I had the privilege of judging a Dutch Oven Cook-Off this weekend and I have to tell you that if you’ve never cooked with a Dutch Oven you’re missing quite a treat.
Dutch Oven cooking is an adventure. First, you have to understand that anything you can cook in a regular oven can be cooked in a Dutch Oven. The only challenge is how.
This weekend I tasted the following:
And baked bread
All cooked in a Dutch Oven.
For those of you not familiar with this cast iron marvel let me say that the Dutch Oven can serve as both stew pot and oven. You an apply heat both above and below.
The Dutch Oven is a cast iron pot on legs with a lipped top. The legs allow the oven to be placed on a bed of coals and the lipped top allows coals to be placed on top. In general, a Dutch Oven will maintain an internal temperature of 350 degrees F (Mark 4) with coals placed above and below.
Why would anyone cook in a Dutch Oven? Well, for a start you do this outdoors. If you’re not an outdoors person then there’s no point! Cook indoors and enjoy! But, if you’re the outdoors type and enjoy camping then the Dutch Oven is the cook’s tool of choice for any recipe.
So, which recipes won the competition?
Standing Pork Ribs with Mango Sauce
Fresh Bread with melted butter
Apple cobbler with cinnamon crunch topping
Beef stew with dumplings
Cucumber and tomato salad
Lemon cake with raspberry glaze
I’ve already signed up for next year as Head Judge. Can you blame me?