|Leftovers in the fridge|
This is a Schlemmertopf, which is kind of like a Romertopf. Steve came to our marriage with his Romertopf, but I traded my buddy Dave for his Schlemmertopf. The reason I traded it is that the Schlemertopf has a glazed bottom; the Romertopf bottom is just like the top: porous terra-cotta. You can't use soap to clean a Romertopf because the terra-cotta would soak it into its pores, and then exude soap into your food while it cooked. Well, I kind of like to use soap when I do dishes, so I traded for the glazed bottom so I could at least wash the bottom with a little soap.
To use a Schlemmertopf, you soak the lid in a sink full of water for ten to fifteen minutes. (For a Romertopf, you soak both the top and the bottom.) While the top is soaking, you prepare your meat for cooking in the bottom. You can find books with recipes for them specifically, but most have you place your meat in the bottom and the veg around. For my chicken, which was four and a quarter pounds, I placed a peeled onion cut into sixths on the bottom, then the chicken, which I dusted pretty liberally with a seasoning salt and pepper, and then placed the carrots and celeriac all around the chicken.
Then after the top has soaked for fifteen minutes, it goes on the bottom and into a cold oven. It's really important to start with a cold oven so you don't crack your pot. After it's in, then you set the oven temperature- for the chicken, 350F. An hour and a half later, it was really nicely done; the juices were running clear, and when we sat down to eat it, the chicken was nice and tender and still very juicy. I didn't add any water, but there was a nice, clear broth which I'm going to assume was a result of the water in the lid. All the broth needed was a little more salt, but really the whole dinner was a nice change.
This was the first time that I've braved the Schlemmertopf, and it made such a nice dinner, I'll be using it more often. I like easy, one pot dinners. Especially if they taste good.