How to Create the Perfect One-Pot Wonder

Ananas Bar & Brasserie Chef de Cuisine Neil Martin shares his top tips on creating the perfect one-pot wonder.

Everyone loves a one-pot wonder in winter time. And what’s not to love about them? All the ingredients are put into one pot and left to bubble away, then fast forward an hour or two and you have yourself a hearty meal (without a hefty load of washing up).

While it’s a no-fuss way to cook, there are some key steps to follow if you want to achieve a really flavoursome one-pot wonder. Ananas Bar & Brasserie Chef de Cuisine Neil Martin shares his top tips.

You will need:

One heavy pot
You may only be using one pot, but make sure it has a decent, heavy base. A heavy-bottomed pot will distribute heat and cook ingredients more evenly. Go one step further and ensure it has a tight fitting lid to help seal in flavour. My favourite brand is Tefal.

Tough cuts
Choose a quality portion of braising meat (beef cheek works well). Less expensive, tougher cuts of meat lend themselves to this style of long, slow cooking (or braising) which tenderises the meat.

Aromatic vegies
Choose the classic combination of carrot, celery and brown onion and dice finely to add an aromatic flavour base to your dish. This is known as a mirepoix, or the holy trinity of French cooking.

Herbaceous layers
Add another layer of flavour by adding a big handful of herbs, such as thyme, bay leaf, black peppercorns and parsley. Add dried herbs at the beginning, or fresh herbs towards the end of cooking.

Decent vino
Use a good quality wine to deglaze, or scrape off the browned bits of food that stick to the bottom of your pot. Good wine equals good flavour and together with the browned scrapings, it enriches the cooking liquid.

Good stock
Use a hearty stock to help build up those layers of flavour.

Top tips

  • Create a beautiful caramelisation, or browning, of the meat and also the mirepoix, which produces a rich depth of flavour to the dish.
  • As the term one-pot wonder suggests, at no point should you change the pan. Cooking in one pot means you can lock in lots of flavour.
  • The more gentle and slower the braising process, the better the end result. Boiling will cook the meat too quickly and make it tough. Slow simmering also helps to thicken the sauce.

Ananas Bar & Brasserie has a week-long line up of food and wine events from July 8 – July 14 to celebrate Bastille Day. For more information go to: www.ananas.com.au/whats-on/

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