She has always loved the simple and delicate designs created by his wife Susan on the country-style shapes of the pottery designed by Nicholas.
So when Lisa McGee, from Nicholas Mosse Pottery, asked me to try out some of their new Ovenware range of Pottery, I looked forward to seeing if it was up to the standard of the old-style ovenware that my aunts used to cook their big hearty casseroles in!
I had a wee plan in my head so I went to see my good friend John McIntyre who now leads the team in the Olde Castle Bar & Restaurant, in Donegal Town, where I used to be the head chef. I wanted to see if these lovely pottery dishes could stand up to the pressures of a modern commercial kitchen.
If they can make it there, as they say, they will make it anywhere!
So I put together two simple dishes that use different temperatures. Both were cooked in a large industrial convection oven in a busy commercial kitchen. One is a simple Lobster & Seafood mixed platter that would be great to serve to a table and everyone can share. The other is the classic slow-braised Lamb Shank dish that has become so popular in Ireland over the last few years.
They are both very easy to make if you have family & friends coming for the holidays and you can up the quantities accordingly.
Grilled Lobster Platter to Share
|This dish is easily prepared in advance and kept in the fridge until needed.|
One cooked Lobster
4 cooked crab claws
A dozen or so fresh Mussels
8 Asparagus spears
some melted butter or garlic butter
- You can read how to cook & split the lobster here
- Peel and cook the asparagus in salted boiling water for 3 minutes
- Meanwhile steam open the mussels, over the asparagus, in a colander with a lid on it until they open. Discard any that don't open.
- Arrange the lobster, crab, mussels and asparagus in your serving dish and drizzle a little butter over the fish. Cover with tin foil.
- When you are ready to serve simple pop the whole lot into a hot oven (190°C) for 3-5 minutes and heat everything up! Yum!
|This is an Oval dish with their classic Forget-Me-Not design|
Slow Braised Lamb Shanks
4 trimmed Lamb Shanks - ask your butcher to trim the bone for you
2 carrots peeled
1 parsnip peeled
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
pinch of thyme
pinch of rosemary
1/2 litre boiling water
large glass red wine
1 teaspoon treacle
1 chicken stock cube
sea salt & black pepper
First arrange the lamb shanks in your lovely new ovenware dish!
|The juices will reduce down into a wonderfully rich sauce.|
- Chop the carrot, parsnip & onion into even chunky bite-sized pieces and place on top of the lamb. Peel the garlic and toss in with the veg.
- Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water and stir in the treacle (this will sweeten the meat and add a deep bodied colour to your finished sauce). Add the glass of red wine and then pour this over the complete dish. Season with sea salt & black pepper and cover with tin foil.
- Cook in a medium oven (160°C) for 3 hours until the meat is falling off the bone and the juices have reduced into a lovely rich sauce. Yum again!
|This is a 12" rectangle oven dish with their Red Tulip motif - classy|
Now I know that most pottery is fired to about 1300°C for its final glaze firing - but we all still feel a wee bit cautious of putting our lovely new dishes into even an ordinary oven at home. So I was delighted to see how the Nicholas Mosse ovenware coped excellently with the more intense convection ovens of an industrial kitchen environment.
|The Ovenware is available in 5 different shapes & designs|
|The potter himself Nicholas Mosse|