THE IRISHMAN'S WIFE

5 ways to use a french oven all year round

Think your French oven is just for those warming Winter soups and stews? Think again. I'm sharing my top 5 ways to use a French oven ALL year round!

Let's get started...

01. Slow Cooker I have hacked the way most people slow-cook to fit in with my schedule. I treat my oven like an overnight slow-cooker.. Here's how...

I bake for my stew for 2 hours, then turn the oven off before bed, leaving the pot in the oven overnight. Because cast iron retains so much heat, the stew keeps cooking and slowly cools. Then just reheat the next day!

02. Deep Fryer Need to shallow fry some schnitzel or deep fry some squid? A cast-iron French is a better option than stainless steel when deep-frying as it is less susceptible to fast changes in temperature, making it easier to regulate and less likely for oil to get too hot & bubbling everywhere.

03. Think outside (the French Oven) Did you know that cast iron has amazing insulation properties? As well as retaining the heat, it also retains the cold. For your next outdoor BBQ, fill your cast iron casserole half-full with ice. It then becomes a great serving dish for your seafood. Pop your oysters or prawns on the bed of ice and pop on the lid. Instant outdoor fridge!

04. Rice Cooker My 20cm French oven makes the most beautiful, fluffy white rice using the absorption method. I usually let my (jasmine) rice and water come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for five minutes with the lid on. Then turn the heat off and leave to absorb for about 20 minutes. Perfect rice every time!

05. As a bread oven I love to bake bread in my French oven. After your final rise, turn the loaf onto floured baking paper. Pop into a French oven. Put on the lid and pop the whole thing into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 190 degrees Celcius and start baking. I bake my loaf for 40 minutes with the lid on, then a further 20 minutes without the lid. The slow start creates steam inside the pot, giving a beautiful high-domed loaf.

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