On Dutch Oven (preheating and alternatives)

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by pjrocknlock, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. pjrocknlock

    pjrocknlock

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    Hi guys,

    An absolute beginner here. Tried googling for the answer but I couldn't find any, so here I am.

    I want to start learning how to cook and I'm using Tim Ferriss' 4 Hour Chef as a guide. The first recipe calls for the use of Dutch oven to cook Osso "Buko".

    He mentioned to preheat the dutch oven to 350 Fahrenheit. How do I do this? Put it on a stove top or into the oven? How do I check the temperature to make sure it's 350F?

    If I have a stock pot with a glass lid, can I use it to substitute Dutch oven?

    Thank you!

    PJ
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    It could be a typo/editing mistake.  Does he continue to cook in the oven or on the stove top? That would be the best guide to what he meant.

    From the way it's phrased, I think he means to heat the dutch oven  in an oven set to 350. Probably take about 20-30 minutes from cold, varying some by oven. 
     
  3. ordo

    ordo

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    Preheat on the stove. It surely is to sear the floured ossobuco. Latter on you can braise on the stove or in the oven. And yes, you can use your stock pot with the glass lid, but check there're not plastic or wooden parts.
     
  4. pjrocknlock

    pjrocknlock

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    Hi guys, thank you so much for your responses. I've read through the instructions and have "kind of" figured it out, but I'll type his instructions out here to clarify.

    "00. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place a PanSaver, if using, in the Dutch oven.

    01. Place the carrots in the pot to create a bed for the meat to rest on.

    02. Add the 4 lamb shank.

    ...

    08. Cover the pot, put it in the oven, and come back 2 hours later."

    So I'm guessing what he meant over here was to set the temperature of the oven to 350F, put the ingredients into the Dutch Oven (let's call it a pot here), then put the pot into the oven.

    Do you guys have any recommendations for an oven to buy too? He didn't include any recommendations in his book. Any specific areas I should look out for when purchasing an oven?

    Thank you.
     
  5. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I just posted in your thread re purchasing an oven.
    Paired with this thread I have a suggestion for you.

    You want to learn to cook.
    Kudos.....
    From what info I was able to gather from your posts you may need to take a few basic classes.
    No need to go all out and enroll in a culinary school.
    Look around in your area for some classes.
    There is an adult learning center that offers beginner cooking classes ( as well as a host of other hobbies)
    Don't have the catalog at hand but try LLU.com .
    I do know they offer learning experiences in lots of different cities.

    mimi

    edit... I always forget about YouTube .
    A wealth of information at the tip of your fingers!
    Any day, any time!

    m.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  6. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    I also posted in your oven thread.

    You are starting with what seems to me a terrible recipe if, indeed, you have posted it as written. I'm hoping there is some liquid added at some point before you put that pot in the oven. Usually before you put meat in to braise, you brown it well first.

    I'm not sure what he means by a pan-saver. I think if you are going to try to do this in a stock pot rather than a thicker walled cast iron dutch oven, you might want to lower the heat a bit and check it well before that 2 hours are up, especially if you are using a small oven. It might need more liquid than called for.
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    He might have meant a dutch oven insert. 

    He might have meant a flame tamer/diffuser disk, but that would have been used under the oven.
     
  8. french fries

    french fries

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    I'm not a fan of the method or the recipe either:
    My recommendations: 

    1. Don't use a pansaver. 

    2. Remove the shanks for the fridge 1 hr before cooking. 

    3. Season the shanks with S & P, and some dry spices if you want. 

    4. Slowly preheat your stock pot on the stovetop (on low-mid for about 3 or 4 minutes). 

    5. Add 2T oil in the stock pot. 

    6. Add the shanks and let them brown, turning them so they brown on all sides (or on as many sides as humanely possible). 

    7. Remove the shanks and add diced onions, season the onions with salt, turn with a wooden spoon to lift the stuck caramelized juices from the pot.

    8. Add carrots and cook for a few minutes. 

    9. Add shanks and white wine, cover with lid, turn heat to low and try to keep at a simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender. 

    That's a very basic recipe, I would probably add some spices or veggies to make the braising liquid a bit more exciting. 
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  9. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I wouldn't trust a food writer with a recipe called osso buko. Also, a recipe has to be clear for any cook, beginner and other cooks.

    You can certainly use a glass lid on a pot... or a pan. At least, that's what I do when making ossobuco. I made another one yesterday. I use a stainless large pan in which all the pieces of meat can be put next to each other, not on top of each other; very important when braising all kinds of food, that's why pans with a lid are more fit for braising. You can buy glass lids for any size of pot or pan. I have a few that fit a number of pots and pans.

    Look on todays "What's for dinner" thread for pictures of my ossobuco.
     
  10. pjrocknlock

    pjrocknlock

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    Hello, thanks for the various replies again. As I'm a complete novice (have never cooked before), other than basic local courses do you guys have any recommendations for any source of information that I can learn from? I settled with Tim Ferriss' book as it seems the easiest. Thank you.
     
  11. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    My favorites for this purpose are:

    Cooking by James Peterson. The older version of this is good too, Essentials of Cooking. This will give you technique and sample recipes using the technique. This is a great starting point because while you think you want just want to make food, learning the techniques that underlie food lets you improvise more on your own and get better faster. Use this book first. Then come back to this book at 6 months and 12 months. You'll learn something new each time as your own experience lets you understand what the book really has to offer.  Cook's Illustrated Cooking School is OK for this too. I think Peterson is better though. 

    In between your uses of Cooking, recipe books are good practice and help you explore different flavors and cuisines. The Joy of Cooking is a classic and covers lots of good things. If you want to try more specific cuisines we can make more detailed recommendations. I also like the Cook's Illustrated books at this point in someone learning cooking. The Cook's Illustrated books have well tested recipes and explain the different things they tried in building the recipe as well as useful explanations of why the recipe works the way it does. You'll pick up some food science and some good dishes. The latest edition of their The Best Recipe is a good start with Cook's Illustrated. 

    Then back to Petersons Cooking. This time ask yourself questions about why did he do it that way? What's the benefit of this pan or that knife or this much heat, or whatever thing he's doing. Try to explain it to yourself.

    After that, get more cuisine specific. Italian, Greek, Middle East, China, India, Thai. Whatever cuisine appeals to you. i do encourage you to look at the classic continental cuisines of Europe. Most of the technique that Peterson discusses arose from these cuisines. While Asian cuisine does a lot of the same kinds of things, they also do some things quite differently. 
     
  12. french fries

    french fries

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    I highly recommend rouxbe.com - pricey but well worth the price. 
     
  13. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Ditch the Tim Ferriss. He is not a cookbook writer, a cook or, even, a knowledgeable food writer. He is a food supplement entrepreneur, an angel investor, a tech consultant and a self-styled  lifestyle guru who has written facile books on living the life of the wealthy while only working 4 hours a week, building your body on 4 hours of exercise a week, etc. He knows nothing of value on food or cooking. I sell books for a living. I would never recommend this book to anyone.

    James Peterson, as noted above, is very good.

    Joy of Cooking, if you are in the states, is an excellent basic book that will see you through both the first part of learning and will be used as a reference for the rest of your days. Go for the 75th Anniversary Edition, not the 1997 "revised" edition.
     
  14. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    This is my standard gift to kids going off to college, getting first apartment, 4H food and nutrition contest prizes.......


    mimi

    Good basic recipes and techniques.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  15. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Personally, just not a fan of Bittman's work. I've had way too many failures from his recipes and also dislike his writing style. 
     
  16. pjrocknlock

    pjrocknlock

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    Hello all, thanks for the input. I will check out James Peterson's books at the local library tomorrow.

    Sir, may I know if you've looked through the 4 hour chef? Being a novice myself I cannot comment on the quality of 4 hour chef, but I feel that his other books are misunderstood to a certain degree, largely because of the way he overhyped and marketed his products. Would like to know your thoughts thank you.
     
  17. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I have read more than a few reviews along those same lines, phatch.
    But when there are a zillion reviews on something I expect to come across some bad in with the good.
    The kids always give me glowing reports.
    They esp like having recipes that can be easily changed into another dish with the addition of a few ingredients.
    Maybe I will borrow my daughter's copy and give it a whirl.
    What recipes did you have problems with?
    May have to find a new "first" cookbook to gift.

    mimi
     
  18. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    I agree about Bittman. As a reference book its pretty lacking.
     
  19. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Ok.
    I get it.
    Most of these kids know their way around a pit (they are Texans after all lol) and can run a toaster.
    Obviously their moms have taught them good manners re gifts.
    Have pity on me and supply a few titles.
    Under $50........

    mimi
     
  20. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    A lot of my Bittman bias comes from a book about 20 years ago. It was yellow and had Minimalist in big letters. This doesn't match anything I can find on Amazon right now. This was supposed to be simple, fast great dishes, usually with a minimum of ingredients (5 seems to ring a bell in my memory, though water, oil, salt and pepper didn't count). It was fairly early in my cooking and I had seen how simplicity treated right could be great. But this wasn't it.

    Then he made it to PBS and I became more disappointed. Bitman takes on America's Great Chef's. He was humiliated in episode after episode where his dishes were just lame. Then Best Recipes of the World there's a particularly egregious episode with Mario Batali. They're out in the Italian countryside to cook beef steak florentine. Batali does the classic thing with olive oil, lemon and fresh herbs, rosemary as I recall. Simple, Italian, great flavors. (Though he totally botches the beans in a flask--no clue how to get them out. My guess is he hadn't ever done it before and thought it would be simpler than it was).

    Bittman steps up to the grill and does this, even keeping the Bisteca Fiorentina label.
    Notice it's not even seasoned before cooking except with olive oil. Which isn't going to do much against the high heat of the fire. And Batali wasn't that impressed. Bittman had to keep coaching him to say how good it was. I use soy on my steaks routinely. I like it. But this is Bisteca Fiorentina wer're talking about. it's a classic defined dish. Bittman exhibits low cluefulness in much of his cooking when you get right down to it.

    Or the Batali/Bittman/Paltrow series. The episodes with Bittman are all about Bittman and they drag. The episodes with just Paltrow and Batali are all about the food and cooking.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017