Cooking With Chef Sian: Pass The Dutchie

“Pass The Dutchie”

For a country gal like myself those words are more than just the title to a catchy reggae tune. They are words to live by.  Countless times I have heard and said  ‘pass the dutchie’ while on a quest to whip up something or another. As of this writing I own 5 dutchies not counting the cast iron ones, in varying sizes. In my defense I’m  old-fashioned way so for tough to cook dishes like curry goat and braised oxtails a varied selection of Dutch pots are a must in my line of work.

 

Cast iron ‘pots’ come in various shapes and sizes so they get their own classification in my kitchen.  Dutch ovens are round vessels with a tight fitting lid. Dutchie is a colloquialism for the very versatile, world famous Dutch oven aka Dutch Pot. Loved by cooks, this one included, the world over a good dutchie is a prized possession. A good Dutchie with its thick heavy sides and a fitted lid is an essential tool for any serious Caribbean cook.

Because their thick heavy walls conduct heat better and burn food less easily. Dutch pots are an ideal vessel for cooking the rich stew like soups that are popular with Caribbean islanders.

What’s The Big Deal

Dutch Pots are named for the 17th century process, originated by the Dutch of casting these heavy duty pots with the aid of sand to create a smoother finish.  These pots are ideal for any temperature or cooking method. Versatile and durable; Dutchies can be used for cooking, braising, frying, roasting and baking. I have used mine to cook everything including lasagna over an outdoor woodfire in Jamaica.  Over the years the name Dutch oven has evolved to include almost any large non-stick aluminum, oven-safe pot of a certain shape.

Dutch Oven Lasagna
After waiting almost 2 months for my Dutch pots to arrive I felt that a special meal was warranted. So I splurged on $9 USD a pound cheese(s) and ground chicken to make Lasagna in Jamaica.

A Pot By Many Other Names

Dutch Ovens go by many other names South Africans have a small round- bellied Potjie. Eastern Europeans and Asians have the Chugunok which is similar in appearance to a gig without the pointy tip. and Australians have a the bedourie  also called a camp oven. Probably the most famous non- Dutch Dutchie is the very excellent French cooking vessels Le Creuset. Dutch Ovens can be quite costly, especially a good quality one. Though rare, you can sometimes get lucky and find good Dutchies and other quality cookware in thrift stores. Regardless of your budget and taste a good quality Dutchie should be a thought of as a small investment. I am confident you’ll agree that it’s worth every penny. 

Le Creuset
F&W

 

 

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