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Jul 8, 2009 11:42 PM

Can I use a Dutch oven to make Bolognese?

I'm wondering of there is a down side to using an enamelled Dutch oven to make a Bolognese instead of a stainless steel one? I'm more then happy with the results of the stainless steel pot but apart from boiling large batches of pasta and potatoes (rarely) it seems to be the only time I use the pot and I am thinking about just investing in a good Dutch oven instead.

Also can a Dutch oven be used to boil pasta and potatoes easily or does it take a long time to bring the water to the boil?

Cheers :-)

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  1. I make my Bolognese all the time in my Staub La Cocotte and it comes out wonderfully. A Dutch oven was made for Bolognese sauce. I find that rendering the pancetta or bacon (depending on what I have on hand) and then wilting my veggies goes really well and then it holds a steady low temp for the long simmer. You can boil water in a Dutch oven if need be, but it's really best suited for braises and slow cooking IMO.

    1. Yeah, boiling water is best done in a thin metal pan really.

      but though I've not made a ragu, I've made marinara sauce and chili. It's perfect.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Soop

        For a small amount of water, a thin metal pan may boil faster than a enamel cast iron, but for the the larger amounts used for pasta, I doubt if you could tell the difference. The heat capacity of that much water far exceeds that of the pan.

      2. There are all sorts of Dutch ovens out there. They are usually used for slow cooking. I use mine for slow cooked chile and for pot roast and stew. You want a vessel that browns meat well and holds the heat. I'd not choose stainless for that. I use with good success a Berndes cast aluminum oven with an amazing non-stick coating that browns meat very well. For me, it is wonderful and not too heavy. Take your time choosing this because they can be pricey. I have boiled a little water in mine under a steamer, and had no problem. I have never used it to boil potatoes or pasta, so I don't have a specific answer to that question.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sueatmo

          I LOVE my 7 qt Berndes -- a bit hard to find, I had to order it online.

          1. re: walker

            These guys are good aren't they? And you don't stagger to the oven with them. They brown meat so well. I love mine too,

            1. re: sueatmo

              Yes, I just got my second one; I'm sure it'll last forever. I've never tried the frying pan, have you?

              1. re: walker

                Too expensive for my needs. But I have ogled he stove top grill pan.