Mauviel Copper cookware
Posted 09 July 2007 - 08:16 AM
I was fortunate that my now new wife let me register for some of the copper cookware at williams-sonoma.... AND I got some of them. When I was in the store there were other specialty pans that I wondered how useful they were and if they had other uses. For example other copper pots I saw by Mauviel,
Pommes Anna Pan
Rectangular Braiser with Lid.
Would the pommes anna pan be good for make gratins? what other uses might one find for that pan? Maybe a Tart tatin?
How would the rectangular braiser differ from the dutch oven? Is this just a fancy piece to go from oven to table?
Would the confiture pan be used for other things other than jams? Like pate de fruit or carmelizing almonds, carmel?'
They had a 15" Paella pan that seemed really large? Since we are not in my new place and I am not sure of the size of the largest burner (i think it is 16K btu) does this pan fit on that burner? in the oven? It could make a great large frying pan to saute multiple pieces of chicken or veal.
What are your thoughts?
Posted 09 July 2007 - 08:59 AM
The "Pommes Anna pan" is good for making Pommes Anna. If what you really want is a pan for gratins, etc. -- then I suggest a gratin pan. Tarte Tatin is reliably (and perhaps best) made in regular, cheap cast iron.
The potato steamer: Not useful to have unless you steam potatoes... a lot. Copper does not confer any special advantages when it comes to steaming.
Rectangular braiser: I can't think of anything I'd use something like this for. Poaching whole beef tenderloins?
Confiture pan: This is an unlined copper pan for making jams and jellies. Not really useful (and actually dangerous) to use for anything other than sugar.
Paella pan: A real paella pan is made of carbon steel and costs very little money. If you want a fancy paella pan, I'd suggest one of the Paderno Grand Gourmet stainless steel paella pans with a 7 mm aluminum base. These will outperform the Mauviel pan.
With all of these, there is also some question in my mind as to the thickness of the copper and the metal used for the lining.
I am a hige proponent of stainless lined heavy copper, but the fact is that it is not always the best solution for the job. It's also expensive and somewhat difficult to maintain.
Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:55 PM
There are some restaurant-sized examples of rectangular braisers on display at DBGB, with their assemblage of copper cooking vessels collected from well-known chefs.
You could braise two ducks in one, but the attraction is less conformity to the shape of the food being cooked than efficient use of oven space. I suppose that the original idea was that one of these could fit in the low temperature side-oven in a classic French stove, but in a modern American-style oven, it has the footprint of a quarter-sheet pan, and is fairly tall, so it holds 10 quarts. That leaves a nice clean quarter-sheet sized area for something else that can be baked at braising temperature. It is similarly efficient in terms of refrigerator space.
The fitted lid is nice and heavy.
Looks like it could also be handy for something like a potée normande where there are several meats tied up individually and vegetables in cheesecloth sacks all simmering in the same pot, each with a string tied to a pot handle for easy retrieval, but in the rectangular pot, they can be side-by-side instead of stacked on top of each other as they would be in a big stockpot.
Edited by David A. Goldfarb, 25 January 2012 - 07:01 PM.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:41 AM
Italian friends who were once my neighbors when I lived in the Valley had two (the tin-lined ones) in each of which several braciole were braised. As I recall they did eight in each pan and they were cooked first on the stovetop and then covered and finished in the oven.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:19 PM
With the exception of the steamer, I have all of these pans, but not necessarily by Mauviel. I find them all useful, if somewhat specialized tools.
In my opinion, a Pommes Anna pan can be used as a gratin (actually two), but it isn't an ideal shape. It can also be used as a very small saute (actually two), but the "ear" handles are a PITA. And it can be used as a mini-rondeau in the oven in a pinch. Finally, I think you could use it as a Tatin pan, although the vertical walls might complicate unmolding. In other words, if I were going camping or on vacation and had to take 1 copper pan, this (these) might be the one(s) I'd take. I have an old Lamalle Pommes Anna that is a full 3mm in the base and 2mm in the top; I do not know the thickness of Mauvie's recent production.
Regarding the braisers, as Tim has said, the boxy shape saves oven room, but I'm not sure they function any better than an oval daubiere, except that the lid overhangs a little more. With a little imagination, even this shape can be put to more versatile use. The joke about these among collectors is that these boxes usually bring more used on eBay than they cost new in France. W-S's prices were/are outrageously high, and my guess is that these things are the ultimate eyecandy wallhangers in most kitchens. The new manufacture braisers tend to be thin.
The steamer is an interesting vessel, and looks well-suited to steaming many things, especially asparagus. The only dual uses I can think of is a wine bucket or vase.
IMO, the confiture pan is useful only for confectionary and preserve use (or as a basin). But they are typically too thin for serious confectionary work.
I am going to partially disagree with Sam about the paella pan. The carbon steel pans are traditional because they are inexpensive, and because the traditional way of cooking in them was on a grate over an open fire or on a solid surface cooktop. Paella in a big pan on a smaller hob(and who makes 18" hobs?) will be problematic in most pans, but I submit that a copper one will be less of a problem than a carbon steel one, all other things being equal, because overhanging portions will still be getting near their fair share of the hob's output. The thick Al-disk pan might well be just as good.
I am also going to wholeheartedly agree with Sam about gratins. They are arguably the most versatile pans in anyone's batterie. They are excellent at baking and roasting, good at saute and frying (especially fish), and make fine serving pieces.
Finally, I'd like to say that all these pieces, being rendered in copper, are going to hold responsiveness advantage over other materials. Many things cooked in all these pieces can benefit from faster cooling. Whether that responsiveness is worth it to you, only you or those you cook for can answer.
Mauviel is somewhat cagey about thicknesses on their tinned pieces. If I remember right, they only give a ridiculously-wide range, like 1.8-3.5mm. To some extent this is due to the planishing, but if I were you, I'd weigh and measure. Let's just say that many vintage pieces are heavier, some much heavier.
Hope this helps!
Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:56 AM
Pommes Anna is both a spectacular and very tasty dish, but although the recipe itself is the utmost in simplicity, the technique is all-important. If you look on the web, you will find all sorts of ideas, many of which contradict the others.
Unfortunately, none of the recipes that I have found discuss the proper technique for using the traditional copper La Cocotte à Pommes Anna pan, such as that made by Mauviel, which simplifies the procedure and produces absolutely marvelous results. By comparison with other products, such as non-stick frying pans, which require using a lid and some dexterity to flip the cake without getting the butter all over the floor, the shallow top pan nests over the bottom pan, and everything stays in one place when you flip it. And the 2mm solid copper pan conducts heat wonderfully and results in a very nice crust.
The only drawback to copper pans that I can see is the 2mm copper exterior, which requires hand washing and occasional polishing to keep it looking like new. Also, do not cook anything acidic in the pot, e.g., tomatoes, or it will discolor the tin lining, and use wood or nylon utensils to avoid scratching it. Like all tin-lined products, with very heavy use the lining may have to be re-tinned after time.
Here is my recipe and suggested technique:
· Melt about ¾ pound (three sticks) of butter in a butter warmer. Using a small strainer, remove the froth from the top and discard it. Then pour the remaining melted butter, but not the butter solids at the bottom of the pan, unto a clean saucepan or other container. You now have clarified butter, which can be refrigerated until needed.
· Preheat the oven to 400°F/2O0°C.
· Peel three medium size Idaho Russet potatoes, storing the peeled potatoes in water in order to prevent discoloration.
· Working quickly, slice the potatoes into 2mm slices, using either a food processor with a 2mm blade, or a mandoline. If you are using a food processor, cut each potato in half, and put both halves in the large push-feed tube, so they will stand up straight.
· Lay the resulting slices on a paper towel to dry. Do NOT immerse the slices in water, as some recipes suggest, as that will wash off the starch that is needed to hold the slices together as they bake.
· Using a 2”/50mm cookie cutter, cut 20 or more perfectly round circles of potatoes from the slices. (I’m rather surprised that no one else seems to have suggested this technique—most say to shape the potato into a cylinder with a chef’s knife.)
· Dust the bottom of the pan with finely shredded rosemary, scattered as evenly as possible. Then add some freshly ground pepper.
· Starting in the center, arrange the perfectly round slices in a tight rosette pattern, radiating outwards around the pan. After each layer, pour a little more butter on the top, add some freshly ground pepper and maybe a little salt, and then put down another layer, in the opposite direction. The slices for the second and subsequent layer don’t have to be perfectly round, as they won’t be seen. Don’t put salt in the bottom of the pan, to avoid pitting.
· At the end, use a spatula to press down firmly on the slices, and then place the pan in the oven, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
· After 30 minutes, tip the deep pan and pour off most of the butter, and use a flexible spatula slide the cake back and forth to make sure the potatoes aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. (They shouldn’t stick, if you used an adequate amount of butter in the bottom of the pan.) Put the shallow pan on top of the deep pan, and quickly invert it. Then pour a little bit of the butter back over the top.
· Place the shallow pan in the oven for another 30 minutes. By this time, some or perhaps most of the potatoes on the top, which will become the bottom, will be beginning to be nicely browned.
· Repeat the flipping process, and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. Avoid the temptation to turn on the broiler, as you don’t want to get the tin lining too hot.
· Using a wide flexible spatula, lift the entire cake onto a serving platter, or flip it once more onto the shallow pan, and then flip it once again onto the plate or platter. Repair any minor esthetic damage, and then slice into wedges and serve.
· Depending on your appetite, three potatoes should serve 6 to 8 people. Any leftovers can be vacuum-sealed under medium compression to hold the cake together, then refrigerated for several days. Rewarm in the microwave, or in the oven at 375°F/190°C.
As Julia would say, Bon Appetite!
Posted 25 September 2012 - 06:11 AM
"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"