There’s two qualities I prize in cookware – especially since my former kitchen went to the great scrapyard in the sky – functional design and storability. The new Tefal Ingenio range, which I am lucky to review on the blog, has both of these attributes in spades. This very aptly named range of cookware is made from heavy-gauge aluminium with non-stick titanium coating. The frying pans also feature Tefal’s thermo spot which lets you know when the pan has reached optimum cooking temperature. So far not unusual – it’s the quality and features I have become to expect from Tefal having used their pots and pans for many years.
Now here comes the ingenious bit: this new range comes with detachable handles. Big deal you say. Well, actually, it is a huge deal. The detachable handles are such a fantastic innovation – it allows for the pots to slot into each other and therefore stack seamlessly. A 13-piece Ingenio set can be stored in same space as a stack of dinner plates – such an asset when space is at a premium. Even the lid handles lie flat – there’s lovely attention to detail in the design.
The handles attach (very securely) and detach with a simple click of a button. Apart from making the pans easy to store this innovation makes them miles more versatile as well. You can start preparing food on the stove then transfer the pan in the oven (minus the handle) – if you were making a frittata or shepherd’s pie for example. You can even bake in them (I made amazing cornbread)– bet you can’t say that about most frying pans!
The non-stick coating is excellent but I would caution against using metal utensils and adding a layer of kitchen towel between pots when storing to keep it pristine. These are extremely easy to clean and very easy to load in a dishwasher without the handles sticking out. Can you tell I love them yet? I am trying hard to find a fault with this range and the only thing I would add is an oven-safe lid which would allow you to make casserole dishes.
I tested the Ingenio set with a real family favourite: Swedish meatballs. I know that the first thing that comes to mind when you hear that is Ikea but homemade Swedish meatballs are approximately 5 billion times tastier (I have conducted scientific tests) than what you get in store. The creamy gravy is particularly addictive – I could eat it with a spoon. For a while it was one of very few dishes my picky toddler would deign to eat and it still hugely popular. Don’t bother buying the meatballs or gravy at Ikea but if you happen to visit do pick up a jar of lingonberry jam.
Serves 6-8 – easily halved
4 banana shallots, finely diced
500g | 1.1lb beef mince
500g | 1.1lb pork mince
2 slices white toaster bread
5 tbsp milk
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tbsp olive oil & 2 tbsp butter to fry
For the gravy
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp plain flour
1l | 4 cups hot beef stock made with 1 Knorr beef stock pot (stock cubes can also be used)
200ml | 6.7fl oz single cream (or a mix of single cream and sour cream)
1tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1tbsp chopped fresh dill
1tbsp lingonberry jam (or cranberry/ blackcurrant jelly)
1tsp soft brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to season
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large, deep-sided frying pan and gently sweat the shallots for a few minutes over low heat until translucent. Set aside.
- Whizz the bread in a food processor until you have fine breadcrumbs. Add the milk and let it soak into the bread.
- Put the mince, breadcrumbs, eggs, shallots, herbs and seasonings in a large bowl and mix together very thoroughly. If you have time cover and put in the fridge for an hour – this makes the meatballs easier to form.
- Use about 1 heaped tablespoon of mince per meatball and form into balls.
- Heat the olive oil and remaining butter in the same pan you used for the shallots and fry the meatballs for about five minutes until nicely browned all over. Set aside and clean the pan to reuse for the gravy.
- Make the gravy: Melt the butter in the frying pan and add the flour. Mix together – use a wooden or silicone spoon to protect the Tefal coating.
- Gradually add the beef stock and mix together until slightly thickened.
- Add the jam, sugar and cream and mix together.
- Add the meatballs and simmer gently until they are coated in the gravy and thoroughly cooked through.
- Add the herbs and check the seasoning before serving with lingonberry jam and mash or boiled potatoes.
Notes: I like to cook the meatballs in the gravy but you could serve them separately – just make sure they are thoroughly cooked first.
If you have leftovers and the sauce is too thick, thin with a little milk when reheating.
I would like to thank Tefal for sending me their Ingenio Range to review. All opinions and enthusiasm are my own! And for those of you who are wondering I used my lovely neighbour’s kitchen to take the cooking photos.