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Making the most of a Le Creuset Dutch oven.
November 28, 2007 2:47 PM   Subscribe

Help me make the most of my new Le Creuset Dutch oven.

After years of longing, I just bought a 7 1/4-quart Le Creuset Dutch oven (cherry red) and I'm excited to cook with it. I plan on breaking it in with a nice mole soon, but I'm looking for other dishes that will help me make the most of my new toy. Any favorite recipes or ideas you'd like to share? I'd especially love suggestions of dishes that I wouldn't be able to make in another type of pot.
posted by tulseluper to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 68 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have the exact same Dutch oven as you, and I've had great success making no-knead bread in it. I'm sure a few other people will chime in with this same suggestion.
posted by letourneau at 2:51 PM on November 28, 2007


Back when basil was in season, we'd double-layer mashed potatoes, fresh pesto, and cheese, baking until brown and crispy on top. Yum.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:58 PM on November 28, 2007 [6 favorites]


I've used mine for gumbo and chili. Both have turned out great. Recently I've been making chili with stew meat so it's more like stew or curry, surprisingly tasty.
posted by beowulf573 at 3:08 PM on November 28, 2007


I have the same pot (same color, too!) and I use it for soup - gumbo and chili like beowolf, and also chicken wild rice (or turkey, like tonight). I've also done small beef roasts in it, because you can brown the roast then put the whole pot in the oven. Cook's Illustrated has a good recipe for "inexpensive" beef roast, if you have a membership there.
posted by cabingirl at 3:17 PM on November 28, 2007


I am hands down in love with this pot; it is my favorite thing in my kitchen. It is the best for soups or a big mess of tomato sauce. I freeze the leftovers and have homemade healthy dinner whenever we need a good home-cooked meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
I love making something I call "saucy chicken" in it, where I cook a couple of chicken breasts on both sides for a few minutes, to get the pan crispy. Then I throw in a lot of garlic just for a few seconds, then equal parts red wine and chicken broth to deglaze the pan, then some chopped fresh tomatoes. Cook the chicken in the sauce until it's done and throw some capers in right towards the end. It would be easier in a saute pan, but it really works in the dutch oven, too.
It's also really nice for brisket or anything you have to slow cook for a long time in the oven.
posted by k8lin at 3:24 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow. I thought I was the only one. I use it for everything, but I originally bought it for brisket (which I make on the stovetop). You can do all the searing and simmering in one pot. I've also begun to use if for bacon, since the tall sides keep the splatter inside. I recently made coq au vin in it. So, yeah, everything. I keep it on my cooktop at all times.

Here's my tried and true brisket recipe:

Have on hand:

4 lb brisket
salt, black pepper and paprika
4 onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced
1 to 1-1/2 cups of ketchup

Sear brisket on both sides. Remove meat from pan and
sprinkle all sides with salt, black pepper and
paprika.

Place on bottom of pan: 4 onions, thinly sliced, more
paprika and about 4 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced.
Put seared brisket on top.

Cover and place on medium high. Check to make sure
there is enough liquid released from the onions to
keep plenty of moisture under the meat. If needed, add
water or juice to thin.

After 20 minutes, add 1 to 1-1/2 cups of ketchup by
lifting the brisket and putting ketchup between onions
and the meat.

Cover and bring to a vigorous simmer (something less
than a strong boil). Turn heat down and continue
cooking for about 3 hours. Use a quick read
thermometer to make sure the brisket reaches an
internal temp of 210 and stays there for about an
hour.

Strain off the fat and onions from the liquid left in
the skillet and if very thick, add a bit of water to
thin it. It's so concentrated that you don't have to
worry about diluting the flavor. Make sure to scrape
up the fond in the pan and add to the gravy.

Have fun!
posted by pammo at 3:50 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


um, instead of skillet, make that the dutch oven.
posted by pammo at 3:52 PM on November 28, 2007


Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions so far! I can't wait to try 'em. This is going to help me survive another cold Midwestern winter.
posted by tulseluper at 3:54 PM on November 28, 2007


This past spring we made an amazing soup l'onion. It was from a recent New York Times Magazine (the original recipe dated to 1908 I think). It involved about 12 onions sweated , 2 baguettes, some fancy Gruyère like cheese, and a simple tomato paste. The cheese is baked onto rounds of baguette and layered with the onions and the tomato paste inside of the pot then baked for a while. It was absolutely fantastic, crispy and creamy. It would be well worth it to find this recipe, I couldn't find it in a quick interweeble search, but if i run across it i will send it to you.
posted by tev at 3:59 PM on November 28, 2007


Stroganoff! No-knead bread! Wild-rice soup! I use my LeCreuset for all these and more. It's the best.
posted by GaelFC at 4:04 PM on November 28, 2007


tev, here it is:
Amanda Hesser, "Recipe Redux; 1907: Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée, New York Times Magazine, February 11, 2007.
This is a great recipe, but I always preferred Julia Child's, which does not have tomato paste in it. It's in the first volume of her Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Either can be made in the dutch oven with great success.
posted by k8lin at 4:17 PM on November 28, 2007


I have a bigger version, but perhaps this will work in yours too - we brown bones in it (or roast them by placing the le creuset in the over), add aromatic veggies like onion and celery (whole, not cut-up), water, and cook it for a few hours to make stock. Really handy to have homemade stock on hand, and can be easily made on a day when you are not going anywhere.

You can further reduce the stock to make a demi glace, for making sauces.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 4:39 PM on November 28, 2007


Ditto cabingirl on the roasts -- I made the Stracotto (Italian pot roast) from the new Joy of Cooking in my Le Creuset cherry red Dutch oven. Browns like a champ, getting you all of the crusty, crunchy goodness, and then you throw the whole thing in the oven.
posted by katemonster at 5:09 PM on November 28, 2007


Pozole.
posted by OmieWise at 6:03 PM on November 28, 2007


My husband makes a kickass "40 Clove Chicken" in ours. I just emailed him for the recipe for you:
1 Chicken. Clean him inside and out as normal. Season with salt and pepper. Stick one preserved lemon up his bum, or failing that, one fresh lemon. A few rosemary twigs in there too can't hurt.

Heat a good slug of olive oil in the pot and brown the chicken all over. Then take it out and put it aside.

Bust up about 3 heads of garlic into cloves (exactly 40 cloves isn't required unless you're superstitious) and chuck them in the pot. Throw in some thyme and rosemary twigs (dried is OK too).

Put the chicken on top of that lot.

Pour in some dry white wine. Maybe 1/2 - 1 cup or so.

Put on the lid and seal. A dough of flour and water is traditional, but a couple of layers of alfoil under the lid and scrunched up at the sides works too.

Bake in moderate oven for as long as you normally cook a chicken - I go about 1.5 hours at 180C.
posted by web-goddess at 6:04 PM on November 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


My mother makes Belgian Beef, Beer and Onion stew in her Dutch Oven and my God, is it delicious. Nothing better in the winter. Velvety meat and onions and gravy and the onions almost melt. Yum.

Sorry the recipe is blocked except to suscribers; I can copy it out of the book if you MefiMail me for it :)
posted by MadamM at 8:36 PM on November 28, 2007


tee hee hee, you said dutch oven.

but seriously -- search for a good beer chilli recipe. awesome.
posted by spish at 8:41 PM on November 28, 2007


Thanks again - and keep 'em coming. The recipe for Cook's Illustrated's Belgian Beef, Beer and Onion Stew (that MadamM suggested) is available to non-CI subscribers here.
posted by tulseluper at 9:31 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have used mine for Beef cooked in Barolo and Paella; both recipes are from Cooks Illustrated as well.
posted by TedW at 5:16 AM on November 29, 2007


Ooo! Ooo! I just splurged on a Le Creuset this year myself, and I've been going through all the recipes I can for it too!

Here are the ones I've ended up making again and again:

Short Ribs Provencale
: tender, rich, and exquisite when you pour the sauce over smashed potatoes. You will lick the pot.

Irish Beef Stew: apparently from a restaurant in the Cayman Islands, but this is the most delicious beef stew I've ever eaten. It might be the butter.

Potato and Leek Soup: this recipe keeps most of the potato chunks whole instead of whizzing it all up the way a lot of people do. The result looks more appealing than most potato soups and doesn't taste bland. Also: six ingredients.
posted by zebra3 at 6:35 AM on November 29, 2007


Red beans with 1 pkg. chopped smoked sausage, 1 lb. chopped tasso, 1 diced onion, 3 cloves smashed garlic, two whole bay leaves and enough tony chachere's to almost cover the entire surface of the water. Soak overnight, rinse in the morning, and drop in the dutch oven. Cover with enough water to leave 1 1/2 to 2 inches on top. Add in all the other ingredients and cook on the stovetop, on a low to medium-low fire, all damn day. Stir every thirty minutes or so, then every fifteen minutes once it begins to boil, to prevent scorching. (Stir more frequently on an electric stove.) You'll know it's done when the gravy is nice and thick and when you can take a spoonful of beans, blow on them and the skins will pull back slightly. Serve over rice with sweet cornbread and bask in southern goodness.

Also seconding the pot roast - you can add in potatoes, carrots, whatever you want. Just don't forget to rub it in your seasoning of choice, score it and stuff it with garlic in each scoring (is that the word?), sear it, and then surround it with water/beef stock almost to the top and add 1 diced onion.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 8:44 AM on November 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


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