At long last.

I’ve been in the market for a slow cooking cast iron pot for ages. I could have bought a cheap one at any time but that’s what I’d have. Something that would blister the enamel and be unusable after a few years. So I was willing to wait since it wasn’t causing any degree of true deprivation.

I was delighted then when in Tesco’s and spotted an offering where you could get such a pot 60% off with 20 loyalty stickers. I’ve lots sitting cluttering at home.  You get a sticker when you spend €20. So to qualify for the 60% you would have spent €400 in the store. And since I shop there for some of my stuff anyway it really was a lessening on the cost.

It was the 3.5l, seven pints or 3.5 quart(actually, it’s 3.8 us quarts) size that came home with me. And that is operating size. It fits 4.5l full to the gills. I checked that, I’ve been caught a few times with the way a seller calls a measurement. And here it was important as it would be the difference between a useful addition to my kitchen and my cooking repertoire, and a toy. Put basically, for one person you need to get a 2kg/4llb chicken into the thing.  This I did. Cooked it for 3hours at 160’c about 320f. Now I must say it was a tight fit. The bird was at the edge of not fitting without breaking bones, but fit it did. Anyhoos after the 3 hours I removed the pot and tried to lift the bird, and it disintegrated !. I had to remove it with a tongs for ALL the flesh had fallen away from the bone such the bone was clean like it was washed. It was a bit disappointing that it hadn’t browned all that much but I expect if it was draining of most of the liquid about half way through the process that would be solved. And I was a bit shocked with the volume of liquid that had gathered at the bottom. That might be a quality question. But oh boy it was delicious. It’s a reason to buy the organic bird in future.

What it won’t do is fit a full leg of lamb. But that will not be a problem. I expect it will fit if I cut it in two. In roasting you need a size of joint, I believe, so it won’t dry out. I think that’s why a small chicken isn’t as flavoursome as something bigger. Nor a bit of beef when it’s tiny. In a way if it’s that small you’re better off using a frying pan or a grill.


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10 Responses to At long last.

  1. Kimberly says:

    Very nice. I love the color!
    I’ve never realized they call that kind of pot a slow cooker. Here, the slow cooker is a synonym for an electric crockpot. So it can cook in the oven or on the stove/burners?

    • V.H says:

      Actually I’d have always called such a pot a crock. I’ve seen them in use in houses where there was a crane and pots hanging over an open fire. Think frontier cabin or ranchhouse. They would park such a pot beside the fire. Not in it. And the radiated heat would over the day cook the joint. Sometimes they would put a floor-water mix all around the lid to seal it to make a stew you’d dream about.

      • V.H says:

        Slow cooker is a bit of a misnomer. I’d say they are afraid to be sued as calling it it’s true name would bring them under that product you know as a Crock-Pot for it’s trademarked.

  2. Ed says:

    You can’t go wrong with a heavy cast iron enameled pot. We have four in various sizes and use them regularly.

    My tip on the chicken is to brown it first with butter and herbs on the outside to get all that good flavor and then put it in the pot with some liquid to retain the juiciness.

    • V.H says:

      You can if you get a rubbish one. This product has a lifetime guarantee. On size. This will do me. Anything bigger wouldn’t really be useful for me. Yes I’d use it a few times a year. But I have an opal roasting tin that works well for bigger.
      Yes I’ll do that caramelizing before. If nothing else it will rise the temp of the pot. I have a feeling though, I need to take off the lid for the last 20 mins and crank the heat up to 200’c.

    • Kimberly says:

      Mmmm…Chicken browned with the butter and herbs and then cooked through the day sounds delish! Maybe I’ll put it on next week’s menu. 🙂

  3. Rebecca S. says:

    I’ve been looking for one of these as well, but I made a very good beef Bourgognion (sp?) on the stove top in my new large covered saute pan I got for Christmas.
    A lot of companies besides Le Creuset are making them now, and at a much more reasonable price, too.
    I agree with Ed about browning the outside of the meat first before adding the liquid, and then at the end, if you have it in the oven, taking the lid off for additional browning could be good, too.
    Cheers, and happy cooking!

    • V.H says:

      Thanks Rebecca. I wasn’t going to pay le Creset even with 60% off the ticket, like heck I would, To get a useful size in one of those things you are spending above what people survive for a week WHILE WORKING. These are wedding presents stuff here, and wedding presents from the big shot too. The Pyrex was costly enough.
      Frankly with the volume of liquid that sat in the bottom of the pot I won’t be putting very much in next time. The lid actually did a pretty good seal.

  4. Kelly says:

    Very nice! I would call it a Dutch Oven – to be used on the stovetop or in the over. Pyrex, eh? I associate that brand with glass cookware (and have quite a variety of the stuff in my cabinets).

    • V.H says:

      Yeah I was under that impression too, about pyrex. Seems they only do the cast stuff over this side, so said their www anyway. But they do have the rep for making good stuff. I know I’ve bowls from yonks ago.

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