Welcome to our feature where we get out and about and see what people are up to with their AGA's. Enjoy.
Renowned chef and Slow Food heavy, Mary Ellis, who brought us Liberty House and Cliffy’s (Daylesford), imparts some of her AGA wisdom. The photos below were taken at Mary's self-contained accommodation The Barn behind Cliffys in Daylesford.
what sort of AGA do you
2 door red AGA, connected to mains gas not connected to water
what do you like most about your AGA?
I like it as a friendly comforting presence in my barn. It's company . . . you're never alone if you have an AGA. Everyone is drawn to it, wants to be near it.
anything special particular to you that you do on/in your
Warming your bum is a very important job for the AGA; As is making toast . . . the best toast in the world. I don't bother eating toast from electric toasters . . too spoiled!!
It's handy for doing the ironing (just pop the napkins or whatever on top of the lid, go to bed and in the morning they are pressed!!). Ditto for drying herbs.
Very good for drying boots (pop them on the floor by the stove), also the bottom oven of the 4 door is great for warming up poor little orphan lambs in the winter (there was an AGA in the kitchen of the farm I grew up on . . . it's still there! ).
You can also COOK on your AGA! Excellent for slow cooking especially the 4 door, where I used to make Rillettes, confit garlic and things overnight . . it cooked while I slept . . . Grilling in the top oven; terrific, and no cleaning up!
No other stove does a wild duck like it (sealed oven is the trick, I think). Cooking pikelets on top with bake-o-glide is really fun and kids love it. The best thing is it is always ready too go . . no choosing temperatures, turning knobs, nothing to go wrong . . . you suddenly want to do some cooking and the AGA is ahead of you! Ready!!
could you give us a recipe miss slow food heavy?
300gm pork fat diced (3cm)
500ml dry white wine
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 sprig sage
1 sprig thyme
3 or 4 parsley stalks
1 kg boneless pork blade diced (3cm)
200 gm speck, diced (3cm)
salt and pepper
1 good blade
Put everything except salt and pepper in a heavy casserole with a well fitting lid, tucking the herbs and spices in amongst the meaty bits, and pour the wine over the top. cover closely with greaseproof paper. Put the lid on. Stick it in the top left oven of the 4 door for 6-7 hours (I do it just before I go to bed and pull it out first thing in the morning). Let cool til you can handle it, then take out the meat with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl. Discard the herbs and mace blade. Roughly shred the meat with your fingers, season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. Beat in the liquid with a wooden spoon (I use the dough hook on my Kitchen aid), spoon into small pots pressing it down firmly to expel air pockets. Make sure there is a layer of fat over the top to seal the mixture. Leave to cool. Refrigerate and don't eat it for 3-4 days to let the flavours mature. Serve with bread or toast, cornichons, caperberries and maybe some apple jelly as a starter, a picnic lunch or with drinks.