What should I cook with my new cast iron?
January 16, 2010 7:46 PM   Subscribe

I just bought an awesome 5-quart cast iron braiser. Help me find the perfect recipe for it.

Just bought a gorgeous 5-quart cast iron braiser tonight. Big, heavy, wonderful thing. So now I'm looking for the perfect recipe for it, especially something that'll cook long and slow on a Sunday afternoon.

I know how to do basic things like pot roast and beef brisket and the like. Looking for something new and exciting that maybe I couldn't do before that this wonderful piece of metal will allow ... some slow-cooking French casserole with beans? I dunno.

We've currently got some ground beef in the fridge, as well as a couple of pounds of chicken drumsticks, in addition to all of the pantry/veggie basics. But I'm perfectly willing to go to the store if needed. So what are some amazing uses of this brasier?
posted by jbickers to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Not exactly relevant as a slow cooked dish but fried chicken cooked in a big cast iron pot is fantastic since the pot retains heat well and the tall sides limit how much of a mess you end up with.

If it's enameled (like le creuset) then you can use it for all sorts of ragu and bolognese sauces. Unlined cast iron and acidic foods don't get along so well so I'd skip anything tomato based if your pan isn't enameled. Cassoulet is a great dish to spend the weekend making but it will take a fair bit of planning to make the confit, find the right beans (tarbais is the way to go), make (or find) the right sausage...
posted by foodgeek at 8:01 PM on January 16, 2010

I tried this incredible recipe for milk-braised pork shoulder a few weeks ago. It takes some time and patience, but believe me, it is sooo worth it. The only shortcut I took was to serve it over store-bought, pre-cooked polenta, which I sauteed. This is now on my short-list of go-to recipes to impress guests. I guarantee that you'll receive raves!
posted by theperfectcrime at 8:58 PM on January 16, 2010

Chicken paprikash? Goulash? Coq au vin? You could also expand by getting a little exotic. Can you find beef cheeks? Or pork bellies?
posted by Gilbert at 9:00 PM on January 16, 2010

Chicken with 40 cloves or garlic. Delicious beyond belief. Recipe here. My pic here.

After the chicken was eaten I blitzed the garlic and olive oil with a hand blender to make the most delicious smooth garlic paste that I used for ages afterwards (the oil helps preserve it) in recipes, on toast or just to nom straight from the jug.
posted by essexjan at 1:49 AM on January 17, 2010

I know there are a ton of recipes to be found online, but if I may, I'd like to recommend the absolute best cookbook on braising, All About Braising by Molly Stevens. In addition to all of the braised meat ideas, there are some fantastic recipes for braised vegetables that really changed the way I thought about cooking some things, such as cabbage. I've never had a recipe from that book fail me, and it will help you get a lot of use out of that beautiful cast iron braiser of yours.

Anyway, here are a few of Molly Stevens' recipes from around the web, all of which sound delicious (and I can vouch for the lamb shanks with lentils recipe firsthand). There are plenty more out there if you do some quick searching, but I still think it's well worth getting the cookbook out of the library at least:
Lamb Shanks with Curried Lentils
Lamb Shanks with Garlic and Vermouth
Duck Leg Ragu
Pork with Cardamom Apricot Sauce
posted by katie at 6:13 AM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

related question regarding a skillet.
posted by mecran01 at 10:34 PM on February 17, 2010

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