Le Creuset – Lasts a Lifetime

Round French Oven


When we reviewed The Brisket Book by Stephanie Pierson, we discovered her love affair with both Brisket and Le Creuset. So, we decided to look into this nearly 90 year old company. And, yes, it was love at first use.

Occasionally we discover a kitchen tool, kitchen cookware, or a kitchen appliance which is pricey but worth the investment, even when substantial. That is the case with our Cuisinart Food processor and our Kitchenaid mixer. And, now, that is how we feel about our superb new kitchen assistant, our Le Creuset Round 7 1/4 quart French Oven.

In 1925 Armand Desaegher, a casting specialist, and Octave Aubecq, an enameling expert, recognized an opportunity to improve the versatility of cast iron cookware by coating it in a porcelain enamel glaze. Their foundry was opened in  Fresnoy-le-Grand, France, a location chosen due to the accessibility  of iron, coke, and sand needed for their process. That year their new company, Le Creuset, produced the first cocotte, or French oven, laying the foundation for what is now an extensive range of enameled cast iron cookware and kitchen utensils. That first piece was created in the signature Le Creuset color, Flame.

After an early expansion of their product range, the second world war brought troubled times. During the war years the company focused  on continually improving their product, and in the 1950’s began purchasing other companies and working with designer Raymond Loewy, the designer of the Coca Cola bottle.  A United States subsidiary was begun in South Carolina in 1974.

Le Creuset pieces are associated with the finest French style and cuisine. The company has become global by embracing local cooking trends with pieces such as the cast iron wok, an Indian karahi dish, a Japanese sukiyaki pan, an Italian risotto pot, and a Moroccan tagine.

Although some production processes have been modernized—their cast iron is still manufactured in the original foundry, with each piece passing through the hands of 15 skilled artisans to ensure flawless perfection. Integrating quality, authenticity, originality and innovation—Le Creuset maintains a connection to its heritage. To this day, it is passed on from generation to generation as a cherished kitchen tool.

Our Le Creuset Experience:

We tested the 7 1/4 quart round French oven.  It is an ideal choice for low and slow one dish cooking. We made our Coq au Vin recipe. We sautéed the basics of the recipe in the casserole, and then added the ingredients for the entire dish. How convenient – to create the dishes primarily in one easy to clean pot. The features of even heat distribution and moisture retention were perfect for these recipes. The tightly fitted lid retains the heat.  It distributes heat evenly, locks in moisture for a slow cooking process, offering wide-ranging versatility.  The casserole is stovetop friendly, oven friendly, and lovely enough to bring right to the table.  In fact, when we re-heated our chicken and then placed it on the blech (warming tray) one hour before Shabbos, it was hot and delicious when serving time arrived.  And, we served it family style right at the table! We also made our Beef Bourgignon, or should we say our kosher rendition of Julia's fabulous recipe, in the Le Creuset. It was  succulent and moist, every bite dripping with rich flavor. We could hardly stop eating! Among the other dishes that are ideal for the Le Creuset are Braised Beef Brisket, Turkey Chili, Turkey Gumbo, Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup, and more.

The Le Creuset French oven is dishwasher safe and has a Lifetime Warranty. Buy it once, and pass it on to the next generation. It is enduring, functional, and adds to the enjoyment and practicality of cooking.

For more information, visit LeCreuset.com. The Le Creuset 7 1/4 quart round French oven is available on Amazon.com. The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes is available on Amazon.com.

November 21, 2011