The best next-day beast

The holiday is over. The gifting is done. The feast has been reduced to an oddball collection of Gladware tubs and clingwrap covered dishes stacked in the fridge like an Irish famine wall – though clearly no hunger was involved.

If the banquet included roast beef, then the day after offers the easiest decision of the season: what to do with the leftover meat. Typically one either builds a roast beef sandwich or simply noshes on the naked roast one chunk at a time.

That’s great, but the Cuisine Stupide test kitchen is proud to offer this alternative: a roast beef pizza. It’s simple, but we think it’s the highest, best use of the leftover beast.

We used our new favorite homemade pizza dough recipe, courtesy of Jim “No Knead” Lahey. But hey, if post-celebration ambition is low, there’s no shame in grabbing some frozen dough or a prepared crust from the grocery store, or, better yet, buying some dough balls from your favorite local pizzeria. (If they don’t sell dough balls, you need to find a new joint.)

For the toppings, we essentially replicated what we would put on our roast beef sandwiches: provolone, sliced white onions, and thin chunks of roast beef, which we added at the very end of the bake so they would retain their rareness. Sauce? Nothing more than prepared hot creamed horseradish, spread generously.

The result is a hot, gooey delight, delivered on a chewy crust that, unlike so many sandwich breads, doesn’t detract from the headliner: the beast. If you need another reason to wish that Christmas came every day, this is it.

Cuisine Stupide’s “Next-Day Beast” Pizza

1/2 pound leftover rare roast beef, thinly sliced into 1-inch strips
1/2 white onion, sliced and separated into quarter or half rings
1/4 pound thinly sliced or shredded provolone cheese
1 8-ounce jar of prepared creamed horseradish, preferably hot and unopened before now (it loses its flavor after opening)
Freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
Two rounds of pizza dough, enough for two 10- to 12-inch pies, purchased or made using the Jim Lahey method (after cutting his recipe in half)

Cover one of the rolled out or prepared doughs with a layer of horseradish sauce. Be generous but not excessive; imagine you’re spreading marinara.

Sprinkle half the onions across the dough, followed by a layer of provolone.

Bake the pizza in a 450 degree or hotter oven, preferably on a pizza stone, for eight to 10 minutes or until the outer crust has begun to turn golden but not yet brown. Remove the pizza from the oven and add a layer of roast beef. Top with a generous sprinkle of parmesan or romano cheese.

Put the pizza back in the oven for just a minute or two – enough to finish browning the crust and to warm, but not cook, the beef.

Remove pizza from oven, let rest for a minute, and slice and serve. You know you’ll want more, so repeat with the second dough round and the rest of the ingredients.

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