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Best Aga cookbook for a beginner?

(17 Posts)
Castlelough Mon 06-Oct-14 06:43:50

Just looking for some advice!

I'm planning on buying a cookbook to help me get to grips with my new reconditioned Aga for when we move into our new house at the end of the month.

I am not looking to do lots of fancy cooking, so something with traditional basics, casseroles etc would be ideal...

Also, if anyone has any tips for essential cookware purchases?

I'm planning on buying a toasting rack and some bake-o-glide and treating myself to a Le Creuset casserole (recommend ideal size/shape?!) but will have to make do with my existing stainless steel Stellar pots for now.

Thanks in advance for any tips/advice! :-)

Messygirl Mon 06-Oct-14 06:55:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BikeRunSki Mon 06-Oct-14 07:00:45

The Mary Berry one will tell you everything you need I know.

Castlelough Mon 06-Oct-14 15:07:35

I'll check out the Mary Berry book so.

Madrigals we bought a reconditioned Aga. It wasn't purchased from Aga itself and it has come with a cold shelf and three oven shelves (old style 4-oven Aga with warming plate) so I have none of the standard roasting tins.

Messygirl Mon 06-Oct-14 15:42:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lk26 Mon 06-Oct-14 15:44:06

Mary berry is great. Aga shops do courses for new aga owners which are really good.

Castlelough Mon 06-Oct-14 23:12:31

lk26 thanks for reminding me - I must look up courses happening near me. smile

Madrigals that sounds like a good idea, except I have a cold plate already. Will see what the savings are for buying the starter pack. Thanks for tip!

DorothyGherkins Mon 06-Oct-14 23:23:03

I bought "The traditional Aga Cookery Book" by Louise Walker on Amazon second hand for a very small sum. All the traditional stuff you re likely to cook, victoria sandwich, bread, pizza, Christmas pudding,jam, besides soups, casseroles and roasts. Very useful introduction about all the different parts of the oven. I only used the Aga for a year when working wiith someone, and found it easy to get on with, it suited my style of cooking.

AmpersandRea Mon 06-Oct-14 23:28:57

I really recommend that you go to a workshop at an Aga shop. You'll learn loads of great tips on how to get the best out of your Aga, and which items are worth buying.
Once you get used to the Aga way of cooking, you won't look back. Can you tell I love my Aga? grin
For cakes & puds you can't go wrong with Lucy Young.

Equipment wise, I couldn't manage without my Aga baking sheet and roasting tin that fit straight onto the runners.

eightytwenty Mon 06-Oct-14 23:30:57

I only bought the starter pack, the toaster, some insulated gloves and the lid covers. Everything else I've made done with including my old round le creuset. I have two Mary Berrys - but also recommend you google a 7 hour pork belly recipe. It is food of dreams and loved by all that I feed it to!

Enjoy - think I'd trade my dh and sometimes my dc for my aga in the winter!

Castlelough Tue 07-Oct-14 16:02:34

Thanks for all those great tips ladies! I'm really looking forward to starting. We had it installed in July but we aren't moving in until the start of November! Can't wait to try it out!

The upcoming classes being run near me are on during my working hours on a weekday in Nov...is it worth using up a precious day off to go to a class from 1-3?

claracluck71 Tue 07-Oct-14 16:07:32

The Aga Bible by Amy Willcock is good - has lots of tips on how to get the most out of your Aga.

Castlelough Fri 28-Nov-14 06:13:18

Any more tips? Finally, we are moving in next week and I'll be turning on my Aga! Whoop!!!

tb Fri 28-Nov-14 17:53:28

If you can afford it, I'd buy a set of Aga saucepans. They are 1 1/2, 2 and 3 l capacity from memory. Sorry, am next to the cat and just can't be bothered to go and look at them.

The handles are recessed so that you can stack 2 of the smaller ones on top of each other in the simmering oven.

Also, I wouldn't bother with the Aga stainless steel frying pan, as there is a similar casserole and without the long frying pan handle it's smart enough to use as a serving dish. Feel a bit loath to plonk a frying pan on the table.

A local Aga dealer used to offer 10% reduction on pans on 'dem nights' - Joshua and Tom Taylor in Bolton, but since then most new Agas are sold in Aga's own showrooms rather than plumbers' merchants. Blame the Charles&Camilla, Posh & Becks and other celebrity owners.

The best cheap Sunday lunch is to braise a shoulder of pork joint in cider in the simmering oven overnight with added bay leaf, peppercorns and a clove or 2, and then take it out, take the bone out, flatten the joint and blast it half way up the roasting oven. No need to add salt and you'll get the best crackling ever.

If you save up, for about £300 you can get 2 gas burners to replace the warming plate, which means that you still have a means of cooking in the summer.

We're thinking of moving, and after 22 years and 3 Agas, it looks as if we can't afford another. It's rather sad, and the cat will miss it, too.

tb Fri 28-Nov-14 17:55:30

I had a brilliant little book by Caroline Berkley and it has a table in the back giving a list of ordinary dishes and the gas mark/°C in a conventional oven, and then columns for the way to cook them in a Rayburn and in a 2 oven or 4 oven Aga.

I don't think it's in print, but you might find a second hand copy.

tb Fri 28-Nov-14 18:22:41

Sorry, that should be Catherine Blakely blush

Also, Good Housekeeping do a couple, but be careful as I have 2 of them and there are duplicated recipes between them.

Castlelough Sun 30-Nov-14 10:44:25

Thanks tb! You sound very knowledgeable! That pork recipe sounds delicious!
Hopefully you'll be able to have an Aga in the new house. Ours wasn't bought new. It's a 1940s reconditioned model. It is so beautiful and has a timer on the side which means it is times to switch off for a few hours each night and on again to be brought up to temperature again in time to cook on. Which saves a little bit on running costs but obviously isn't as efficient as the modern total control etc Agas but I really wanted a traditional type Aga.

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