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Things to cook in a Le Creuset?

My new husband and I received a 7 and 1/4 quart round, gorgeous (Caribbean blue!) Le Creuset oven for our wedding earlier this month. This weekend we want to use it, but we're not sure where to start.

What are your favorite recipes to make in a dutch oven? Sorry, I'm feeling clueless at the moment, but I know we want to break it in with something fun.

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    1. re: blue room

      blue_room, I never got around to telling you, but the list you provided got my brain into gear, and I realized, "DUH, make Moroccan chicken!" I have a recipe with preserved lemon and olives, and I usually make it in a pan. The Le Creuset worked PERFECTLY, and I honestly think it tasted better than ever. Thanks for the inspiration!

    2. Jadore,

      First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to you and your new husband!

      I would recommend a hearty french daube, or beef stew. That's what a LC is made for.

      There are several great recipes - google french daube.

      One caveat - most need to be started 3 days ahead of time. First night marinate the meat (chuck) in red wine and flavorings (this is where the various recipes differ). Second night, slowly cook the daube in your LC and then let sit overnight in the fridge - this really makes the flavors set in. Third day (day of meal), slowly reheat stew on stovetop (actually great to have no work to do save reheating when the guests arrive).

      And finally, the LC will clean up super easy.

      Good luck....


      2 Replies
      1. re: HB_Jeff

        Thank you so much, Jeff! You're so kind. I did actually break it in with Moroccan chicken, and you're right - it cleaned up like a dream, better than I expected.

        OK, so I'm Googling French Daube, and I don't care if it takes 3 days, it sounds brilliant. I actually found a CH thread on it, and it's pretty much sold me on the whole thing. Seriously, you just gave me a great idea for what to cook in two weeks when my new in-laws and my own parents come for dinner. Thank you!

        1. re: Jadore

          A good French daube is worth every day that it takes. And this pan is the perfect vehicle for making it yourself. Make extra; it freezes well in quick to defrost containers and makes the end of a long day a comfort. May I suggest a Cote du Rhone red wine as an accompaniment and a loaf of crusty french bread?

      2. Congratulations on your marriage and your great new cookware! I don't use mine in the warm weather, but it's hard at work all fall and winter making braises, from pot roast to short ribs and beef burgundy. It's great for making chili, soups and marinara sauce, too.

        In warm weather, you could use it to make a kitchen clambake with lobster, mussels, clams, corn, sausage, etc...

        Great color!

        1 Reply
        1. re: mcf

          Thank you, mcf! I know, I cannot WAIT to break it out the next time I'm craving lamb stew, or my hubby wants to try a new tomato sauce. Nice idea on the clambake though! Actually, now I'm thinking I should whip up some cioppino... mmmm.

        2. Congratulations, indeed! Like mcf I don't use mine much in warm weather but most of the recipes in Molly Stevens' All About Braising are perfect for your Le Creuset, you might want to pick up a copy or get it out of your library. It was a COTM selection and there are lots of threads discussing the various recipes in it, almost every one of which is a winner. The master thread is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3301...

          1 Reply
          1. re: GretchenS

            Thanks Gretchen! I'm going to check that out right now, because it sounds like an essential kitchen item. Thanks for the thread link!

          2. Congratulations!

            I cook as much as possible in my 7 1/4 LC, lol. Seriously, even things that don't need to go in, do. Not sure where you are and what the temps might be like there, but soups and stews are great. Pot roast, beef bourguignon, chili, lobster (or other) chowder etc. Enjoy! :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

              Thank you! lol I know, I want to use it EVERY NIGHT. It cleaned so well on Sunday, I just want to throw anything in it again and again, haha.

            2. Congratulations on your marriage--and the cool pot!

              This kind of pot excels at braising and stewing dishes which are more typical of cooler seasons, but just yesterday I was making a chicken paprikash in a Le Creuset pot and literally thinking to myself that no other kind of pot would do so well with the acidic ingredients (tomatoes, peppers and all).

              My absolute favorite braises are lamb shanks and beef/veal shanks. Enameled cast iron like LC is perfect there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bada Bing

                Thank you so much! Mmm, chicken paprikash? That sounds delicious, now you have me craving some.

              2. The possibilities are ENDLESS. It's one of the most used pots in my collection. Stews, soups, chili, braised meats, large portions of pasta sauces like ragus. Here are some ideas:



                Pot roast is made for the Dutch oven.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PAO

                  Ohhh, I am loving you big time right now - that black bean soup needs to be made like YESTERDAY in my kitchen. Wow, my husband will love that. Bookmarking it now, thanks so much!

                2. It appears someone loves you very much (aside from your husband) to give you such a great wedding gift. There appears to be many suggestions for recipes to cook in your new dutch oven. My only suggestion to you is to please, please never use a metal utensil in the kettle. don't use a fork, knife, metal spatula, pancake flipper, spoon, anything metal. Use wood, silicone, or nylon cooking utensils. (In case you didn't know, that kettle retails for $275) Congratulations! (My suggestion is to go to americastestkitchen.com or cookscountry.com and check out the recipes there. They have lots of recipes that you would be pleased with).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: John E.

                    You know, I never imagined anyone would BUY it for us. You're right, it's so expensive, we just added it to our Williams-Sonoma registry at the encouragement of my mother in law... who proceeded to surprise me with it at my shower four months later. She is such a doll.

                    Thank you VERY much for the warning about metal! I read your reply after the fact, but I did actually use silicone and wood tools for my dinner on Sunday - I ALMOST grabbed a metal spoon at one point. I'll be sure to remember that!

                  2. Dutch or french ovens are usually associated with braising or stewing. Both of these techniques are usually associated with winter because before air conditioning no one wanted to have the oven on for 3-5 hours in the heat of the day. Nowadays, it isn't as important if you can afford the AC bill.

                    If you are blue collar, consider a pot roast cooked low and slow. if you want a fancier meal, you could try osso bucco. This is traditionally made with veal shanks but if you have trouble finding veal, go with lamb shanks. One other recipe you could try is short ribs.

                    All of these dishes are easy to make and are delicious. I can't think of a better way to initiate your Le Creuset.

                    There are numerous recipes for these dishes on the web. Good luck.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Hank Hanover

                      Chicken cacciatore only takes about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. You can also braise fish and vegetables with much shorter times. You would have look at a recipe for the fish and vegetables. I am not that familiar with braising them.

                      1. re: Hank Hanover

                        You know, I've never actually made chicken cacciatore (no clue as to why not, since I really like it), but you and all the other kind CH members who are replying have really got the wheels turning in my head. Thanks for all the suggestions and helpful reply!

                    2. Osso Buco. I also use mine to cook large amounts of spaghetti sauce with meatballs. And all the braises mentioned previously. Great pots -- you will use them happily for all the years of your happy marriage. Congrats.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: roxlet

                        Thanks, roxlet! Sheesh, I feel so silly now, saying I couldn't think of anything to cook a few days ago - DUH, Osso Buco is the dish Le Creuset was born to cook! Thank you for reminding me; I'm off to go junt for a great recipe for it now. :)

                      2. Short of a proper deep fryer, there's no better tool on earth for frying. I use one to make tortilla chips out of corn tortillas, perfect with some homemade salsa and guacamole.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MFalk

                          Ohh, I'm glad to hear someone's fried in it! My husband suggested we try fried chicken, but I wasn't sure if it was the best idea. Thanks so much for your post! I'm glad to hear this baby can handle practically ANYTHING.

                        2. wishing you and your love wedded wonderment and many heartfelt congrats to the both of you.

                          pulled beef and pulled pork are two I do often in all of my larger LC dutch ovens.
                          pork butt and/or shoulder and tri tip beef roast are both wonderful in there when used for the pulled version.
                          salt and pepper your meat of choice then sear off the meat with olive oil and butter mixed to get a good brown on it, add mixture of water and wine and stock to cover the meat, then add chopped onions/garlic/carrots/celery/bell pepper [chunked is fine, you're only adding for flavor as they'll get pulled and discarded later anyway. top on, lower heat and let sit and simmer low for 3 hours. take out place in bowl scoop out veggies, < toss away, reduce liquid. now do you want your pulled meat tangy or spicy or barbecued or plain, that's up to you with what you do now to the liquid. you can add flavors for bbq, or Au jus or red gravy it's up to you.

                          you'll love your new pot!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: iL Divo

                            Thank you so very much, both for the well wishes and the WONDERFUL tips. I'm honestly bookmarking this entire thread now so I can come back and re-read this when it comes time to cook dinner again. :)

                          2. - Jambalaya and Gumbo are two of my favorite summertime meals for my Le Creuset
                            - Make the sauce for homemade mac & cheese, not a summer time favorite but sometimes you just need mac & cheese
                            - Any type of corn chowder using fresh corn cut from the cob
                            - As mentioned earlier, fresh tomato sauce
                            - I often use mine as a serving dish for potato and/or pasta salads or coleslaw. Granted it's a little heavy to drag along for potlucks but it has it's own lid and tends to retain a certain level of "chillness" longer than other vessels.

                            Congratulations on your recent wedding and new family member!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: chicaraleigh

                              Thank you very much for the great ideas and warm wishes! Ohh, you reminded me of a great corn and bell pepper chowder I've been meaning to try, so bless you for that. And I'm thrilled to hear that everyone relies on their LC for marinara sauces, because that's just what I want to try next.

                            2. Mazel tov! You're a lucky woman - this is a pot you'll use forever . . . I use mine (same size as yours, but the more conservative cobalt blue) for everything . . . soups, stews, braises, of course. But I also cook my apples for apple pie in it, sausage etc. for my Thanksgiving stuffing, fry in it (although rarely), make vats of pilaf in it . . . my daughter and I even use it to make EZ Cheerios candy at Christmastime to give her teachers - lots of Cheerios & chocolate mixed together. It cooks like a dream and cleans up easily.

                              Enjoy, and best wishes to you.


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: gansu girl

                                Thank so very much! Wow, you use it for apple pie prep? How ingenious! OMG, this may be be the best wedding gift we received, even better than the Wedgwood china and my husband's beloved Mondavi wine glasses. By the way, I'm checking out your blog now, and I just bookmarked it! I've been looking for new healthy cooking blogs, and yours looks great. :)

                                1. re: Jadore

                                  I'm telling you, it's super-versatile - and although many counseled me against the 7.25 qt. size as being too big, I love it and don't regret getting this one for a minute . . . .

                                  Thanks for the kind words re the blog - hope you continue to enjoy it - don't hesitate to comment and suggest!


                              2. sorry for not thinking of this earlier, but another thing I use my LC for is as a weight when making panini. I have a small kitchen, so therefore an adversion to equipment that can't pull triple and/or quadruple duty - therefore a panini press is out of the question.

                                I use my LC to press sandwiches. Mine just happens to fit perfectly to the inside of my grill pan. Also, I find that because the LC gets awesome heat distribution, I don't get "hot spots" like I do with other weighting techniques.

                                I will generally cover the sandwiches with parchment paper (tried aluminum foil a couple of times but the sticking/tearing became an issue) then simply place the LC on top. You can accomplish the task without the parchment but there is a bit more cleanup involved.

                                Congrats again!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: chicaraleigh

                                  OK, SERIOUSLY? A panini press? Oh, baby, my husband is going to go insane - he loves brie, granny smith, and dijon paninis, and we currently don't have much in the way of making them properly. Thank you, thank you, thank you, kind CH person, for this invaluable tip. <333

                                  1. re: Jadore

                                    You could also incorporate it into your weight lifting exercise program especially if it has water in it. :-)

                                2. You say you are clueless, so it appears that you are not very experienced in the kitchen. Certainly braises, stews, and soups are ideal in dutchies, but once cooler weather comes, try the Cook's Illustrated bread baked in one. It was my first attempt at breadmaking and came out just gorgeous. Although I have cooked for decades, for some reason I was scared to bake with yeast until I made this bread. You will feel very accomplished once you smell the heady aroma of baking yeast dough, and when you slice into that crackling crust. Look at the discussion list at the end of this thread, as well as the one that follows the bread thread.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    Thank you for the awesome bread suggestion! I hadn't even thought about baking a loaf of bread in this baby. I do actually have some kitchen experience, but when I wrote that I was feeling clueless, I just meant on ideas and inspiration. (The heat has a way of turning my brain to mush like that.) Mmmm, fresh baked bread sounds like a fantastic way to impress people at my first Thanksgiving - I am SO noting this one for later.

                                  2. I've been in love with LC for years. As I'm sure other have been as well. These are strong sturdy pots and pans or cookware I suppose I should say. About 4 years ago I went online to find where the LC outlet stores were. No where close to me in the least, I knew I'd be ordering or buying several pieces so the best price would be in order. Found one in Riverbank Long Island NY. I got 12 pieces sent to the house. I sent the goose pot back, as my sink did not fit it and I couldn't imagine how I'd get the thing clean if I did ever use it. It was about $400+ even at their price so I bit the bullet and sent it back but would have loved to have had one in the off chance I'd ever use it. It alone came in a box the size of our SUV

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                      Do you mean the outlet in Riverhead, NY? They do have a lot of pieces, I've been there, but I got mine on ebay.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        yes, never can remember the name of the city or area there.
                                        Riverhead is a great place, love it there.
                                        I did look on ebay too, not a bad idea, but when calling that outlet, the lady told me that she had several Nigella Lawson pieces for really cheap so that was included in my order too, hence, the many pieces.

                                      2. re: iL Divo

                                        Gosh, that's awesome. I'm going to find an outlet store now if it kills me!

                                      3. I'm with Gregarious on the bread baking qualities of LC. I have two smaller ones than
                                        yours and oval. I use them both weekly to bake the Cook's Illustrated "almost no knead
                                        bread" and the bread is simply wonderful. Don't wait! Do it TODAY!

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: amazinc

                                          For no-knead bread--which is indeed awesome--I have ended up using a different and cheaper brand of enameled cast iron pot (KitchenAid branded, of all things). That's because the stock handle on LC cannot handle high heat and, at least with my light-colored LC, I felt the enamel itself was becoming a bit discolored.

                                          1. re: amazinc

                                            question for ya.
                                            do you have to grease the bottom of the LC and lid?
                                            because I have an oval LC, yellow, ugly, used and abused, but it's the perfect size for no knead bread so I've used it often. if you have to heat up the vessel for a 1/2 hour before putting the dough in, how do you grease or butter the LC? TIA

                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                              No need to grease. You'll just get an oval loaf.

                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                I have tried not greasing it in that ugly yellow pot and sometimes, it sticks. I think the reason is because the shiny surface is long since gone from way too much scrubbing with harsh cleansers or bleach in the bottom of it when it's been soaking with water in it] to loosen.

                                            2. re: amazinc

                                              See, this is why I LOVE you, CH! I never, ever would have thought of baking bread in the LC. Do you have a link to the CI recipe? I'm dying to try it now; you sold me at 'no knead'!

                                              1. re: Jadore


                                                Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

                                                Bread is for the oven... :-D do your french s/n and your french pot some justice and do some french cooking! Bon chance mon amis!

                                                1. re: DukeOfSuffolk

                                                  I second this! I'm registering for an LC myself, and I plan to christen it with this very recipe, along with the best French red wine I can afford at the time.

                                                2. re: Jadore

                                                  The link in my above post will take you to it.

                                              2. I like to make BBQ pork in mine. A little water and whatever seasoning add pork chops cover and cook for around 6 hours until it falls apart, remove bones and eat.

                                                1. I'm resurrecting this thread because I just got one myself for Christmas and I want to break it in this weekend for football on Sunday. Any more recipe suggestions?

                                                  Great thread.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: sixteenbiticon

                                                    well speaking of football...............
                                                    I like to add 3 ingredients to a big pot.
                                                    they are:
                                                    chili con carne, the best brand you can find, with meat and beans.
                                                    velveeta cheese cut in chunks
                                                    fried beans, again the best brand you can find.
                                                    stir all to incorporate and marry, put lid on to thoroughly melt cheese and get good and hot, then serve with favo crackers, any kind you like or tortilla chips.
                                                    if it's a big crowd, double the recipe, great for dipping tortilla chips.