What Makes Leftovers Better the Next Day?

We all know that leftovers are often better than the original dish. But what kind of kitchen alchemy makes this happen? Chemical reactions continue to take place even after food is done cooking, as flavors mellow and textures change. Gastro Obscura tackles the age-old question in this important post.

Here are our favorite recipes that taste better the next day. Try one and tell us how you like the leftovers.

1. Cassoulet

Ah, the cassoulet. This hearty casserole of preserved duck, sausages and beans is the heart & soul of Gascon cooking. And we have proven that it’s better the next day many times over. Use our traditional recipe – or buy our cassoulet kit – for the authentic flavor.

Cassoulet in Cassole

2. Chili

Whether you come down on the bean or beanless side of the chili debate, any chili seems to improve with the overnight aging process. Try our Texas-style short rib chili sans beans or our buffalo chili with Tarbais beans to test the theory.


3. Beef Bourguignon 

We use our Angus boneless short ribs for extra rich flavor, along with plenty of aromatics, exotic mushrooms, and French pancetta in this beef bourguignon recipe.


4. Slow-Cooked Wild Boar Shoulder

This easy wild boar shoulder slow cooker recipe yields tender meat and a rich sauce – and tastes great for days. Shred the leftover meat for bbq boar sandwiches, wild boar tacos, or even pulled boar nachos. The possibilities are endless.


5. Any Kind of Stew

You know it’s true. This tomatillo lamb stew is inspired by a traditional navarin (a French ragoût of lamb or mutton) and is so good it might not make it to leftover status. And this pork stew with sweet potatoes and prunes even gives directions to make it a few days ahead of time.

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What is your favorite leftover dish that only gets better? Tell us in the comments or on social media. Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to dish with us.

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