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Dutch Oven Recipes: A Full Day of Dutch Oven

February 8th, 2015 by ironcooker

Dutch oven with feet

A Dutch oven is any in a family of thick-walled cooking pots, usually made in cast-iron.

They have tight-fitting lids and have been used to cook for hundreds of years.  While this article will talk about European and American historical applications, similar cooking pots were all developed by the Dutch, the Japanese and the Balkans.  Derivative cookware took hold in Britain, America, Australia, and South Africa.

The History of the Dutch oven

The proper Dutch oven has a long history of being a sturdy, utilitarian pot in Europe and through America.

Early European History

The similar cookware in the style of the Dutch oven was developed in the late 17th Century in both the Netherlands and Britain.  The Dutch used production and manufacturing methods that involved dry sand molds in which to pour metal.  The result was a smoother cooking surface that was more desirable than what the English could produce, and the pots were eventually imported into Britain to satisfy the demand.  Seeing an opportunity, Abraham Darby would later travel to the Netherlands to observe the manufacturing process.  Once he returned to Britain, he filed for a patent and produced the cookware for Britain and the American colonies.

American History

On the other side of the Atlantic, the design of the Dutch oven began to change in order to better suit the needs of the people.  A shallow pot, legs to hold the pot above coals became commonplace, and a flange on the lid allowed people to place hot coals on the top of the pot to evenly cook the contents without getting coal in the food.  Dutch ovens were beloved by colonists and settlers for their durability and versatility.  A single pot could be used for boiling, baking, stews, frying, roasting, and almost any other cooking application.  They became so desirable in fact that people of that time would include their favorite iron cookware in their will in order to ensure that it was bestowed to the desired inheritor.  It’s no surprise, then, that Dutch ovens were carried into the westward expansion by rugged pioneers like those in the Lewis and Clark expedition, mountain men, and cattle drivers.

Use in Cooking

Dutch ovens are versatile, utilitarian cookware, but they’re specially suited for long, slow cooking recipes.  Think roasts, stews, and casseroles.

In keeping with the pioneering spirit, Dutch ovens are great for camping and the outdoors.  Often, a Dutch oven made for camping will include features like tripod legs, wire bail handle, and a concaved lid to place hot coals on top for an even internal temperature.  You can even use one of these sturdy pots for true baking, producing great foods and sides like biscuits, cakes, breads, pizzas, and pies.  Using smaller insert baking pans, you can rotate out finished foods and keep baking or start on uncooked dishes.  Some models will allow for stacking to conserve heat, and may go as high as 5 or 6 pots atop one another.

Recipes

The Dutch oven was a valuable piece of equipment for its versatility.  If need be, one could literally cook every meal in one of these durable pots.  To demonstrate that point, five recipes to carry you throughout the day are included here.

dutch ovens

Supper

 

Resources

If you’re looking for more recipes, check out these great resources:

Dutch Oven Dude: The quintessential Dutch oven enthusiast, this site is full of recipes for your Dutch oven.  http://www.dutchovendude.com/dutch-oven-recipes.asp

The Blog at Iron Cooker: A great resource for Dutch oven recipes, outdoor life, cast-iron care, and a retailer for several types of Dutch oven.  http://www.ironcooker.com/blog/

Dutch Oven Mania: These people love Dutch ovens!  Find a number of great recipes, guides to clean and maintain your Dutch oven, and advice on what to look for in a Dutch oven.  http://www.dutchovenmania.com/dutch-oven-recipes.html

Seasoning and Care

Depending on how the Dutch oven is manufactured, you may need to keep in mind some tips for keeping your pot clean.

For Bare Cast-IronSize Matters Multiple Dutch Oven

Clean your bare cast-iron Dutch oven like you would any other cast-iron cookware: using a brush and boiling water.  It’s best to use very little or, preferably, no dish soap.  Once it’s dried, apply a thin layer of cooking oil to prevent rusting and store your Dutch oven in a clean, dry place.  Leave the lid ajar for air circulation so you can avoid the smell and taste of rancid oil.  You can also use a newspaper or dry paper towel to wick away any of the ambient moisture.

For Enameled Ovens

Enameled ovens don’t need to be seasoned before they’re used.  Remember that enameling is best suited for water-based heat, which means you should avoid deep-frying.  Clean it like you would you ordinary cookware—some brands can be put in the dishwater.

References

There are some really great photographers whose pictures were too great to pass up.  Thanks to these blogs for beautifying this lens.

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Dutch Oven Nacho Dip

February 8th, 2013 by ironcooker

Dutch Oven Nacho Dip
Nachos are a snack of necessity at the core.

In 1943, the wives of soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan crossed the border into Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila to go shopping.  When they had finished, they were hungry and stopped at the Victory Club for refreshments.  Unfortunately, the kitchen had already closed, and so the maître d’hôtel, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, put a dish together with the ingredients he had at his disposal.  He cut tortillas into triangles, melted cheddar cheese over then and topped them with jalapeño peppers.

The soldiers’ wives were delighted with the dish, and when asked what it was called, Ignacio replied, “Nacho’s especiales.”  The term was passed around in english until it was confused as “special nachos”, forgetting that “Nacho” was the man’s nickname and not an actual dish.

One Dish, Many Different Takes

Dutch Oven Nacho Dip in BowlNachos are the type of dish that take very little thought or effort to make, but they leave room to add more and more elaborate additions.  The elemental dish is cooked down to just tortilla chips and melted cheese.  Given those two ingredients, anything else is up for negotiation.

Flavored chips like Doritos.  Different types of cheese, or substitute “nacho” cheese.  Peppers, onions, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, black beans, or ground or shredded meats all come into play.  Whatever goes on the nachos, it must ultimately remain a finger food.  And if that’s the case, you’ve still got Nachos.

A Dish of Convenience

Because nachos are so easy to eat, they’ve become a favorite of casual gatherings all over America.  Nachos can be served in all kinds of casual and quick venues.  Convenience stores, restaurants, and bars of all types offer nachos.  In fact, one of the mainstays of modern nachos, a combination of a hard tortilla chip and a cheese sauce, has become known as “ballpark nachos” for its popularity it sporting event refreshment stands.

Bring Relaxation With You

With that said, the ability to serve nachos, even in an outdoor setting, leads back to a sense of recreational Americana.  It means to say that the host and company are in for a relaxed, casual event without pretense or unnecessary pomp.  It could really only be improved with a couple of cold beers to pass around!

To facilitate your informal outdoor gatherings, we offer this dutch oven nacho dip recipe.

Ingredients

Dutch Oven Nacho Dip Ingredents

  • 1 Lb ground beef
  • 1 Lb hot pork sausage
  • 1 Package hot taco seasoning mix
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ Cup water
  • 1 Small can jalapeno peppers, drained
  • 1 Can refried beans
  • 8 Oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 Oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Jar salsa
  • 1 Bag tortilla chips

Recipe

Dutch Oven Nacho Dip Mixing Ingredents

  1. Set your Cast Iron 4 Quart Round Dutch Oven over hot coals.
  2. Brown the ground beef, pork sausage, onions, and garlic.
  3. Drain off grease.
  4. Add taco seasoning, cumin, and 1/4 cup water.
  5. Stir and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Over the meat, layer evenly the beans, cheese, jalapenos, and salsa.
  7. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes with 3/4 of the coals on top of the dutch oven.
  8. You can scoop straight from the pot with tortilla chips,  or spoon the dip into individual bowls.

Expect to serve 4-6 people.

Have you been entertaining friends in your yard or at the campsite and used this recipe?  Let us know how it turns out in the comments below!

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Thanks to Dutch Oven Dude for his great outdoor recipes!

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Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes | 4 Comments »

Dutch Oven Recipes: A Full Day of Dutch Oven

Sunday February 8th, 2015 in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Nacho Dip

Friday February 8th, 2013 in Dutch Oven Recipes | 4 Comments »

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