I’ve been away from my laptop for some time now, busy nursing the dreaded winter cold with lots of homemade soups and vitamin C. And now that I’m back in the land of the living, I want to tell you all about my new toy – the Le Creuset Round 4.3 litre French Oven, in my favourite colour, cherry red. Indeed, this little beauty helped me create some great recipes to make me healthy again.
I’ve pined for this thing of infinite beauty for a long time now, about 10 years. When I moved into my new home, I secretly wanted this piece, but I couldn’t afford it, as I had already put the majority of my hard-earned money as a down payment for my mortgage. And I surely did not want anyone spending that kind of money on me.
The first time I saw this cookware was on TV when I saw an episode of Julia Child’s cooking show on PBS. Later, I noticed another great chef, Jacques Pepin, had one as well. In all my hours of research, I have yet to find one negative review on my French Oven.
It wasn’t until this Christmas, when I received so many gift certificates, that I finally had the opportunity to buy it. And I haven’t looked back since.
Now my boring, drab, white melamine, out-of-date kitchen looks spectacular, as I always keep my French Oven on display right on the stovetop.
Le Creuset’s most well known range of products is its cast iron cookware, made at its foundry in Northern France since 1925. Each product is cast in its own mold, which is broken after casting, thus making each piece unique. After the casting, the French Oven is polished, double enamel-coated, fired, and finished by skilled French artisans, many of whom come from families that have been with the company for decades.
My French Oven works really well with my electric stove, either on high heat or low. It warms up and retains heat very quickly and works great on the stovetop and in the oven. Once I put the lid on, the heat spreads evenly, cooking everything perfectly. I also notice that once the French Oven gets hot, only low to medium heat is required over a few hours to make perfect meals. I also like to slow cook some meats for up to 5 hours, making everything succulent and juicy.
It took just a few hours to cook an 8-pound chicken and make this soup. The meat fell right off the bone.
Cleaning is also super-easy. After soaking the French Oven for 15 to 20 minutes in warm water, food residue comes off quickly.
The maximum temperature for the French Oven is 480 degrees Fahrenheit, but I’ve never cooked anything higher than 400 for more than 15 minutes. I usually cook at 350, preferring to slow roast and braise my meat. This beef stew turned out beautifully:
The French Oven goes easily frοm thе stovetop іntο thе oven аnd thеn tο thе table. I’ve even stored it with food in the fridge. Like all Le Creuset cookware, the French Oven has a lifetime warranty, with an estimated lifetime of 101 years.
Some other great dishes I made include Spicy Tom Yum Soup:
I also made Chili Con Carne, a great recipe from Jamie Oliver.
There’s nothing better than chili that’s been stewing in the oven for over 3 hours. Yummy. This is such a beautiful recipe, I plan on making it several times this winter.
I use my new toy every week and feel so lucky to have it in my kitchen.