I may have mentioned before how much I love recipes where everything is cooked in one tin or pot. The great thing is, Agas are particularly suited to this sort of cooking. At the shop of the beautiful National Trust property Trerice in Cornwall in the summer, I bought Rukmini Iyer’s books The Roasting Tin and The Green Roasting Tin, which are excellent and inspiring. Last night though I had specific ingredients I needed to use up for supper so I made up my own one tin recipe, taking ideas from those books, Jamie Oliver and Meera Sodha.
Cauliflower, Chicken and Potato Traybake
- 1 large cauliflower
- 500g potatoes (I used Charlotte but any waxy potato would be fine)
- 1kg chicken wings
- 6 tbsps rapeseed oil
- 30g bunch coriander
- 2 tsps cumin seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Chop the potatoes into 3cm chunks
- Separate out the cauliflower into smallish florets, about the same size as your potato pieces
- Finely chop the coriander stalks, placing the leafy sprigs in a bowl of cold water to keep them fresh until needed
- Place all of the above in your large Aga roasting tin
- Grind the cumin seeds and mix with the salt, chilli powder, turmeric and rapeseed oil and pour all this over your vegetables in the tin making sure everything is coated in oil. Add a little more oil if you think it’s required
- Slide your roasting tin onto the second set of runners of the roasting oven and roast for 15 minutes
- Season your chicken wings and add them to the tin, nestling them in between your vegetables but if you run out of space just rest them on top
- Return the tin to the roasting oven, this time on the top set of runners for about half an hour but check after 15 minutes and turn everything round a bit so that everything is cooked and some edges are a little charred
- Before serving pour over the lemon juice and garnish with the coriander sprigs
NB You could use chicken thighs for this but then I would add them at the beginning because they need a longer cooking time.
Who doesn’t love a meal which can be cooked in just one tray or tin? With this one by the great Ottolenghi, flavour and texture are not sacrificed for simplicity. The recipe was in his Guardian column (third recipe down) recently and I couldn’t wait to make it. I’ve already made it twice and am certain it’s going to become a staple in this house.
I have made one-pot pasta dishes before, where the pasta and the sauce ingredients are all cooked together in water in a large pan on the hob, so I was delighted to find this one because cooking everything, including the pasta itself, together in one roasting tin in the oven seemed so perfectly suited to Aga cooking. Even the rocket is stirred in rather than served separately. There is also a scrumptious salsa and I would urge you to take the extra few minutes to make this.
I found it slightly trickier than usual to decide which Aga oven(s) to use for this dish. Ottolenghi’s instructions for a conventional oven are 240ºC for the initial meat-browning stage and to turn it down to 200ºC after that. I found that if I put it in the roasting oven for both stages the pasta browned too quickly, even if I did as instructed and turned it in the sauce a couple of times to keep as much of it as possible submerged. I’ve shown at 7. below what worked for me. You might find a different oven permutation suits you better.
If you can’t find paccheri, Ottolenghi suggests using rigatoni or tortiglioni. I bought my paccheri from Ocado.
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 30g dried porcini mushrooms
- 750g minced pork
- 350g Cumberland sausages, casings removed
- 2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsps tomato paste
- ⅓ tsp chilli flakes (how precise Ottolenghi is!)
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 15g sage leaves, roughly chopped (I used a little less than this because we’re not keen on a strong sage flavour)
- 75ml olive oil
- 60g Parmesan, grated
- Salt and pepper
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500g oyster mushrooms, left whole or roughly torn into large pieces
- 100ml double cream
- 250g paccheri
- 70g rocket leaves
- 35g capers, roughly chopped
- 15g parsley, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zested: add the zest and juice to taste
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- Add the porcini mushrooms to the chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil on the boiling plate. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly
- Place the mince, sausage meat, Worchestershire sauce, tomato paste, chilli flakes, fennel seeds, sage, 3 tbsps of the olive oil, half the Parmesan, 1 3/4 tsps salt and some ground black pepper in the full size Aga roasting tin
- Blitz the celery, onion and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped and add to the roasting tin and mix it all together
- Bake in the middle (with the tin hanging from the third rung from the top) of the roasting oven for 30 minutes until brown and sizzling
- Using a fork, break up the meat to get rid of any clumps, then stir in the porcini mushrooms and stock, the oyster mushrooms, pasta, cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil
- Make sure to stir in the pasta very thoroughly and that it is mostly submerged in the sauce
- Return to the Aga but this time to the baking oven to cook for about 45 minutes. Take it out a couple of times to stir the pasta in the sauce. Alternatively, if you have time, place it in the roasting oven or baking oven for 10-15 minutes before transferring it to the simmering oven for an hour or more (depending on when you wish to eat). As we Aga owners know, it will not come to any harm
- Meanwhile make the salsa by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and adding a grinding of black pepper
- Stir in the rocket and remaining Parmesan before serving. You could also sprinkle over some extra Parmesan shavings
Ottolenghi says to pour the salsa over the whole thing but I chose to serve it in a bowl to be passed round the table.
(The first time I made it there were only three of us so I roughly halved the quantities and used the half size Aga roasting tin, which is the one you can see in these photos.)
Saturday can be a day for relaxing and pottering. One is refreshed after a lie-in perhaps, and the chores that need to be completed before the start of the working week can be delayed until tomorrow. A day such as this is perfect for some slow cooking and for spending time near the Aga.
Last weekend got off to a particularly enjoyable start when we went out on Friday evening for a meal with some friends. They introduced us to Bulrush, a fairly new Bristol restaurant, which seems to be gaining in popularity by the day. We discovered that it had not been over-hyped, either by our friends or in the media, and enjoyed every one of the nine (!) courses on the taster menu.
It was not a late night so I felt rested on Saturday morning. My husband went off to do a ward round, youngest son to do his paper round and I walked the dog. Once we’d had breakfast and dressed I popped down to the farmers’ market for some sourdough bread for lunch and came home to start on the chilli I’d planned for supper. At this time of year I love Saturday evenings when we have no plans because it means I can sit and watch Strictly Come Dancing with a gin and tonic and organise for the supper to be ready afterwards. Chilli works well because it can be left to bubble away all afternoon in the simmering oven and all that’s required as Strictly is coming to an end is to cook some rice and make a salsa.
I suspect for many of us chilli is one of those dishes which we make from memory, perhaps using slightly different ingredients each time. For years I’ve been basing mine on this ragù recipe; I just substitute red wine for white, add chilli powder before adding the tomato purée and finally red kidney beans about half an hour before serving. This weekend that is more or less what I did but instead of just chilli powder, I also added some cumin and some chipotle paste. This provided added depth and smokiness and I was delighted with the result.
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1kg minced beef (full fat for flavour)
- 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
- 4 tsps chipotle paste
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 bay leaves
- 200ml milk
- 200ml red wine
- 500ml passata
- 1 or 2 x 400g tins red kidney beans
- Sour cream to serve
- Heat the olive oil in a large casserole and add the onion and a sprinkling of salt. Stir to coat in the oil and leave to cook in the simmering oven, or if you’re in a hurry on the simmering plate, stirring regularly
- When the onions are soft and translucent, add the crushed garlic, place the casserole on the boiling plate and add the mince and some salt, stirring and breaking it up with a fork as you go. When it has lost its pink colour, transfer to the simmering plate and stir in the spices, chipotle paste and tomato purée
- Then add the milk and bay leaves and let this cook, uncovered, until most of it is absorbed before you add the wine
- After about five minutes add the passata, give it a stir and when it’s just about simmering, transfer, still uncovered, to the simmering oven for a minimum of three hours but it won’t come to any harm if left there for six. Add the kidney beans about half an hour before you plan to eat
- Serve with basmati rice, a dollop of sour cream and salsa
I happened to use this Delia salsa recipe this time but there are many others and you might already have a favourite. Simply mix all the ingredients together.
- 1 large avocado, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, deseeded and the flesh diced (you can also peel them if you like)
- About a tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander or to taste
- Juice of 1 lime
- A few drops of tabasco