Dutch ovens are cylindrical, heavy gauge cooking pots with tight-fitting lids that can be used either on a range top or in the oven. The heavy metal or ceramic construction provides constant, even and multi-directional radiant heat to the food being cooked inside.
The term “Dutch oven” is something of a misnomer in that the pots are neither Dutch nor actual ovens. Rather, it refers to the casting process developed in Holland by which brass vessels were cast in dry-sand molds. In 1704, an Englishman by the name of Abraham Darby traveled to the Netherlands to observe how the thick-walled cast-iron pots were made and, eventually, patented a similar process for use in England and its American colonies.
A Dutch oven has the advantage of using one pot from start to finish — you can sear protein in the same pan you use to braise. When using a Dutch oven, you can braise on the stove top or in the oven. Almost any cooking task can be performed in a Dutch oven.
All of my recipes below are cooked on top of the stove but you could easily finish the braising process in the oven. Cover and place the Dutch Oven on the middle of a rack in an oven that has been pre-heated to 300° Fahrenheit and follow the cooking times below.
How to Make Dutch Oven Recipes in a Slow Cooker.
Converting from a Dutch Oven to a slow cooker is easy. If a recipe has any searing, sauteing or deglazing steps, complete those steps in a pan on the stove top. After adding the liquid, transfer everything to the slow cooker. For recipes that call for either stove top simmering or an oven temperature of 300 degrees F or more, set your slow cooker to HIGH. For recipes under 300 degrees F, use the LOW setting. Slow cookers prevent liquid from evaporating, so sauces come out thinner than in a Dutch Oven.
|SLOW COOKER||DUTCH OVEN|
|12 hours/Low||3 hours/325° F|
|10 hours/Low||2 1/2 hours/325° F|
|8 hours/Low||2 hours/325° F|
|6 hours/Low||1 1/2 hours/325° F|
|5 hours/Low||1 hour, 15 min./325° F|
|4 hours/Low||1 hour/325° F|
|4 hours/High||2 hours/325° F|
|3 hours/Low||45 min./325° F|
|3 hours/High||1 1/2 hours/325° F|
|2 hours/Low||30 min./325° F|
|2 hours/High||1 hour/325° F|
|1 hour/Low||15 min./325° F|
|1 hour/High||30 min./325° F|
Quick Cooking Pork and Vegetable Stew Italiano
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 onion, medium, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 cup canned diced Italian tomatoes
- 14 1/2 oz canned low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil , torn
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Add pork pieces and shake to coat. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, green pepper and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Transfer vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
Heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Sauté pork on all sides, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Return sautéed vegetables to the pot. Add zucchini, tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, until pork is tender. Stir in basil and oregano, season with salt and pepper and serve.
Italian Vegetable Stew
- Half of a 1-lb. loaf sourdough bread, torn into 2” pieces (about 6 cups)
- 1 bunch collard greens, center ribs and stems removed
- 1 bunch Tuscan or other kale, center ribs and stems removed
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 28-oz can diced Italian tomatoes
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3 15-oz. cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig marjoram or oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Shaved Parmesan (for serving
Scatter bread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Let stand at room temperature to slightly dry out, about 2 hours.
Cook greens separately in a large pot (Dutch Oven) of boiling salted water until slightly softened, about 3 minutes per batch. Cool. Squeeze out excess water; roughly chop. Set aside.
In the empty pot heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and leek; stir often until softened, 8–10 minutes.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, beans, thyme, marjoram, bay leaf and reserved greens; season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld and soup thickens slightly, 40–50 minutes. Discard herb sprigs and bay leaf.
Just before serving, gently stir bread into the soup. Divide among bowls, top with Parmesan and drizzle with oil.
DO AHEAD: Stew can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool slightly; chill until cold. Cover and keep chilled. Reheat before continuing. Store bread airtight at room temperature.
- 6 fingerling potatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 small sweet onion, sliced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 2 garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano and basil
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika (or half cayenne and half smoked paprika)
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 fresh plum tomatoes seeded and finely diced
- 1 white fish fillet (cod, halibut, grouper) diced (about 8 ounces)
- 6 sea scallops and 6 peeled shrimp, patted dry
- 6 mussels and 6 small clams
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley and/or basil
- Sourdough bread
Place potatoes in a Dutch Oven, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon oil onion, garlic and jalapeno to the pan and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften, about 4- 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high, add seasonings, salt and pepper, wine, clam juice and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the clams and mussels and cook until the shellfish open.
Season fish, shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper. Add the fish, shrimp and scallops, cooked potatoes, cream and capers to the pot, return to a simmer and cook until heated through and white fish is cooked, about 2-3 minutes. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve with sourdough bread.
Italian Beef Stew
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into cubes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 4 cups diced Italian tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups lower-sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 8-ounce package whole cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 3/4 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch Oven.
Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge in the flour.
Add half the beef to the pan; sauté 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from the pan to a bowl. Repeat procedure with oil and beef.
Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. Add onion and chopped carrot; sauté 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté for 45 seconds, stirring constantly.
Add wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping bottom of the pan (about 5 minutes). Return meat to the pan. Add tomatoes and the next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Uncover and stir in sliced carrot. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until meat is very tender, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil and parsley.
Chickpea and Chicken Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, sliced into ½ inch thick lengths
- Kosher salt
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained
- 1/2 cup diced, drained roasted red peppers from a jar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups 1′ cubes country-style bread
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt; add to the pot and cook, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to low and add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 30–60 seconds. Add oregano, tomato paste and red pepper flakes; stir until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute. Add reserved, browned chicken with any accumulated juices, along with bay leaves and 4 cups water. Scrape up any browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, occasionally stirring, until chicken is tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Add chickpeas to the pot; bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add diced red peppers. Stir in lemon juice; simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt and more lemon juice, if desired. Divide bread cubes among bowls. Ladle stew over. Garnish with parsley.