WHAT A CROCK
Crock pots, Dutch ovens, slow cookers. Three names for equipment that do almost the same thing, in essence, yet in practice, they deliver different results. Why sear a roast in a separate pot and then add it to an electronic cooker to finish the process? I have always believed in keeping as much flavour in one vestibule. Because of this concept, I am a huge proponent of La Creuset cookware.
I have been lucky enough to find my entire collection second hand from thrift shops or yard sales, where the $5-$20 price tag is much more approachable than the retail price at a store. Not that they aren’t worth the couple of hundred bucks you can spend on them new, they are, I just like the feeling of discovery when you see a reddish-orange handle sticking out from a pile of dulled stainless steel on the thrift shop rack. These pieces will not only last in this lifetime, I would wager that a lucky generation after you could easily utilize the set after they have been passed down. I haven’t had cable TV or a microwave in my possession for many years now and I think the same way about most kitchen gear. I want bubbling, searing and deglazing all at my control.
A pot roast should never be separated from its’ natural oils. Draining a little of the grease is a must but total departure from it’s environment can leave a beautiful cut of beef wallowing for it’s original place of shelter, nestled safely in the bottom of a Dutch oven(in this case actually a French Oven), surrounded by carrots, onions, stock and a little red wine. Let them rejoice as the lid tucks them in for the duration of the cookery, a warm oven awaiting it’s old companions, the entire procession aware of their collective duties.
I want to trust in my own math instead of being told by incessant beeping that my creation is ready to be revealed. When I lift the lid hours later and see a wonderfully fragrant culinary menagerie, I know the reward will be worth the effort. Very distinct lines that show the reduction of the evaporated liquid remind me of my Mom drawing my height in the doorway with a pencil as I shot up like a weed in my youth. Perhaps its the memories that make this particular slow cooking process more appealing to me than letting a machine do all the work. It could also be the joy of reaching into the oven and pulling out an orange pot whose patina gets richer with each meal made. Whatever it is, I’m feeling it and I encourage you to explore the world of La Creuset.Experience the difference between man and machine.
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