egg, and fresh chopped oregano and basil. Grate 3 cups of mozzarella.

Make your layers. First cover the bottom of the pan with sauce, then top with 3-4 lasagna noodles (not touching if using the "oven ready" noodles - they expand), followed by 1/3 of the ricotta mixture. Top with about 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella. An additional layer of spinach is always nice for color and flavor. Repeat 2-3 times and bake, covered with foil, for approximately 30 minutes. Take off the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until it's bubbling.

Just like meat, lasagna needs to "rest". Let it set for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

As you can see, kids give this leftover a thumbs up.

For a super smoked variation, make lasagna in a disposable foil pan and smoke it at 250 degrees for one hour. Finish it off in a 350 degree oven to get the top to bubble.

Here is a BBQ Chicken Lasagna recipe from Diva Q's blog that is excellent.
E-mail me your barbecue leftover favorites, and I'll post some or all of them next week: julierbq@q.com.

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