Dutch oven meals- big on flavors, easy on you

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Dutch oven cooking maximizes meat flavor and minimizes labor.

Once the Dutch oven is filled with the meat of choice, plus other ingredients, it’s simply a matter of throwing it into a slow oven and forgetting about it until the timer goes off.

These dishes are a great way to battle the chill evenings of winter. One of the best things about them is the scent that fills the kitchen while they’re cooking.

I use a cast-iron Dutch oven, but there are several highly rated Dutch ovens on the market made from other materials that produce excellent results.

Beef Burgundy


  •  4 lbs. beef stew meat
  • 4 c. French Burgundy wine
  • 1/3 c. olive oil divided
  • 8 slices lean bacon, chopped
  • 1 c. flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs. white mushrooms, halved
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 ribs celery, sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 c. beef broth
  • 2 boxes frozen pearl onions (10 oz. each)
  • 1/2 c. parsley, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 325°F

Combine the beef and the wine in a re-sealable plastic bag or in a container with a lid. Marinate the beef for 3-8 hours. Strain wine and reserve. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with two tablespoons of olive oil Add the bacon and cook until all the fat has rendered out and it is crispy. Remove bacon and let drain on paper towels.

Spread flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper. Coat the beef by dredging it in the flour. Shake extra flour off beef and drop pieces in, a handful at a time to brown in the oil, adding more olive oil as needed. After the meat is browned remove and set aside.

Add the mushrooms and bay leaves, and cook until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and garlic, and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Deglaze the pan with the reserved wine from marinating the beef, scraping up all the browned bits.

Add the beef stock, bring to a boil and cook for five minutes.

Add the browned beef back to the pan with the pearl onions and bring the pot up to a simmer. Put the Dutch oven into the oven for 1/1/2 to 2 hours.

The beef should be tender enough to pull apart with a fork. To thicken the sauce, cook until it’s the thickness you prefer. Remove the bay leaves, taste and adjust seasoning. Top with chopped bacon bits.

Dutch Oven Pork Roast

  • 6 lb. pork roast
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 c. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Peel and slice the garlic cloves.

With a small knife, pierce the top of the roast and force garlic slices into the cuts. Rub the roast with salt and pepper.

Place bay leaves in the bottom of a cast-iron Dutch oven. Set the roast on top of the bay leaves, fat side up.

Mix the vinegar and thyme in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour over the top of the roast.

Bake the roast for three hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 to 155 degrees F. Baste the roast with the drippings frequently during cooking.

Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing.



Caramelized Pork Loin

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and 1-inch diced
  • 1 (5-lb.) center cut, bone-out pork loin, butterflied
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. apple cider

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and diced apples and toss to coat. Sauté three minutes, without stirring to let the apples caramelize on one side. Toss and sauté another three minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Butterfly the tenderloin by cutting the beef lengthwise down the center to within 1/2-inch of the other side. Flatten with a meat mallet.

When the caramel apples have cooled spread the mixture down the center flap of pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the apple mixture down the center of the pork roast. Bring the two sides of the tenderloin up around filling to meet. Use butcher string and tie around the roll at one-inch intervals.

Season the stuffed and tied pork loin with salt and pepper. Sear the pork loin in vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, turning to get all the sides. Pour the apple cider over the pork. Roast uncovered for about one hour and 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 155 degrees F.

Remove from the oven and let rest, tented with foil, for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with pan juices.



Dutch Oven Chicken in White Wine

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 (4 lb.) chicken
  • 1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 (10.5 oz.) can chicken broth

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, and brown on both sides. Remove chicken to paper towels.

Spoon off chicken fat, and return pan to stove. Stir in mushrooms and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Remove to a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Season with garlic salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Stir in wine, and add to onion and mushrooms.

Return chicken to Dutch oven. Pour mushroom mixture and broth over chicken; cover, and cook over low heat until meat begins to fall off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours.