Since I learned how to cook, Sundays during the winter months were reserved for my crock pot. From chili, to meatballs, pulled pork, chicken noodle soup and a host of go to standards my crock pot was the perfect answer for Sunday evening dinners.
Now I have a new weapon in my arsenal and it has taken the spot formerly held by the crock pot. My new avocado green Le Creuset dutch oven. I picked this up for a third of the retail price from HomeGoods and haven't looked back.
If you have a HomeGoods in your area it is worth checking a few times here and there until you find one of these on their shelves - it is totally worth it.
Anyways - on to the good part - what I have made so far.
The maiden voyage was braised short ribs in dry red wine and beef broth. Pretty straight forward recipe. Dredge the ribs in a flour mixed with salt and pepper and brown the ribs in the dutch, then take out and set aside. Throw in a little bit of the red wine and broth to de-glaze the pan, add chopped carrots, onions, celery and whatever else and sautee. Then toss the ribs back in, add some more wine and broth to almost cover the ribs and toss in the oven at 375 for 2 hours. Take off the top, leave in the oven for another 20 minutes, take out, put the cover back on and let it chill for 20 more minutes - serve.
Second recipe was straight up chili. Crushed tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, ground beef, onions, tomato paste, a few different types of chili powder, jalapeno peppers, other types of hot peppers and corn. Let that all cook and get to know each other - add some corn starch to a bowl of hot water to dissolve, then add to the mix to thicken up.
Once that has been cooking for several hours you are in flavor country.
This past weekend I did a full Chinese menu and the Dutch was used for General Tsos. What I liked about frying in the dutch oven was the high walls to keep from making an absolute mess - big win right there.