We interrupt this food and farm blog to let you know that if you've been thinking about buying a 7-quart Lodge enamel cast iron Dutch oven, now's the time. Although I still haven't gotten around to posting recipes for the delicious things I've made in mine since receiving it as an early Christmas gift last year, believe me when I tell you that this baby cooks like an absolute dream.
I've been impatiently waiting for summer to end so I could pull it out and get back to slow cooking all those wonderful, wintery, cozy comfort food dishes like beef short ribs and lamb shanks (which I made last week while my mother was visiting). Dutch ovens are ideal for the busy/distracted/disorganized cook or farmgirl; there's nothing like knowing that if dinner ends up cooking for an extra two or three hours that it's only going to taste even better.
And you don't even need to follow a recipe to make a fabulous meal. Once I simply browned a few packages of what our butcher had labeled boiling beef (from one of our own grass-fed steers) in olive oil, smothered them with lots and lots and lots of sliced onions, popped the lid on, and put the whole thing in the oven for about five hours. After devouring a large serving of the melt-in-your-mouth results I couldn't believe there wasn't more to this dish. Time and a good Dutch oven are the secret ingredients.
So why am I mentioning all this now? Because I just happened to notice that Amazon.com has the 7-quart Lodge enamel cast iron Dutch oven on sale for an amazingly low $99.99, with no tax and free shipping. The list price is $197.99, and Amazon.com normally sells it for $164.99.
I have no idea how long the sale will last. The other day I got all ready to tell you about how my favorite bread pans were on sale, and an hour later it was over.
It's definitely an investment, but this beautiful Dutch oven should last a lifetime. I know I plan to keep mine forever. It would also make a very special gift, and the gorgeous red couldn't be more festive. It's also available in a stunning dark blue and a bright apple green.
Last year the Lodge enamel cast iron Dutch ovens rated highest in a comparison of similar items in Fine Cooking magazine--including Le Creuset. It also received rave reviews on Amazon.com. I went with the larger 7-quart size and am really glad I did, but it does weigh about 17 pounds empty. (The 5-quart version is available at Amazon.com for $139.95, also with no tax and free shipping.)
And now back to our regularly scheduled crazy farm life programming.