Na’s Notes on Prepare Ahead Veg on the AGA

Posted on December 21, 2021 in AGA

Based on the ‘AGA Cookbook’ by Mary Berry and Lucy Young, AGA expert - Naomi Hansell shares her top tips for preparing ahead for the big day on the AGA cooker.

Getting ahead with the vegetables is a great way to simplify the cooking on a big day and is really useful particularly for traditional Aga’s to minimise the cooking on the tops when the oven heat is important. It also helps to get the washing of the pans out of the way before the kitchen gets too busy.

Green vegetables are usually cooked in boiling water in a pan on the aga boiling or simmering plate. Root vegetables can be steamed in the simmering oven - place in a pan of water and bring to the boil on the AGA boiling plate, cooking for 5 - 10 minutes and moving to the simmering plate if necessary. Then drain off nearly all of the water, put the lid on the pan and place in the simmering oven to steam for the rest of the usual cooking time.

To get ahead, by up to 48 hours, cook your vegetables separately in the normal way as above until only just cooked. Immediately transfer to a big bowl of cold water to stop them cooking any further. Once cool, remove from the water and place into a serving dish or dishes. Repeat with each vegetable, arranging them as you like in the serving dishes.

Cover with foil which has been buttered on the underside (or a butter wrapped or two) and maybe with some cling film or beeswax wraps. Chill for up to 48 hours.

To reheat and serve, 20 minutes before needed, remove the cling film or wrapper, leave the foil in place and place the dishes directly on the floor of the roasting oven (use the floor grid for ‘e’ AGA’s eg eR7 ad eR3). The heat will turn the residual moisture in the vegetables to steam which will heat them and the butter will melt to lightly glaze the vegetables.

To serve, simply remove the foil and place on serving table or on the table itself, taking care to use heatproof mats as necessary. The AGA Portmerion or Spode Blue Italian roasting dishes are ideal for this as well as being beautiful enough to put on the table and hard wearing enough to go in the dishwasher as well as the freezer for other recipes.

For more top tips, check out Naomi Hansell's Instagram by clicking here or visit the AGA Living website where you will find even more AGA content.