Just about anyone who has experience with a Dutch oven will say that there is no going back to other types cooking vessels once you’ve tried this method.
Their reasoning is understandable, since there are many advantages to Dutch oven cooking, which dates back hundreds of years. One is the way in which the food is prepared. With a Dutch oven, the food is cooked uniformly, and because of the slowness of the process, the food is prepared so that optimum tenderness is achieved.
Dutch ovens, which usually are made out of cast iron, can be used to prepare main dishes, side vegetable dishes, breads as well as the most decadent of desserts.
My favorite use for our trusty cast-iron Dutch oven is to cook meats and seafood, including venison, elk, buffalo and pork roasts, chickens (regular and smoked), salmon and halibut.
Most recently, I made some Dutch oven-barbecued pork chops, baked with a homemade spiced barbecue sauce. It made for an excellent weeknight meal when combined with baked potatoes and some whole-kernel corn.
Barbecued Baked Pork Chops
4 pork chops, trimmed of fat
2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
6 tablspoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic and celery and saute until translucent. Add remaining ingredients except pork chops. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add pork chops, cover and pot oven in preheated oven. Bake for 2 to 3 hours until tender. Remove pot from oven. Take meat from the bones and return to oven for another 10 to 20 minutes.
Serve with potatoes (baked or mashed) and whole-kernel corn.