What’s up with the Dirty Pan?

If you cook many Sun Basket recipes, you’ve likely come across an instruction midway through that asks you not to clean the pan. We do that in recipes for pork steaks, skin-on chicken thighs, and steak. Cook your protein, and letting it rest while you cook the remaining ingredients in the same pan is a great way to ensure maximum flavor and minimal clean-up. It’s not that we don’t like washing dishes. (Well, we don’t actually like washing dishes, but that’s not why we don’t clean the pan.)

Right after browning meat, fat, juices, and bits of meat are stuck to the bottom of the pan. This meaty residue is pure gold in terms of flavor and adds a savory depth to a dish that’s hard to come by any other way. Think about the flavor you get when you fry bacon for breakfast and then cook your eggs in the rendered bacon fat. Oh, you don’t do that? Well, you should.

Browning onions and other aromatics in a pan still dirty from cooking meat adds complexity and flavor. Those meat juices and fat give you a head start on seasoning. 

We’ve recently embraced this maximum flavor, minimum cleanup lifestyle by adding more one-pan meals to our menu, so you can keep cooking-in all that meaty goodness. Now you can spend less time manning multiple burners and cleaning up and more time at the table enjoying your meal. Look for the “One-Pan Meal” tag on your menu each week and take it from us: be a little lazy and do the dishes after you eat. Your dinner will be better for it.