Clay (ceramic) pot and sweating mirepoix
Just recently I have bought my first ceramic (glazed) pot. I have a question regarding using it and cooking mirepoix but this really extends a bit further so a couple of questions:
- it is earthenware dish, about two quarts or so in volume, with a non tight fitting lid. it is shiny everywhere (im guessing glazed?) but on the bottom?
- i am using it to cook chili and soups on the gas stove (smallest one, lowest setting), is this ok?
- I pre-soak it in cold water for about an hour before cooking; necessary or not?
- finally, how do I sweat mirepoix with it when stewing? use my other steel pan and transfer to this clay pot or sweat it directly in clay?
Thanks all and sorry for a bit longer post!
What's the source of this pot? Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese ...?
I have a shallow Spanish casuela, and a couple of Chinese sand pots (and a small Korean bowl that is fully glazed).
Sounds like it is glazed on the interior, and maybe the outer sides, but not the base. That's typical of Spanish clay. They recommend a good soaking before the first use to restore some moisture lost in firing. Soaking before each use isn't needed.
You should start the pot on a low flame, and then increase that as it warms. Once hot, it should keep the contents bubbling on the lowest possible flame.
I think you can sweat the mirepoix in the pot as you warm it up. As long as it's been warmed gradually it does not matter that it is nearly empty. Vietnamese recipes for fish in a clay (sand) pot caramelize sugar in the pot. However I'd be less ready to sear the meat in the clay pot. Also I'd add other ingredients gradually (especially the liquids), trying to minimize strong temperature contrasts.