Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ode to the Cassoulet

Here "she" is.
I know this is commonly called a "Dutch Oven", but the jokes those two words inspire in my household have caused me to lean to the lovely french version of "Cassoulet" (actually a recipe, but..). I sometimes pretend to smoke long cigarettes a'la Cruella DeVille when I say Cassou-laaaay. Cassssouuuuulaaaayyyyy.....((blowing smoke rings)). The company, La Creuset technically calls it a "French Oven", so there. The Dutch think they know, but they have no idea. 

I love this piece of cookware, and am only now unashamed of its ridiculous price. After longing after one in a cooking store, my family surprised me with my very own. It is a rustic red, further lending to my French accent. It is heavy as a ox. The handles will burn your hands off. It is not dishwasher safe. If you drop the lid, it will chip out the flooring. However, this is the most perfect pot I have ever owned. It should really have a name of it's own. I will work on it. Nothing chipper, for this is a serious pot. Suggestions welcome.. 

I recently used it to make sweet roll dough  Recipe here, something I had never considered before. It was perfect, since I could do everything in the deep sided pot, and then put the 100 lb lid on to let the dough rise. 

I should let you in on a secret that makes me love the pot even more...I am a crock pot failure. A FAILURE, I tell you. I have been watched, coached, gifted with a new crock pot, and consoled when my supposedly effortless dinner turned out looking and tasting like a grey football. And I can cook! Just, apparently...not in a crock pot. But the cassoulet (yep, still calling it that...) is a miracle worker. The meat is tender, the flavor is ridiculous. And I only have a back injury and some burned hands from lifting it out of the oven.

I made a corned beef that was too awesome looking to eat...almost. Don't tell the Irish I used a French pot.

Here are a few recipes in case you own a D.O./Cassoulet. Please to enjoy. I am all about those short ribs as soon as I lay hands on some.

No knead bread

Short Ribs Provencale

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