WE LIVE IN A
time when stews with dumplings or potatoes are a little on the nose among the snooty culinary elite. And the rest of us have caught on to the con of those so-called ‘one-pot meals’ that still rely on dirtying a second pot for the rice, mash or, maybe, polenta to soak up all those juices.
The tray bake is the acceptable modern face of one-pot cookery, as well as harking back to a time when everything for the Sunday roast – except the peas and carrots – was cooked in the roasting tray.
Tray bakes are also a little magic, as this technique of roasting and braising ingredients together can be adapted to making pretty much every recipe easier with far less washing up. It’s just a matter of good timing.
The tray bake is the true heir to the one-pot crown, whether the carbs are in there from the beginning, like the sweet potatoes here in ‘The Donald’s worst nightmare’; join the other ingredients already par-cooked, as in our take on an aloo gobi curry; or are added raw at the end to soak up the tasty juices, like the orzo pasta in the ‘Klepto Lamb’ bake or the cannellini beans in our cheat’s cassoulet.
Anyway, they’re calling our flight, so let’s get tray-bake trippin’.