Cooking on a woodstove

Okay, so the house is finished and we’re actually living here now and I haven’t even finished writing about it and how we went about building it. Think I started on that project back in the late spring…

Details. All in good time. You know.

What I really want to show you now is the essential that we splashed out on:

Esse Ironheart
This is the Esse Ironheart. A woodstove, a cookstove. This is my Little-House-on-the-Prairie cooker. Though this is not my house - this is a photo borrowed from the Esse website!

Our new house is a bungalow with one major central room that encompasses living, dining and kitchen areas into one; it has low ceilings and can be closed off from other parts of the house completely. The Ironheart sits in the middle of the room. It is our backup plan for when we lose power and it is also, thanks to its daily presence, our one indulgence. But it’s so much more than that.

This is one energy efficient cookstove. Three sticks of wood burned for hours the other afternoon and evening and kept the house toasty (yes, we lowered the furnace right down). Three skinny-ish logs; our old traditional fireplace in our last home would have wolfed that down in the first 45 minutes and any heat generated would have gone straight up the chimney. Bog standard woodstoves are similarly bad at actually heating the rooms they occupy. The Ironheart is also incredibly clean in how it burns, making it even greener.

What’s not to love?

We’ve had a couple of fires, just to test drive it, but now we’ve got to get to grips with cooking on and in it. My sweet husband has just pointed me to the Esse website for their suggested recipes. They all look good.

So, I need to ask you. What should we try first?

  • Baked fish with fennel and potatoes (mmmm…)
  • Pizza with roast beetroot, kale, anchovies, and thyme (kale!)
  • Lemon sponge puddings (something sweet?)
  • A plain old loaf of bread (they say you can’t beat a loaf of bread baked in the Ironheart)
  • Or, the 18-pound turkey that Dave from The Piggy Market is setting aside for me (that makes me nervous…I know you’re out there Dave – what would you do?)

I think this Christmas holiday will be all about the food at our house, in a new way. Between the cookstove and the new food processer that my two boys have claimed for their own (that’s a whole other post), and the fact that I’ve got Julia Child’s French Kitchen on DVD for our downtime, I think we’re done with Christmas planning before we even start.

Merry early Christmas.

7 thoughts on “Cooking on a woodstove

  1. I immediately thought that it would have to be something with kale. And there it was, on a pizza with beets, another one of my favourites. You must cook this for me when we do our Christmas in early January. And Merry Christmas to you and yours!


    1. It would seem that I have become very predictable, but you are spot on as ever! Would love to make that when you join us for our Christmas, Joc. Merry Christmas and merry eating!

  2. Hey dagne

    for the love of Christmas don’t do the turkey first. Make a coq au vin or another one pot dish first. In a cast iron and lidded pot. With a loaf of bread at the same time. And invite me.

  3. Oh I love homemade bread – the delicious smell permeating thru the house, spreading butter on a warm slice… Your wood stove sounds so cozy! Must be so wonderful to finally be inside and making it feel like home. Congrats!!

    p.s. I too want to have at least two heat sources for my next home – great idea!

    1. Thanks for the warm wishes; it is indeed amazing to finally be in. It’s a long process, building a house!

      With regards to having two heating sources for backup: the Ironheart is such a good option, because not only can you also cook on it, but there is an option for it heat up to two hot water radiators (can’t you tell it was designed in the UK?), which makes it a really good all round backup.

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