Autumn is now in full swing and moving into colder days ahead as Winter approaches.
These late balmy Summer days are coming to an end with the evenings beginning to draw in. This is the the time of year when we begin thinking about warming dishes to come home to. What better way to cook up delicious Autumn morsels than in traditional iron cookware. Not only does it look great in your kitchen it delivers with superb results every time. So from Tarte Tartin to Beef Cobbler, get cooking in these wonderful kitchen cook ware pans and accessories.
1. On this fantastic double griddle there are some mouth watering dishes that can be cooked this Autumn but our favourite is this recipe for meatballs with soy and ginger glaze.
Cooking meatballs on a larger surface like a griddle means you don’t have to cook in four batches to get perfectly crispy meatballs! And, using a leaner meat like the turkey in this recipe from Smitten Kitchen means you won’t have to worry about the oil runoff you’d get if you were using beef.
Meatballs With Soy and Ginger Glaze.
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup soy sauce, preferably Japanese or reduced sodium
- ½ cup mirin, a sweet rice wine, or ½ cup sake with ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup peeled, chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 4 whole black peppercorns
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 4 large or 6 small scallions, finely chopped
- Half bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, preferably toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil
Directions: Start making the sauce first. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves completely. Reduce heat to a medium-low and add soy sauce, mirin, ginger, coriander and peppercorns. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 30 minutes, though it may take you longer to really get a glaze that will stick to the meatballs. Once it has reduced, strain through a sieve.
To make the meatballs, mix turkey, scallions, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, and several grindings of black pepper in a bowl. Roll tablespoon-size knobs of the mixture into balls. To help keep the meat from sticking to your hands and deforming the balls, wet your hands first.
Heat your griddle to medium-high heat and brush with vegetable oil. Place meatballs on the griddle and cook, turning, until browned all over and cooked inside, about 8 minutes. Arrange on a platter, spoon a little sauce over each meatball, and serve with toothpicks.
2. The meatball recipe can also be cooked in this brilliant cast iron skillet pan, however this amazing fig tart recipe is so wonderful we just had to share it.
Fig Tart With Caramelised Onions, Rosemary and Stilton
Ready In 1 h 5 m
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place butter in a large iron skillet and place in preheating oven until melted, about 5 minutes.
- Stir brown sugar into melted butter and place back in oven until bubbling, about 5 minutes.
- Gently lay 1 pie crust on top of butter-brown sugar mixture, without pressing crust down. Arrange apple slices on top of pie crust.
- Mix white sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a bowl; sprinkle over apple slices. Place the remaining pie crust over apple slices, making slits in the top crust for ventilation. Seal the 2 crusts together.
- Bake in the preheated oven until top crust is lightly browned, about 45 minutes.
3. This square cast iron griddle pan is perfect to cook delicious grilled fish and vegetables. There are a few tips to help you get the most from your griddle pan when grilling fish and vegetables. Here are some we would recommend.
- Gently apply the oil to the vegetables with a brush.(this will prevent them from sticking)
- Heat the griddle pan and put the vegetables onto the griddle's surface.
- Once the lines have appeared on the surface, turn the vegetables 90 degrees to create the criss-cross griddled appearance.
- Turn the veg over once the griddled effect has appeared. Remember to brush lightly with oil. When the vegetables are cooked, remove and place on a serving plate.
- Brush tuna steaks lightly with oil.
- Place the fish onto the pre-heated griddle pan and allow to cook.
- Leave long enough for the griddle pan to carbonise the steak to create the lined effect.
- When they are ready, turn 90 degrees to create the criss-cross effect.
- Brush other side of the fish with oil and turn over to sear.
- Move the finished seared steaks to the serving dish.
4. This enamel pie dish is perfect for smaller pies, we especially love a home made shepherds pie and this recipe by Jamie Oliver is one of our favourites.
- 2 kg shoulder of lamb, bone in
- olive oil
- 4 red onions
- 4 carrots
- 4 sticks of celery
- 1 medium swede
- a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
- FOR THE TOPPING, SIDES & BOTTOM:
- 2.5 kg Maris Piper potatoes
- 2 good knobs of unsalted butter
- 100 g Cheddar cheese
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 60 g fresh breadcrumbs
- I believe this is the ultimate shepherd’s pie – a recipe designed to use up leftover roasted meat. Historically, you’ll find it had potato on the bottom, sides and top, so I was inspired to run with this, giving you a pie with crispy potato all the way round, gorgeous tender meat and veg in the middle, and the best gravy to pour over your portion. This is definitely next-level cooking. To be honest, it’s so damn good that I’ll usually roast a small lamb shoulder specially in order to make a big shepherd’s pie for eight to ten people, which also gives you enough filling to freeze for another day – always a bonus.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3. In a snug-fitting high-sided roasting tray, rub the lamb all over with a little oil and a good pinch of sea salt and pepper. Add a splash of water to the tray, then roast for 4 hours, or until the meat is tender and will fall away from the bone. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray, then lift the lamb out onto a board, take all the meat and crispy skin off the bone and roughly chop it, reserving the bones. Skim away any fat from the tray and pop it into a clean jam jar. Add a splash of boiling water to the tray and stir around to pick up all the lovely sticky bits from the bottom. Keep it all to one side.
- For the filling, peel and roughly dice the onions, carrots, celery and swede, then put them into your biggest pan on a medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of reserved lamb fat. Strip in the rosemary leaves, then fry the veg for 20 minutes, or until lightly caramelised, stirring regularly. Stir in the flour, lamb, bones and tray juices, then pour in 1.5 litres of water. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on and reduce to a gentle simmer for 40 minutes, or until you’ve got a loose, stew-like consistency, stirring occasionally. To guarantee intense gravy and a tender but dense filling, remove and discard the bones, then place a large coarse sieve over a pan and, in batches, spoon the lamb stew into the sieve. Let the gravy drip through, and after a couple of minutes, when you get a dense pile of meat and veg in the sieve, transfer that to a bowl, leaving the gravy in the pan. Separately freeze half the cool meat and gravy for another day.
- For the topping, sides and bottom, peel and roughly chop the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and leave to steam dry, then add the butter, grate in half the cheese, season to perfection with salt and pepper, mash well and cool completely. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Use a little reserved lamb fat to grease the inside of a large pie dish (25cm x 30cm), then pick and tear over the rosemary leaves and sprinkle with half the breadcrumbs – they’ll stick to the fat and add an incredible crunch. A handful at a time, press the cooled mash into the dish, covering the bottom and sides with a 1cm-thick layer. Spoon in the filling and a couple of spoonfuls of gravy, smooth out, then top with the remaining mash, pat it flat, scuff it up with a fork and pinch it at the edges. Grate over the rest of the cheese, scatter with the remaining breadcrumbs and drizzle lightly with oil. Importantly, bake on the bottom of the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Warm your gravy through (reducing if desired), then serve the pie with loads of seasonal greens or peas and lots of condiments.
5. And finally what could be better that a good old traditional roast. The ideal way to cook a roast is in one of these fabulous enamel roasters.
We don't think we need to tell you how to roast a chicken in one of these great pots, just safe to say we like to add a few roast potatoes and a little stuffing around the outside of ours, place it in the roasting tin and add a little goose fat salt and pepper, with the chicken placed onto a medley of rosemary stalks, carrots and potatoes, which can then be used for gravy making later. We're sure this picture of the simple roast with no accompaniments is enough to make your mouth water. If you want to make cooking a roast easy for yourself then this is the ideal roasting tin to use.
When it comes to cooking we are loving the cast iron cookware by Victor for many reasons. Cast iron skillets get better with age and are versatile.
You can cook up all sorts of dishes and they can be used on the hob and then transferred easily to the oven. Our favourite dish cooked this way is the French tarte tartin made with apples or pears, but less of this mouth watering talk of delicious treats and onto our 5 reasons why we think you should be cooking in cast iron pans.
1. They get better with age. Our favourite reason for cooking with these great cast iron pans is that they just get better and better as the seasoned surface develops into a great natural non stick surface. It's a great healthy alternative to non stick pans as the seasoned pan will not only mean you can use less oil but also that non of the toxic PFC coatings from cheaper pans will find it's way into your food.
2. Cast iron pans can be used inside the oven too. It's just great when you have those dishes that require cooking on the hob and then transferring to the oven to finish off. The skillets have cast iron handles and so are easily transferable from hob to oven.
3. Cast iron cookware retains the heat brilliantly which is great for saving money on energy bills and also keeps the food piping hot when serving food directly to the table in the pan.
4. Iron is a health giving mineral which is transferred directly from the pan to the food when cooking in cast iron, this is especially good if you are vegetarian and may be lacking in this vital nutrient.
5. Cast iron is a great investment in not only your health but also will last for generations. One of those great things that will still be around to pass down to your grandchildren.
So what's stopping you get those pans out and start cooking now.
So the weekend is almost here and what have you got planned?
If you are looking for a little weekend inspiration then there are so many great ideas about how you can spend your precious time but when it comes to getting your home and garden into shape then take a look at some of our interior suggestions to kick start your plans.
If you need to keep your space clean and tidy then start with adding some of these fabulous cast iron brackets which can hold the heaviest of shelves. They come in so many different sizes and colour choices that you will be spoilt for choice. We're sure you will want some in almost every room in the house.
Once you have all of your random items neatly placed on your new shelves it will be time to think about adding some hat and coat hooks to your walls or inside cupboards so that those summer hats have a place to hang and if you reside in the UK then you're sure to need a raincoat near to the door too.
You can always give your drawers a face lift with any of these delightful drawer pulls and cabinet knobs or if you fancy getting into refurbishing that old piece of furniture you have always wanted to give a new lease of life to then they will be sure to add a great finishing touch to your project.
If refurbishing furniture is not your thing then you could always spend your weekend cooking up a delight in the kitchen, these cast iron cooking pans can be used both indoors or out doors on a camp fire and both on the hob or inside the oven to finish the dish.
After all of that hard work you are sure to want to just chill in the garden with a drink or two. Having a cast iron bottle opener on hand will make enjoying yourself so much easier and the beer bottle carrier means you can take your beer with you even if you decide to just retreat to the beach, Whatever you decide the do, have a great weekend.