Cast Iron Cooking ~ Going Dutch!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Going Dutch!!

Dutch ovens, that is!

There was a time that no kitchen was without a cast iron Dutch Oven. They really were the workhorse of the kitchen, performing duties stove-top as well as in the oven and even outdoors (or hearth) on the fire. But our mothers and grandmothers pretty much set these icons aside as too heavy or old fashioned and instead went with more *modern* choices.

Well, the Dutch Oven is back and back in a BIG way! High-end brands like Le Creuset have helped bring the DO back. Stylish and brightly colored, they have gotten the attention of the modern cook. Celebrity chefs, like Martha, Paula, Rachel and Mario all lend their names to their own versions of these wonderful pots. The downside is most of these pots are expensive and although probably worth every penny, out of range for many of us.

Luckily, there are some lower cost (not lower quality by any means) options. My favorite DO is one I picked up about 20 years ago at a garage sale. It is a vintage cast iron, black, dome lidded DO. No bright colors but oh, what a wonderful job it does cooking. And my favorite manufacturer of cast iron, Lodge Manufacturing also has a line of enameled (as well as non-enameled) DO’s at a remarkable price when you consider the amount the high-end makers are asking. If a Le Creuset pot is just what you are wanting and there is nothing else that will do, shop TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, HomeGoods, etc., for a DO that is priced more reasonably.

We are moving into the time of year that my DO gets a workout. I love the smell of slow cooking goodness coming from the oven. I've had a request for youngest son's favorite this weekend...POT ROAST! YUM!!

Dutch Oven Roast
(Printable Version)

(8) pound chuck roast, 2-to 3- inches thick, bone in if available
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup Burgundy wine
2 cups warm water
3 cups sliced yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground pepper
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
6 carrots, cut into large chunks
6 medium sized red skinned potatoes, cut in half
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven temperature to 350 F. Heat vegetable oil in 16-inch dutch oven. Salt and pepper roast on both sides. Sear both sides in hot oil. Pour warm water and Burgundy wine over roast; add garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes and sliced mushrooms. Cover and cook about 2 ½ hours. Pour cooking liquid into a large measuring cup. Skim away fat. If necessary, add a little water or red wine to make 4 cups liquid and return to the cooking pan. Stir in the cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Return roast to cooking pan and arrange vegetables around the roast. Cover and allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.

So even though that picture is of a big, ugly (not in the eye of this beholder) pot, it is one of my FAVORITE things and I am sharing at Laurie's A Few Of My Favorite Things! Thanks for hosting Laurie!

Adding this post to Lisa's Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted this week At The Well.