adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

First Meal in the Dutch Oven!

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you I'd be buying a Dutch Oven?  After some careful research, I decided on Martha Stewart's 5.5 Quart Red Dutch Oven for $69 at Macy's.  What a great deal!  And I had a gift card, so I literally paid nothing for this beautiful kitchen staple.  A Dutch Oven is heavy, cast iron pot used in long, slow cooking.  Kind of like a crockpot, except that it is meant to withstand very high temperatures and can go on the stove or in the oven.

what a beauty!

For my first time cooking in my new Dutch Oven, I decided to try one of Martha's very own recipes, Lamb Shanks with Potatoes.  This was also my very first time cooking lamb.  I've recently developed a strong affinity for this meat and I felt it was high time I start learning how to cook it!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this dish was incredibly easy to make!  As with the crockpot, I put all the ingredients in the Dutch Oven and let the slow heat do its work.  The lamb cooked beautifully in the hearty broth that was flavorful with hints of sweet from the cinnamon and apricots.  I felt that the meat could have used a little bit more flavor, and so next time I will rub spices on the meat and maybe sear it before putting it in the Dutch Oven.  If you are looking for a warm, filling dish on these cold winter nights, then you should definitely try this out. You’ll Need:
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes in purée
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. apricot jam
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 strips of orange zest
  • ¾ tsp. crushed dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 ½ lbs. lamb shanks, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 ½ inch thick slices
  • 1 ¼ lbs. small new potatoes, scrubbed well, halved (or quartered, if large)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°.  In a 5.5 Quart Dutch Oven (or other casserole pot), stir together tomatoes and purée, tomato paste, jam, garlic, orange zest, rosemary, ginger, cinnamon, and 2 cups of water.  Season with salt & pepper.  Add lamb and potatoes, stirring to combine. Transfer to oven, cook until lamb and potatoes are tender, about 2 – 2 ½ hours.  Season again with salt & pepper, if desired.  Serves 6.

cook me!

eat me!

2 Responses to “First Meal in the Dutch Oven!”

  1. Cherie says:

    It’s a bummer that they recalled these – It is a beautiful pot at a great price.

    • Natalie says:

      wow – i actually had no idea about that, thank you for alerting me!! i use it all the time and it recently cracked. looks like i have some shopping to do this weekend :)

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