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Finally got the Le Crueset I've been wanting! Now, what to make?

Its a big oval one, and I'm so excited to try it out. What's your favorite recipe that would be great in this dish? We don't eat pork or shellfish, so no need to post those.

I was thinking of a pot roast but have never made one, any suggestions about that?

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  1. I would make French Tarragon Hens - saute chopped shallots in combo olive oil and butter, then 2 pieced, skinned cornish hens in the pan drippings. Add Dijon mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper, chicken stock and white wine. Transfer all to Le Crueset, cover and bake an hour or so. Stir a couple times during baking time. Plate-licking good!

    1. Do a braising, baking thing like veal shanks or lamb shanks. That pot is perfect for those dishes.

      1. How big?

        The single best dish I know for an oval pot is the pork loin braised in milk from Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cooking. That book has a number of other great non-pork recipes that use the pot, such as the Tuscan meat loaf. But her recipes are proportioned for the smaller 2-1/2 or 3-1/2 quart pots.

        1. Do you have a favorite meal or comfort food that would work? When I first used my LC, I made a big pot of chicken soup with homemade noodles. The chicken and all the tons of stock veggies fit easily into the pot (instead of me trying to cram them in w/o the water spilling over), and in the end I had a big bowl of comfort. :)

          1. Just got mine on Tuesday and have made, Pasta sauce with Pork, and banana squash soup - tonite its Moroccan Smoked turkey and sweet potato stew with lentils - all can be found either on Epicurious.com or Royalbisquitblogsite.com -- enjoy the LC.

            1. i highly reccommend "all about braising" by molly stevens. it will keep you and your creuset busy all fall and winter. you can check on this board for loads of the recipes as it was the octpber cookbook of the month. enjoy!!!!!

              1. Chili with chuck roast from Kosher butcher, of course.

                  1. I'm waiting with bated breath for the imminent arrival of my Kitchenaid stand mixer. So, lately I've been musing about maiden voyages for very important pieces of kitchen equipment.
                    Since my Kitchenaid is, can you believe it, actually still made in America, I thought an all-American creation would be most appropriate. And given my dubious need for such a big machine being to handle appropriately big jobs, such as stiff batters, I settled on a big ole batch of toll house cookies.

                    For you, with the heavy oval French pot, how about something appropriately shaped? Something best prepared with a very heavy pot with a tight fitting lid - braised. Something like a slab or two of of pork ribs?

                    Or, perhaps, taking the French origin into account, something French AND long in shape: maybe shanks with wine, shallots and tarragon?

                    1. A big batch of braised short ribs would be just the ticket.

                      1. this is one of molly's recipes....short ribs braised in porter ale. divine.


                        1. If you make a pot of beef stew and add some red wine to it, you can call it Beef Bourguignon, in keeping with your New French Pot, and you can add some American dumplings to the top of the stew 'cause your pot is so big.

                          1. I use mine for baked beans, Texas red chili, lentils, any thing you slow cook works well in it.

                            I have the round French oven and love it. I also have a skillet I use for corn bread and dutch baby.

                            1. Osso buco!! (and others like pot roast with sage and zinfandel a la molly stevens)
                              I just love searing the bleep out of the meat with EVOO in these pots. It's makes all the difference and smells delicious.

                              1. Molly Stevens' Osso Bucco alla Milanese!!!! Made it last week for some folks who "don't like veal"....... They love veal now.

                                  1. re: Anonimo

                                    OOOOh! You gotta WARN people about that picture!

                                  2. I just made a beef shanks dish the other day that was so very good. Since hubby can have no alliums, I was hesitant about the ultimate flavor, but I shouldn't have worried. These shank slices were marbled with connective tissue which dissolved and gave wonderful flavor.

                                    I basically followed directions for preparing osso bucco, but with beef shank slices. S&P'd/floured the slices, sauteed in rice bran oil in enameled cast iron casserole. Added about 3/4 c chicken broth and 1/2 c Screw Cappa Napa (red), 2 bay leaves and 1/2 t. thyme. Brought to simmer stovetop and placed in a 220 oven(just a bare simmer) for about 4 hours. Lovely aroma, and the liquid reduced to about 1/2 cup. The last 20 minutes I tossed in 1 c. cubed cooked butternut squash to heat through and absorb flavors.

                                    Served with a cheesey polenta that I finished with about 1 1/2 T. of mascarpone. It was fabulous, and went so well with the beef and squash.

                                    Never missed the alliums, and may reconsider my heavy use of them in pot roasts like this one. Never thought I'd be saying that! The beef flavor really shone through without them.

                                    1. how about braising rabbit? with shallots, little wine & stock, and lots & lots of butter. mebbe even some bacon grease...

                                      1. For your potroast: Buy a good thick piece of chuck roast, with or without the bones. Salt and pepper very generously on both sides. Heat the pot over medium, add a minimal coating of oil, put in your roast, and kick up the heat to sear. Go for three to five minutes on the first side until well-browned (not blackened). Then turn over and repeat. Once browned on both sides, add vegies -- lots of onions, and I add carrots, celery, bell pepper, and zucchini. Vegies can be cut in fairly large chunks -- they will cook down. Don't forget lots of garlic. I've also had success adding a packet of that dried onion soup/dip mix stuff. Put in about an inch of chicken stock or a mix of chicken and beef stock, and maybe some red wine as well. Cover and place in a 300-degree oven for at least two hours, maybe three. You will end up with tender, rich meat and a vegie/gravy mix for your potatoes or noodles.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: nosh

                                          Marcella Hazan's stracotto al barolo recipe works great with that kind of flat round supermarket-style chuck roast. Get one that will just fill the bottom of the pan.

                                          Short ribs also work very well.

                                        2. In the amazing eGullet class and discussions on braising, the consensus is that Molly Stevens wrote the best cookbook, but the cooking temperatures are 25–50 degrees too high, and braising times are correspondingly too short.

                                          The tougher the cut, the better the braise. Bones are also essential. I often make beef short ribs. You don't have to brown them -- just throw them in the pot, add 1/2" of beef stock (no more) and cook very slowly in the oven. It should be just simmering. In a covered pot, start it at 325 and then reduce to 300.

                                          Don't cook the meat to mush. A fork should go in easily and release easily but grip the meat slightly, and the fork holes shouldn't stay open. For short ribs, 2 hours is about right.

                                          Separate the meat and the sauce, putting the meat in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate, skim the fat and serve the next day.

                                          Here's a longer summary: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...

                                          1. Thanks so much everyone! Didn't get a chance to break it in this weekend as we were all sick and needed some chicken soup instead. I'll let you know how it all turns out!

                                            1. How about trying the latest craze, bread from Bittman, Lahey - recipe in the NYTimes this past Wednesday.

                                              1. When folks say "don't scrape the bottom of a Le Crueset with metal utensils," do they mean that I can't scrape up fond with a spatula while deglazing? I just ordered my first Le Crueset piece (a 7qt round oven) and now I'm scared.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: bryantuga

                                                  I actually just got a wooden spatula (flat end) at the LC store.....thats what I plan on using instead of metal etc

                                                  1. I came up with this years ago. The celery root really makes it!

                                                    Dutch Oven-Roasted Chicken With Diced Root Vegetables

                                                    The vegetables deepen in commingled flavor as they roast, with the all-important celery root becoming the most pronounced, and the lightly browned chicken virtually steams to a tenderness rarely possible in a large bird. Stick to these quantities of vegetables, or you’ll have too many and you’ll overwhelm the chicken.

                                                    Peel and cut into 3/4’’ dice:
                                                    2 medium yellow onions
                                                    2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
                                                    2 medium white turnips
                                                    2 medium parsnips
                                                    2 medium carrots

                                                    Peel and cut into 1/4’’ dice:
                                                    1 medium-large celery root, with all tough outer layers removed

                                                    1 4-4 1/2 pound chicken, preferably kosher
                                                    2 spears of fresh rosemary
                                                    2 imported Bay leaves
                                                    4 spears of fresh thyme

                                                    2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
                                                    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
                                                    1 tablespoon olive oil
                                                    1/2 cup dry French vermouth
                                                    4 tablespoons Calvados

                                                    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

                                                    Prepare vegetables and mix in a large, cool bowl.

                                                    Wash and dry chicken. Rub with salt and pepper, and put herbs into cavity.

                                                    Over lively heat, melt the butter in the oil in a large enameled Dutch oven. Rub the chicken’s breast with olive oil and brown chicken on each breast for 4 minutes, gently shaking Dutch oven for the first minute of each browning to avoid sticking. Try not to break the skin. Turn chicken onto its back.

                                                    Strew on all the vegetables. Sprinkle vermouth and Calvados all around the edges of the Dutch oven. Cover and roast, stirring the vegetables every 20 minutes or so, for 1-1_ hours, until thigh juice runs clear.

                                                    Transfer chicken and vegetables to a large serving platter. Tent the vegetables with foil to keep warm, and have someone carve the chicken while you proceed with the sauce.

                                                    Degrease the juices in the Dutch oven, and reduce over high heat to about a cup. Dribble hot juices over each portion and serve at once.

                                                    Yield: 3-4 servings