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Dutch Oven Irish Stew

March 23rd, 2015 by ironcooker

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Irish StewIf you’re anything like me, then one day for Irish eats just isn’t enough.  Luckily, I’ve overstocked on the St. Patty’s staples enough to make several meals, and a dutch oven Irish stew is definitely one of them.

Stews are a mainstay Irish comfort food.  Traditionally, they’re made with potatoes, onions, parsley, and sometimes carrots.  For protein, lamb can be used, but mutton is usually better because the meat is tougher, fattier, and lends more to the dish.

But just because there’s a tradition, doesn’t mean that there isn’t any leeway.  For centuries, Irish stews have been an expression of the cook.  Ingredients like turnips and pearl barley make an appearance, while purists turn up their noses at anything more complex than mutton, potatoes, onions, and water.  The stew is always cooked slowly—expect to be simmering and boiling for up to two hours.

Stewing in the Dutch Oven

As a cooking method, stewing has been a part of human civilization for many centuries.  The Gaels of Ireland, however, didn’t have access to a cauldron until after the Celts had invaded and brought them in, after the 7th century BC.  Stews back64820-classic-irish-stew then were often made with goat and root vegetables, and the ingredients and cooking methods haven’t changed materially since then.  The biggest addition to the Irish stew in terms of ingredients was the potato, which came from South America in the sixteenth century.

irish-stewOpen fire kitchens had been around for many years, even well into the industrial revolution.  When the British began to produce dutch ovens, they became a valuable addition to most kitchens and a natural implement for Irish stews.  If you’re going to make this stew, bake some dutch oven soda bread alongside, and you’ll be close to having an authentically cooked Irish meal.

A King Among Comfort Foods

This is the sort of recipe that you get a craving for—hearty, filling, and with a broth that coats your lips.


  • 1 ¼ lbs stewing meat (beef or lamb cuts) cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup Guinness or other stout beer
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a 4 ½ qt enamel dutch oven, over medium-high heat.  Add the stewing meet and saute it until it browns on all sides. Add garlic and sauté another minute.
  2. Add beef stock, thyme, tomato paste, sugar, Worcestshire sauce beer, red wine and bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring the whole thing to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer for an hour.  Stir occasionally.
  3. While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in an enamel cast iron 11 Inch Skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and potatoes. Saute vegetables until golden and set them aside.
  4. After the stew has been cooking for an hour, add the golden vegetables.  Simmer uncovered until both the vegetables and the stew meat are fork tender.  Discard bay leaves and add Salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle in the parsley.

Now, that’s one way to clean out the pantry!

If you’ve tried this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments below!  Or, if you’re all Irish’d- out (as if!), tell us all about what you were eating and drinking for St. Patrick’s day!

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 Thanks to Big Oven for posting a great recipe that’s the basis for this variant!

Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

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.


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




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.

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.

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.

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.


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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Video: Flat Iron Steak in a Cast Iron Pan

July 10th, 2014 by ironcooker

Flat Iron Steak in a Cast Iron Pan
In this video, Chef Amadeus takes us through his process of cooking with steak in a cast iron pan

Here are a few of the highlights from the clip:

  • Heat distributes very well.
  • Uses all-purpose rub: brown sugar, Chinese five-spice, black pepper, white pepper, red pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, onion, and garlic.  Prepare ahead of time and store in your pantry or in a bowl.  The rub caramelizes and sears when the steak hits the pan.
  • Brings steaks to room temperature
  • Chose flat-iron steak because it’s inexpensive, cooks well, has a great flavor.
  • Cast iron pans start out hot, cooking the steaks to about a medium.
  • Cast iron cleans easily—use hot water and a scouring pad.  When you’re done, wipe it down with oil (never soap and water—it takes the seasoning off!)
  • As the steak changes color, you’ll know how well the steak is being cooked.  If the color changes up through the half-way point, that’s the time to flip it over.
  • Your steaks will continue to cook even after it comes off the pan from residual cooking.  Make sure that you are timing your steaks to come off the heat so they’re not over-cooking while they rest.

Chef AmadeusChef Amadeus has a great, concise presentation to help you get familiar with cooking one of our favorite foods.  Do you have any tips or tricks for cooking flat iron steaks on your cast iron pans?  Do you like any special rubs or marinades?  What are your favorite sides for a flat iron steak?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

Posted in Iron Cookware Recipes | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Hungarian Goulash

January 25th, 2013 by ironcooker

Dutch Oven Hungarian Goulash

Goulash is a soup or stew chock full of meat, noodles, and vegetables that comes out of Hungary.  The anglicized name goulash is derivative of the Hungarian word gulyás, which means “herdsman.”  This dish is representative of what Hungarian cattle herdsman might make to eat while they were out on the range.  And that means that this hearty dish is essentially an eastern European cowboy stew.

For centuries, spanning from the Middle ages through to the 19th century, Hungarian herdsmen from the Puszta region drove portions of their great cattle herds to Europe’s biggest cattle markets in places like Vienna, Venice, Moravia and Nuremberg.  Along the way, they slaughtered one of their herd to eat, and portions of the carcass no doubt made their way into this spice-filled stew.

Thumbs-Up From Europe!

Hungarian Goulash in BowlWhen these herdsmen brought their cattle to market, they impressed a lot of people along the way.  Many in the surrounding countries and on the path to market began to make goulash or goulash-style recipes.  It became a popular meal in Austria, Bosnia, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Italy, and the Netherlands, among others.  And though goulash is eaten all over Europe, it’s proudly held as a national dish in its native Hungary.

Since it has spread, goulash has taken on various different ingredients, according to the region.  It can have a base of beef, veal, pork, or lamb.  Often, cuts from the shank, shin, or shoulder are used and the goulash gets most of its thickness from collagen rather than flours or other thickeners.  The meat is cut into chunks, then browned with sliced onion and then simmers in water or stock with paprika.  Once the meat is tenderized, vegetables and spices go in the pot.  When all of the flavors have married and the ingredients are cooked through, it’s all served up with a starch, often a bed of egg noodles.

Grab the Paprika and Get Cooking!

Are you hungry yet?  Great!  Here’s our take on dutch oven goulash!

Hungarian Goulash - Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef tips, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 small onion, diced.
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Can whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz whole mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp flour

Hungarian Goulash in Pot

  1. Preheat Five Quart Range Kleen Dutch Oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Add oil.
  3. Brown beef tips and onion in oil.
  4. Add whole tomatoes, mushrooms and seasonings.
  5. Cover and simmer 1 and a half hours, until meat is tender. Stir occasionally.
  6. Blend flour and sour cream.
  7. Gradually stir into meat mixture.
  8. Heat to serving temperature.
  9. Serve on noodles or macaroni.

Have you tried this recipe?  Do you have your own version of this hearty, pioneering dish?  Tell us how you make goulash in the comments below!

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This recipe comes originally from the Dutch Oven genius at  Thanks!

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Dutch Oven Irish Stew

Monday March 23rd, 2015 in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Recipes: A Full Day of Dutch Oven

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

Video: Flat Iron Steak in a Cast Iron Pan

Thursday July 10th, 2014 in Iron Cookware Recipes | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Hungarian Goulash

Friday January 25th, 2013 in Dutch Oven Recipes | 4 Comments »

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