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Mar 18, 2004 02:23 AM

Question About Cooking With Le Creuset Dutch Ovens

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Used my new 5.5 quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven for the first time today and have a couple of questions.

I made a 3.25 lb. boneless chuck roast. After browning the chuck roast, I sauteed onions, garlic, carrot, celery and then deglazed with 2 cups of wine/stock. I placed the chuck roast back in the pot (roast was two-thirds covered by the cooking liquid) and put the dutch oven in the oven at 350 F for 2 hours. After 2 hours, I took the dutch oven out of the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes. After the resting period, I uncovered the dutch oven and surprisingly discovered that there was very very little liquid left. The chuck roast was very tender but I expected much more of the cooking liquid to remain.

When I made a pot roast in a stainless steel dutch oven before, plenty of cooking liquid remained after cooking.

As this is my first experience cooking with Le Creuset, does cooking with Le Creuset dutch ovens require more cooking liquid than with stainless steel dutch ovens? And should I add more cooking liquid in the begiining or should I add more cooking liquid midway during the cooking time? In the past, I did not uncover the dutch oven to check during its time in the oven.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

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  1. I don't use Le Creuset, but in my experience with cast iron it generally requires a little more liquid than stainless. This is more pronounced when you cook a roast in the oven. This may be due to the better heat transfer of the cast iron.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sandy

      Could be. My suspicion is that there is a less tight seal with the Le Creuset lid.

    2. As a matter of procedure, it is generally a good practice to check fluid levels hourly when braising. I will also echo Sandy's comments about cast iron.

      I use Le Creuset extensively, and do find it important to check flued levels regularly. The first time I did a brisket in one I cooked the gravy down to a thick ooze, and had to reconstitute with water.

      1. I think that the temp was the issue. Once browned, you can put it in the oven at 200 to 250.

        1. m
          Marcia M. D'A.

          When cooking with an LC oven, I often place a piece of parchment inside the pot directly on the food, and a piece of heavy duty foil on top of that. The parchment is used so that the foil doesn't come into direct contact with acid ingredients such as wine or tomatoes. You can just sort of stick a torn off piece of each in the pot or use the bottom of the pan or the lid as a template and cut rounds.
          This keeps the liquid from evaporating quite so much and makes an exceptionally flavorful sauce. I forget whose technique this is, but it is fairly widely used and I'm sure it goes back a ways.
          The French sometimes use a paste of flour and water to seal the lid onto the pot, but I dislike that method.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Marcia M. D'A.

            I agree that the foil is absolutely necessary for a long braise or stew whether you do it on top of the stove or put it in the oven. Someone told me this years ago and it's made all the difference in the amount of sauce yielded. In fact, I'm so used to doing it that I inadvertantly did it last week when making arroz con pollo, and the rice turned to mush, which just proves that covering Le Crueset with foil before putting on the lid makes for a very saucy dish. I do my briskets on the stove without adding any addtional liquid other than what's in the onions and always have lots of juice. Thanks for parchment tip, I'll have to try it.