My parents gave me this excellent cast-iron pan for Christmas. This is really an essential piece in every kitchen - forget all those stupid Teflon-coated anti-stick pans (not that I don't have some of them as well), nothing beats the good old cast-iron.
First of all, you can get it as hot as you like - all non-stick coatings will start to degrade around 200 centigrade, adding some mildly poisonous fluorocarbons to your food. They won't kill you, but can give you flue-like symptoms.
You can stick your cast-iron piece in the oven as well, and it will develop it's own anti-stick coating, which will be nearly as good as the old polytetrafluoroethylene anyway.
But enough of the shilling, here is what I made yesterday: Delicious beer rabbit stew with mushrooms and dumplings.
You'll need: Half a rabbit, flour, baking powder, tarragon, bit o' the old molokko, shallots (or onions), butter, salt, pepper, beer, also some beer for cooking, some nice mushrooms.
The dumplings are simply made: 200g flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, 100g butter, some tarragon, salt & pepper. Add just a bit of milk, knead until you have a non-sticky dough, make eight dumplings and park them in the fridge, for now.
Meanwhile, your pan will be sitting on the stove, but no worries, 'cause it's iron and doesn't care. Coat your rabbit-pieces (I had half a rabbit, cut into six pieces) with flour, add some oil in the pan and sear the shit out of them, or until brown on all sides. Depending on the size of your pan, you might have to do this in batches.
Put all the rabbit-pieces back in, add some bacon-strips and fry - keep everything moving with your trusty wooden spoon. When the bacon starts getting crispy, add a handful of shallots, and 200g of assorted fine 'shrooms - I had some most excellent oyster mushrooms (my favourites), shiitake and uh - other stuff. Fry for 8 to 10 minutes or so (this is not very time-critical, just don't let them shrivel all up), then put in a bit more flour (a tablespoon maybe), about half a can of beer and 400 ml of chicken broth. Turn down the heat, put a cover on and simmer for about half an hour, and preheat your oven to 200 centigrade.
When the half-hour is over gauge the level of fluid - you might want to add some more beer, or water if you are a pussy. You can also season it a bit more, it could probably do with some salt & pepper. Now put the dumplings in so their top sticks out of the stew, and put the whole she-bang into the oven, without cover. Leave it there for another 30-45 minutes, or until the dumplings cry mercy. Enjoy!
1 week ago