I picked up a Rondeau pan from Falk last year – a great piece of kit. Only problem was that it left me feeling I was missing out with the rest of my pans. These things are such a pleasure to use – the feel of the pan, the weight and the way they cook so evenly. If you’re cooking up any form of stock, stew or roast, those sticky bits of fond that are going to enhance your sauces form perfectly and scrape straight from the pan. So – could I justify forking out a considerable chunk of money for one of their full sets of cookware?
Here’s the thing – these pans are a one-off purchase. The handles wont melt or fall off and there’s no non-stick surface that will scratch off when your gran decides to take a scouring pad to them after a few sherries at Christmas. Your food will cook better for the rest of your life and, let’s be honest, they look incredible. So – it was my birthday, Falk Culinair offer a decent discount when you buy a set of their gear so I had to go for it.
The gourmet set arrived – it’s brilliant. Each piece feels like it was engineered by Brunel himself. This is serious kit – you will never regret owning this stuff.
First piece I used was the roasting pan. I was wondering how much difference a copper roasting pan would make but it really does. Your roasting pan not only needs to cook evenly in the oven but also on the hob when you’re putting your sauces together. What’s the use of a pan that is fiercely hot and spitting at one end and hardly moving at the other when you finish off your sauces?
I had a saddle of muntjac in the freezer that needed cooking – perfect to test this pan out. The thing about venison, or any game really, is that you have to be careful that it’s not too dry – even to the point that you might want to consider adding extra fat to the meat in the form of lard but that can flavour the meat in an undesirable way so nailing the cooking is the way to go. Some butter or oil will do to sear the meat which you will need to do in your roasting pan over a medium flame/heat. Once you’ve seared your meat and seasoned it generously it goes into an oven at 220 – 230c for 20 minutes. Take it out – a glass or 2 of red wine goes in to deglaze the pan (remembering to scrape up those dark bits of meat/stock that will form in the pan) and it goes back in to the oven at 150c for 10 minutes per 500g.
Don’t cook it any more than that. Take it out, wrap it in foil and let it rest. That’s the key – cook less, rest more.
So – you’ve got a pan, in my case my new copper roasting pan, with some reduced red wine and venison juice and sticky bits of meat and stock all ready to make an incredible sauce. Get it on the hob bubbling away gently – you can add some fruity sauce/jelly at this point – a red currant jelly would be perfect. Let it reduce and finish off with a decent chunk of butter. Stir it all in. Taste it. Season it. Taste it again. You’re done.
The meat should be perfect now. I served mine with some beetroot straight from my parent’s garden and some pine nut puree. Pour over that sauce and you’ve got something special.
So – I’m happy with my new pan. I was happy with my venison. If you’re serious about your cooking I can’t recommend these pans enough – you will save money using these pans over the years and your food will taste better. Simple as that.