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Stone Bake’s guide to winter dining

Oh the weather is getting frightful! It’s official, the winter has set in, meaning extra chilly mornings and it’s already getting dark at 4pm! The weather might not be at its best, however this doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your wood fired ovens. We want to inspire you into winter dining and using your wood fired ovens. Who cares if it’s snowing?!

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Winter Dining Ideas

It’s a given that not all of you will be brave enough to eat outside during the chillier months. Despite this, remember that you can still make fantastic use out of your wood fired ovens!

Eating indoors and using your wood fired oven outside is more than possible. We bet there isn’t anything more satisfying than cooking outside in the crisp fresh air then bringing your delicious creations inside to eat in the comfort of your home.

Unless you are having a pizza party, most food being cooked in a wood fired oven doesn’t need to be watched every minute. Big pots of stew, winter pies or casseroles are perfect to bring inside and place in the middle of your dining table ready to share between family and friends.

If you want to eat outside, always remember to wrap up warm. Bring out lots of blankets, light some candles or hang up some fairy lights to create a welcoming and cosy atmosphere. If you really want to optimise your outdoor eating area, then you could always add an outdoor heater, which will create a much warmer environment for the colder months.

Winter Recipes

The most important thing about dining in the wintertime is enjoying some fabulous comfort food. We’re talking stews, casseroles, pies and roasts. Here are two of our favourite winter recipes to get cooking in your wood fired ovens. They’re super simple to make, full of delicious flavours, sure to fill your hungry tummies to the brim.

The Healthy Option

Roasted Root Veggies with tomatoes and kale

Roasted Veggies,tomatoes and kale

 

You’ll Need

  • 3-4 Pounds of Root Vegetables such as butternut squash, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnip or sweet potato. Peel and cut into chunks.
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 6tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp Kosher Salt
  • 115g of diced onion
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 500g of kale
  • 800g of whole peeled tinned tomatoes
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • Black Pepper (Seasoning)
  • Tabasco Sauce (For Flavouring)

Method

Firstly you will need to fire up your wood fired oven to its optimum temperature. Allow your oven to cool until it reaches around 230°c. In a large roasting dish, mix together the root vegetables, the garlic and 3tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle in some salt and roast for 45 minutes.

Whilst your root veggies are cooking in your wood fired oven, you can start to sauté your onions in a large roasting pot. When the edges have begun to brown, stir in the tomato paste and simmer for a minute more.

Using your hands, tear the whole tinned tomatoes into large pieces adding them to the pot. Pour in the remaining liquid into your large roasting pot. Give it a good stir and add in the dried oregano.

Leave to one side until your root veggies are roasted through. You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork. Leave your oven to cool until it reaches around 180°c. Add in the roasted root veggie into your large roasting pot then pop in your oven for around 20 minutes to half an hour. After your dish has had a good while to heat through, add in your kale. Also season with salt and pepper, and if you’re feeling adventurous; season with some Tabasco.

Give it another good stir, then pop it back into your wood fired oven to stew for 10-15 minutes. It’s then ready to serve, with some fresh wood fired bread. 

A classic winter pie

Stone Bake’s Creamy chicken, ham and leek pie

Chicken ham and leek pie

If it’s a scrummy winter pie you’re fancying, then why not try our delicious wood fired chicken, ham and leek pie? The pastry will melt in your mouth and the filling is so good you won’t quite believe it. If you’re feeling super adventurous you could even throw in some extra veggies, depending on what flavours you like the best.

You’ll Need

  • A high heat 9inch round pie dish

For the filling

  • 450ml Chicken Stock
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 75g of butter
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50g plain flour
  • 200ml milk
  • Drizzle of white wine
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g thick carved ham
  • Sea Salt and ground black pepper for seasoning.

Pastry

  • 350g plain flour
  • 200g butter
  • 1 egg beaten with 1tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg for pastry glaze

Method

Firstly you will need to heat the chicken stock in a saucepan. Whilst you are doing this add in the chicken breasts and bring to a low simmer. Pop on your saucepan lid and cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the chicken breasts and place on a plate, and then pour the stock into a jug.

Next melt 25g of butter in a fresh saucepan. Stir in the leeks and gently fry for a few minutes. Then pop in the garlic and remaining butter and stir in the flour once the butter has melted. Keep stirring, and then gradually pour in the milk. Once you have added the milk, slowly add the stock and wine. Keep stirring until the sauce is smooth and thick. Simmer for 3 minutes. Finally, take off the heat, stir in the cream and add some salt and pepper for seasoning.

Next you will need to fire up your wood fired ovens to its optimum temperature, maintaining it at around 200°c.

Then it’s time to get on with the pastry. Mix together the flour and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Next pour in the beaten egg and blend until the mixture forms a ball. Leave around 250g of pastry for the lid.

Roll out the remaining pastry on a floured surface until it is around 5mm thick and 4cm larger than the pie dish. Gently place it into the pie dish, pressing firmly on the sides to ensure there is no air bubbles. Always make sure there is some extra pastry hanging over the sides.

Next, it’s time to get messy with the filling. Chop the chicken into small chunks and then stir it along with the ham and leeks into the cooled sauce. Pour the filling into the pie dish. Roll out the pastry that you’ve put aside for the lid. Place over the top of the pie, securely pressing together the edges. Then trim any excess pastry.

Place a hole in the top of the pie and glaze the pastry lid with the egg wash. Put your pie in your wood fired oven for 35-40 minutes, or until your pie appears golden-brown in colour and the filling is piping hot.

Now all you have to do is devour this scrumptious winter pie, a sure wood fired classic for winter.

If none of these recipes tickle your fancy then be sure to check out our recipe section on our website for a wide range of recipes that would definitely please some hungry diners.

Please don’t forget to keep us updated with your wood fired oven inspired winter dining pictures. Rain, sun, snow or hail, keep those wood fired ovens fired up and cooking all of your favourite winter comfort foods. After all, you need to get in lots of practice ready for perfecting your Christmas dinner!

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If you are interested in our residential oven range, visit our PrimoMezzoVento and Gusto pages for prices, information and technical drawings. Please don’t hesitate to contact the team on 0845 834 0252 should you have any further questions.