written by Tracey Ceurvels
There is a pot that will change the way you cook and eat: the Le Creuset French Oven. And it’s perfect for hearty, cold-weather dishes.I’d been eyeing it for over a year, imagining all the dishes I could cook in this spectacular but very pricey pot. Then one day I decided I had to have it. Passion trumped price. Of course I wanted the best price, so I did my research.
I found it at Sur La Table in Soho, but they were selling it for $350, the same price at Williams-Sonoma at The Shops at Columbus Circle. I looked online and found the 6 ¾ qt. oval-shaped pot for $259 at Amazon.com, Chefscatalog.com, and Cheftools.com. Still, it seemed too expensive.
Then finally I found the perfect price! The Broadway Panhandler, one of my favorite kitchen stores, was having a sale: 50% off most of their Le Creuset cookware. The flame (“orange”) pot I’d been coveting was now mine for only $175. I raced home with possibilities racing through my mind with the fervor of hot spices.
That first night of Le Creuset ownership I made short ribs stewed in Brooklyn Brown Ale (I threw in some red wine, too), then chicken simmered in white wine and tomatoes, spent a Sunday making classic beef stew, a Saturday night making cod stew with saffron. I bought meat at Ottomanelli’s on Bleecker St. I ordered vegetables from Fresh Direct. I made daily trips to Le Vigne for wine, an essential ingredient for any stewed dishes. My apartment began emanating the scents of a rustic French restaurant. My toddler finally enjoyed dinnertime while my husband seemed to think his wife was auditioning for a stew contest, (but was very pleased nonetheless).
The cast iron French oven (otherwise known as a Dutch oven) is so forgiving and magical I think you could throw in any ingredients you have in the house and a hearty please-anyone meal would appear.
This is indeed a pot that every cook needs in the kitchen.