Friday, August 31, 2007

What is This Pot?

I was admiring this piece of enamel cookware at a friend's the other night. What struck me most was the way food cooked in it.

Chicken, for instance, seared to a delectable golden brown without any effort at all, it seemed. The skins developed an exquisite crispness. I don't know if I could have burned it if I'd tried.

Anyone who's tried the same thing in a traditional iron skillet or the standard stainless or aluminum pan knows how quickly things can go wrong. I prefer my iron skillet. Still, it's not perfect. Using the pan above was like driving a Rolls Royce. There were no bumps in the road.

So does anyone know what it is? Sur la Table calls a similar Le Crueset pan a "buffet casserole." We used it on the stove top, first, to brown the chicken and then make a ratatouille in the classic fashion, gently cooking several different vegetables, then combining them all at the end to finish the stew. We then arranged the browned chicken parts, along with some browned chorizo sausage, on top of the ratatouille and baked it in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. (The dark brown thing in the middle is a pork shank that was braised separately in the oven uncovered for about two hours.)

So in case you're thinking of making a gift of some sort to The Slow Cook, this casserole would be at the top of our list.

5 comments:

Magic Cochin said...

Hi Ed
Your quite right, the Le Creuset Buffet Casserole is very similar - I've got the blue one and it's my favourite pot for 'one-pot' dinners, or frittata, or risotto or curry .....

Celia
(I'm not a Le Creuset rep, honest - I just love using these)

Ed Bruske said...

Celia, I'm thinking seriously that I need one of these, especially after seeing the cooking results. I like heavy kitchen equipment.

cookiecrumb said...

Oh (groan). Another thing I now want.
I'll give you one if you give me one. Green would be fine.

Ed Bruske said...

CC, I like the idea of a pot exchange...

maggie said...

I'm quite addicted to my le creuset pot. I'm always tempted to buy more, but limited storage space and my pocket book keep reminding me that one size is probably just fine (although a frying pan may be needed.