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.