What to cook in new Dutch oven?

mudlady_gwJanuary 20, 2009

I have long wished for a cast iron utensil that I could brown meat in on top of the stove and then put the pot into the oven to finish slowly. Yesterday I bought a five quart Dutch oven that is enamel over cast iron. Now, what should I cook in it?

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Anything you want. Think of it as just another pot that can be used in the oven or on top of the stove.

Pot Roasts, Stews, Soups,beans, Lamb Shanks, pasta sauces, etc... or and it will make a great deep fryer too.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 8:22AM
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I've posted this a dozen times or so--please forgive me, regulars--but it really IS foolproof and delicious.

Here's one of my favorite cold weather recipes that would do great in your new pot:

There is a French bistro dish called "Gigot de sept heures"--yes, that's "Seven hour leg of lamb". I first ran across this in Anthony Bourdain's "Les Halles Cookbook". The first time I fixed it there were two teenagers in my house who claimed they didn't like lamb. Suffice it to say there were no leftovers. Bourdain makes the comment that when it's done, you should be able to cut it with a spoon.
Like all common recipes, there are variations: but it's basically a braise in a heavy casserole dish. I used a deep cast iron Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid, and it worked great. Season the lamb with slivers of garlic, sear it, add liquid and vegetables, cover the pot, put it in a slow oven and DON'T PEEK for seven hours. Omigod, is it good--and easy!!
This is a perfect dish for a day when you have a lot of laundry or housework to do. You gotta be in the house anyway, so may as well have a no-stress supper cooking while you're doing other work. You put it in the oven after brunch, then do whatever you need to do, and after seven hours you have some juicy and scrumptious lamb. A half hour before serving, cook up some noodles or something to catch the juices.
Here's Bourdain's version. The only liberties I take with it is to brown the meat prior to putting in the other goodies, and since I have a very tight fitting casserole I don't bother with the flour seal. You can also use a little more wine if you want. The garlic cooks down so its not overpowering; do use at least the amount it calls for.

1 leg of lamb, about 6#
4 garlic cloves, sliced, plus 20 whole garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
2 small onions, thinly sliced
4 carrots, peeled
1 bouquet garni
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup flour, 1 cup water
Preheat oven to 300 F. Make many small incisions in lamb, place slivers of garlic in each incision. Rub lamb well with olive oil, season with salt & pepper. (At this point I would brown the lamb on all sidesÂbut thatÂs not necessary.) Place it in Dutch oven and add onions, carrots, bouquet garni, garlic, wine. Put lid on Dutch oven. Combine flour and water, make a 'caulk' and use it to seal the lid to the dutch oven. Place it in the 300 degree oven and cook for 7 hours. Yes, 7 hours. NO PEEKING--leave it alone.
Remove the Dutch oven and break the seal. You don't eat the cooked flour paste.
That's it. About a half hour to an hour of prep, then you leave it the heck alone for 7 hours. It's nearly foolproof. Serve it with whatever else you want, and a medium bodied red wine goes quite well with this (say, a nice Zinfandel) but a dry white (such as the remainder of the bottle you opened to get the cup of wine in the recipe) is fine as well if that's your preference. Bon appetit!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 11:30AM
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I have a new one coming today, according to UPS tracking, my local market has chuck roast on sale for $1.37 a pound so thats what we are having tonight.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 12:16PM
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You can cook almost anything you want in a dutch oven! I use mine for soups, sauces, braising, browning etc. I make up regular excuses to use it because I love cooking in cast iron so much. Have fun!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 4:06PM
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The first dish I cooked in mine came from "The Cast Iron Way To Cook" published by Le Creuset. It has become a favorite of ours. Makes a good winter weekend meal or casual entertaining dish.


3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
3 cups thickly sliced carrots
2 to 2.5 lbs. beef chuck, in 2" chunks
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, parsley & rosemary
2 bay leaves
3 cups ale or beer
salt & freshly ground pepper

Bread Topping

12 1-inch thick slices from a French baguette
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Heat oil in French oven on med. heat on stovetop.
Add onions, garlic, carrots & fry just till they begin to color. Remove w/ a slotted spoon & use upturned lid as a holding plate.

Add the beef in 2 batches and brown evenly. Remove the pan from heat.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Return all browned ingredients to the pot. Add the herbs, tied together to make a bouquet garni, with the beer, seasoning and 1/2 cup water.

Stir together, cover & cook in oven for 3 to 3 l/2 hrs., until the beef is very tender.

Spread one side of each bread slice w/ mustard. When the beef is tender, check the liquid level. It should be just covering the meat. Add a little more beer, if necessary, and remove the bouquet garni.

Push the bread, mustard side up, into the top of the liquid, squeezing the slices tightly together so they form a bread topping on the beef mixture.

Return, uncovered, to the oven for 20 mins. longer to lightly color & crisp the bread. Sprinkle w/ the chopped parsley.


This is nice presented right in the pot. (Remember a trivet!) Served with a salad, it's a complete meal.

Enjoy your new Dutch oven!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 4:59PM
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