A monthly newsletter on the most interesting people, places, and sometimes pointless things related to cast iron.
And the fascinating history of its evolution into a modern-day recipe.
What’s in a recipe? There are the ingredients, of course, and the method, too. For most modern humans, this is common knowledge, but there was a time, not that long ago, when that six-letter word that rules our kitchens was something quite different–and, at one point, not even a word at all.
An ode to the controversial condiment.
There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who like mayonnaise, and the blasphemous ones who don’t. We, like any good Southerner, are unapologetic about our adoration of this simple condiment, about our personal pantry stockpile, about its inarguable place on every sandwich. After all, it is the secret to every good grilled cheese you’ve ever eaten, especially when cooked in a cast-iron pan.
In modern day, why are we so drawn to something as age old as fire? Other than the fact that it’s made us who we are, of course. “The only thing more rooted in our human behavior than cooking on fire is sex,” says Mike Bertelsen of our sister Cowboy Cauldron Company. “That’s why people keep coming back to it—it’s simply the most satisfying.” We delve into this deep flame and ask our fire-expert friends on tips for getting started.
D.C. chef Jeremiah Langhorne is on a quest to define Mid-Atlantic cuisine.
By all odds, you could say that Jeremiah Langhorne was destined for this moment. Having just reopened his Michelin-starred The Dabney in Washington, D.C., the McCrady’s, Noma, and French Laundry alum is poised to be one of the next great culinary rock stars, one who is carving out newfound recognition for a regional foodway almost lost to history and deeply rooted in its diverse terroir. “When asked what [the restaurant] would be like,” he says, “my best response has always been, ‘I’ll show you.’”
The first time we met Evan Tate, he wasn’t standing over cast iron but a massive stainless steel stock pot, filled with 60 pounds of pork, at least one bag of oranges, and a cornucopia of seasonings and spices. It was a hot summer day in Lockhart Texas, and before a live-fire grill with a wide straw cowboy hat, a thick dark mustache, and a bottle of Asian hot sauce labeled with a piece of painter’s tape that read “not just sriracha,” we knew this third-generation cattle rancher was our kind of people.
At 28 years old, Ivan Guillen is an old soul—a toro antiguo, as he puts it—and it comes across in the art that is his cooking. It was a romance born in his native Mexico, that then lured him to Los Angeles, and eventually into the vast western wilderness of Mosca, Colorado, where he is now the executive chef at the Zapata Ranch of the conservation-minded Ranchlands. When not hogtied by local drought, his food sings over an open flame. “I think of the old ways of doing it,” says Guillen. “I always say that it’s a primitive thing.”
With the arrival of the autumn equinox, this comfort-food classic gets elevated to a new level thanks to chef Jeremiah Langhorne of The Dabney in Washington, D.C. When a Virginia son tells you to add country ham to your gravy, you do it, and thank him later.