I used to cook in a cast iron french oven pot all the time. It was over 35 years old, bright bright orange and oh so heavy. I loved cooking in it and loved that it was a little piece of my husbands history. It had belonged to his mum and she had lovingly used it for a long long time, and then she gave it to him. 
I used it often and loved it. Loved the feel of it, loved how it cooked. But it was starting to see better days and after another couple of years we had to let it go. 

I had almost forgotten how much I loved having a cast iron french oven until the other day when I used this gorgeous Chausseur Cast Iron french oven to cook a beautiful pot roast for my family. I am loving this colour a lot! It is called Nordic and the photo at the kitchenware direct website doesn’t do it justice, it’s a gorgeous grey/blue colour! You can see all their other colours here.

There’s something about cooking and enjoying a roast on the weekend with your family, isn’t there? Something lovely and homely and warm. It’s just what I felt like cooking for my family last Sunday and I thought it would be perfect for our Chausseur’s maiden use. 

Our day was kind of like one of those fairy tale days {trust me, they are not always like this!} where we headed out to the farmers market after breakfast and enjoyed the morning buying some fresh fruit and vegetables while sipping on a hot chocolate, browsing the stalls that sold honey, flowers, potted herbs, home made jams and preserves and organic baked delights where I picked up an organic sourdough loaf I knew would be perfect with dinner.

And then in the afternoon after a lazy lunch and some outside play, I began to prepare dinner for my family by chopping all the vegetables and getting our new chasseur pot out to cook our pot roast in. 

This is a very simple recipe and it is one of my favourites {and one of my hubby’s favourites, too}
I love starting a meal on the stove and then being able to pop the same pot into the oven for a few hours to slowly cook away while you enjoy the rest of your afternoon. 

I have included the ingredients and full recipe in full at the bottom of the post.

I started off by prepping the beef and veggies and then melting some butter in the pot.

I then added the seasoned beef to the pot to brown on all sides.

Then I put the beef aside and added a little more butter to the pot and a couple of chopped onions to saute for a few minutes. 

And then the garlic, celery and carrot was added to the pot and cooked for 5 or so minutes. 

I then added a splash of red wine {you could do more if you like a more red wine flavour – I don’t personally love the taste but I do find it misses something when I don’t add this little splash}, 1/2  a cup of water and a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. 
It’s already smelling pretty good here! I just let it simmer for a little until the alcohol is cooked out and the liquid has about halved.

Then I added some flavour with bay leaves {dried from our very own garden} and parsley {maybe a hint of rosemary too if you like it}

Then I added the stock as well as the browned beef roast back to the pot and let it simmer uncovered for a little while before popping the lid on.

I then placed the covered cast iron pot into my 150C preheated oven and walked away for 3 hours. 
It will braise in the liquid in the pot and become deliciously tender and flavourful. The smell was just amazing, it has been such a long time since I have cooked something that smelled so good :o}

While the roast was cooking, we played in the garden with the kids, came in and washed up, read books on the couch and then the kids moved on to colouring while hubby and I had a cup of tea. Seriously, it was a fairy tale day! Don’t you love days like that? 
And who can complain about a gorgeous one pot dinner? This was ready for us after 3 hours of slowly bubbling away in the oven. 
It’s not the best photo – by this time I’d lost all the lovely afternoon light since the sun is setting so early these days. But I’m not complaining! I love autumn! 
And the difference between a traditional roast and pot roasting in a cast iron french oven? Well the beef wasn’t dry for starters! And there was no mess in the oven to clean up :o} But mostly the flavours are just amazing! 
You might be wondering how difficult cleaning this pot was after it had a roast bubbling away in it for hours? Can I honestly tell you it was easy breezy! Just a quick wipe with a soft sponge and some hot soapy water and it was clean. Can’t beat that!
We enjoyed our roast with some gorgeous organic sourdough bread and steamed veggies. Perfect winter Sunday night meal and for me, the perfect end to a very good day.

Winter Warming Pot Roast

2 Tb butter
1.5kg beef roast {we used topside}
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 splash of red wine
1/2 cup of water
2 cups of stock 
{beef or veg, I used 1 heaped Tbs of home made veg concentrate mixed with 2 cups boiling water}
2 bay leaves
some fresh parsley or 1-2 tsp dried parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper

To cook:
1) Preheat your oven to 150 C
2) Melt 1 Tbs butter in the pot over high heat and sprinkle freshly ground pepper all over the beef
3) Brown the beef on all sides in the pan and then put aside on a plate
4) Lower the heat and add a little more butter to the pan then add the onions and saute until golden
5) Add the garlic and stir for a minute
6) Add the carrot and celery and cook for about 3-4 minutes
7) Add a splash of wine and the apple cider vinegar along with 1/2 a cup of water and simmer until the liquid reduces by about half (about 4-5 minutes). Stir often.
8) Add the stock, bay leaves and parsley to the pot and then return the beef
9) Bring to a simmer and then cover and transfer the pot into the hot oven
10) Cook for about 3 hours until beef is soft and tender
11) When ready, remove the beef from the oven and allow to rest in the post uncovered for 15 minutes before carving
12) Carve beef into slices and serve with the liquid and veggies from the pot – yummy with mashed potato or soaked up with a good sourdough bread.

The very lovely people at Kitchenware Direct also have a special Mother’s Day surprise for a lovely a little delightful reader! How does a $50 voucher towards your own cast iron french oven {or anything else in their shop in fact!} sound!? 
Entering is easy – just head on over to Kitchenware Direct and browse their shop and then come back and leave a comment on this post telling me what you’d spend your $50 voucher on and why :o}

Giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
Giveaway is open now (Tuesday 7 May 2013) and ends at midnight (WST) Sunday 12 May 2013. The winner will be announced on this post and on facebook on Monday 13 May 2013 and will have 5 days to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen.
Voucher is sent directly from Kitchenware Direct and is not redeemable for cash.



Disclosure: I received a Chasseur Cast Iron French Oven to review and keep from Kitchenware Direct. All opinions expressed are my own and shared honestly. Photos and recipe are my own.