I don’t often write product reviews but I recently acquired some cast iron cookware from ProCook that I’ve really enjoyed cooking with lately so thought I’d sing some cast iron praises in this blog post. One point of interest (perhaps): I don’t eat meat so my cast iron uses are possibly a bit different from the norm. Nevertheless, meat need not apply to cast iron cooking: the method rocks for all kinds of ingredients.
Case in point: no knead bread. The large casserole is perfect for bread baking, particularly the no knead loaf which has been my most requested bake for years. The heavy pot with its oven-safe lid helps contain the bread’s moisture resulting in the best ever bread crust possible in a home oven.
My big cast iron revelation of the year is realising I can use my cast iron pot as a slow cooker, basically by putting it into a really low oven (big benefit to cast iron: it’s oven safe). I used this method to make apple butter last autumn and the results were phenomenal.
I used the same approach to make slow cooker red beans for red beans and rice – the slow cooker made the beans all the more rich and creamy. This is the kind of winter comfort food that cast iron was made for!
In addition to the large casserole, I have a shallow casserole that I don’t use quite as much, but I’m glad I have it because because it’s super handy for cooking big dishes to feed a crowd. I used it the other weekend with friends to make Uyen Luu’s Caramelised Sardines in Coconut Water (we ended up using mackerel, which fit into the casserole like a charm – you can read all about it on Kavey’s blog):
I confess, part of the appeal of these ProCook cast iron casseroles is their appearance. I like that they stuck to a fairly conventional design, adding a dash of colour – I’m a sucker for red cookware. ProCook’s cast iron is also fairly economical compared to other brands – their 26cm Oval Casserole costs £49 – a similar Le Creuset costs over £120.
You can find the full range of sizes and colours of ProCook’s cast iron cookware on their website.