Romertopf clay pot
Hi - I just found my very old Romertopf clay pot in the garage. I remember that both top and bottom must be soaked in water for 15 minutes before using and that it has to go into a cold oven, but I have no idea what I used to make in it. Does anybody still use one? What is it particularly good for?
Decades ago, I used mine for roast chicken and vegetables and I also baked bread in it. I recall potatoes were very nice in a clay pot.
I had two. One I used only for fish/seafood the other for chicken/wild birds. They were great! Can't recall what happened to them. I'd soak yours with a teaspoon in white vinegar for a few hours. Fifteen minutes may not be enough time for the clay to absorb enough water.
I have several clay pots (various brands) and love them in the winter time when I can use my oven to help keep the house warm, and I can put something (raw) into the cold oven and have it braised and slightly browned without any hands on attention. It usually takes an hour plus, but I can put my feet up and read the paper while dinner makes itself.
The classic recipe is a whole chicken with some pot vegetables/potatoes/sweet potatoes/herbs. Soak pot well, season chicken to taste, strew vegies around sides, add about 1/2 cup liquid (wine or water or stock or whatever). Put in cold oven and turn on to 425. Usually takes about 1 1/4 hours, depending on the size of the bird.
That said, this is not my favorite way to cook chicken, although it comes out moist and flavorful, and the vegies are delish. The skin doesn't get real crisp this way, but it is a good way to make chicken that will get re-purposed into other dishes later.
What I do love, and do by preference, is pot roast, braised beef short ribs, chili colorado, paprikash. I have adapted my old standby recipes to do them in the clay cooker (usually by reducing the braising liquid and eliminating the browning steps).
Here is an unusual use of the clay pot that I adapted from a book called Claypot Cookery by Consumer Reports that I think is out of print. If your pot isn't glazed on the inside, you might want to line the bottom with some parchment paper.
Claypot Curried Salmon Steaks
2 salmon steaks (about 1 lb.)
1 T. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. curry powder
1/4 t. paprika
4 new potatoes, cut into 1/4 in. slices
2 T. butter, melted
1 T. lemon juice
2 t. mustard seeds, coarsely crushed
Thinly sliced green onions
Chutney, if desired
Soak clay cooker 15 minutes.
Wipe salmon steaks with damp paper towel. Coat with a mixture of flour, salt, curry powder,
and paprika. Place in cooker. Arrange potatoes, standing on edge, around salmon. Mix
butter, lemon juice, and mustard seeds, drizzle over salmon and potatoes.
Place covered cooker in cold oven. Set oven at 450°. Bake until salmon is firm and
potatoes are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove cover, bake until salmon is brown, about
Drizzle salmon and potatoes with cooking liquid, sprinkle with green onions. Serve with
chutney, if desired.
I use mine to store bread in. Living alone it takes me a while to go through a loaf of bread. When I buy a nice loaf of crusty sourdough if I left it in the paper bag as recommended it would be dry in a couple of days, and putting it in plastic softens the crust. Storing the bread in my Romertopf keeps it from drying as quickly as in a paper bag and while the crust isn't as nice as when first purchased it's a damn sight better than if I stored it in a plastic bag. It's a nice compromise that lets me have my bread and eat it too.
I believe Romertopf even marketed some bread storage pots.
Chicken with crispy potatoes! I line the bottom and sides with rounds of sliced potatoes, add a well seasoned whole chicken and cook for hour/hour and half or so depending on the size of the bird. Take the lid off and let cook a little longer until the skin is crisp. I love how the potatoes come out tender on one side and extra crispy on the other.
That method also works really well with meatloaf. Even better is to make the loaf with low fat ground turkey as the base since the clay pot keeps the meatloaf very moist. Sweet potatoes with this is a really good as the caramelize wonderfully.
Basically anything you would braise works really well in it.
regarding the Chicken and Potatoes -that is pretty much what I do.
As a matter of fact we had one of those Oven stuffer roasters/good size Chicken today, done in a Römertopf. I place the Chicken on top of a few Carrots and add Potatoes in slices around the bird. The potatoes get nicely crispy and tender as you said. We love it!
I never take the lid off, but I can see how this might work. I do find that the skin actually does crisp up a bit without opening the lid. ( I did rub the bird with some Paprika and Salt before popping into the oven )
The Roemertopf is great for braising. In other words, if you are cooking a stewing chicken, it's ok. If you have a younger bird, a fryer or roaster, the Roemertopf is great for producing overcooked chicken.
There is a special model for roasting potatoes on the range. This model does not require, or even allow, soaking. It does a marvelous job on potatoes.
Here's a blog I just found that features recipes that can be cooked in a Romertopf. He hasn't posted for a while but the recipes are there and are for everything from fish to stuffed eggplant.
I haven't used my clay pot for a very long time. Thanks for starting this thread!
Thanks for the reminder; we used it often in the 70s and I am curious to bring it out of storage for
Country Style Spareribs in Honey Sauce
3 to 4 lbs. of meaty country style pork ribs - trimmed of fat
8 medium carrots, peeled, cut lengthwise
1/2 cup honey
1 medium onion, chopped
Juice of one lemon
1 Tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon arrowroot
Presoak top/bottom of clay pot for 15 minutes in water.
Place spareribs on bottom of pot, scatter carrots on top.
Combine remaining ingredients (except the arrowroot), mix thoroughly and pour over ribs.
Cover and place pot in cold oven. Cook at 480°F for 70 minutes.
Remove carrots and set aside.
Pour off sauce juices and set aside in a saucepan.
Return to oven to crisp and brown the ribs without the lid for 10 minutes.
To thicken sauce, bring to a boil, add arrowroot, stirring to thicken and pour over ribs/carrots to serve.
The Clay-Pot Cookbook by Georgia MacLeod Sales and Grover Sales, 1974
Please share a recipe for Corned Beef in the Romertopf - I know it's past St. Patrick's Day but there was a day-after sale at the grocery store and now I have a 4.5 lb point cut in the frig and would like to cook it in the clay pot.
I did the St. Paddy's day point cut braised on the stove top with Guinness and we devoured it with potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. We liked it and want more!
The pot itself provides moisture so you don't really need as much as you would on the stove or in a crock pot.
If the corn beef comes with a spice packet just place in the soaked pot, pour some Guinness over it , no more than a cup or two and add the spices. Place in a cold oven, set the oven temp to 400 and cook for aprox 2-2.5 hours. If you have a bigger piece of meat, over 3 lbs, it will take longer. During the last half hour add cut up carrots and cabbage. I find that for this particular dish the potatoes are best cooked separately, but thats because I don't like the texture.
If you don't want use the spice packet or if yours didn't come with one there are tons of recipes online.
The clay cookers are great for cooking beef, pork or chicken. I use mine all the time. In fact, I have 3 sizes.
I put a roast, with veggies and cook the same as if I was using a regular roaster. It just makes things more juicy.
There are several sites with recipes on line.