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General Cooking (rec.food.cooking) For general food and cooking discussion. Foods of all kinds, food procurement, cooking methods and techniques, eating, etc.

Romertopf clay pot technique?



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2007, 10:05 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Posts: 20
Default Romertopf clay pot technique?

On eBay, acquired a used medium-sized classic Romertopf, about 2 1/2
qt, 12" long by 6" tall. Soaked the clay dish before using, there are
no ceramic chips or cracks and appeared lightly used.
http://www.roemertopf.de/english/roe...ik/klassik.htm

After seasoning it with a hour long bake with a third filled with
water, half onion, chili, and spices at 350F. Thought that I heard a
ceramic clank but couldn't determine anything wrong. Then, I tried real
food.

After searching and reading many Romertopf recipes on this NG and the
Romertopf USA and German website. Noticed that this clay pot is a
"Reco" version that is made in Mexico. Also read that that the lid
needs to be centered on the pot so that steam can escape properly.

http://www.roemertopf.de/english/vor...roemertopf.htm

"The perfect technique RÖMERTOPF® offers the perfect technique for
cooking, making it easier to do. In time and with use, you will learn
to appreciate RÖMERTOPF® advantages. The wide plate guarantees a
solid foundation when cooking.

The pot and cover have a wide edge and lay securely on top of one
another which means that the cover can't fall off. The two - four
millimeter distance between the top and bottompieces is not a mistake
but rather serves to regulate the pressure in the closed pot which
allows excess steam to escape. The integrated grips are also practical.
The pot can be held securely and opened easily."

I tried it with a beef shank, onions, carrots, celery and spices. Added
no water because desired a roast-like finish. Baked from cold oven at
425F for 2 hours. Again after about an hour, I heard a loud clank, but
ignored it as thinking that it came from the outdoors.

After a couple hours, looked in oven and saw that lid was tilted off
the pot and the food was ruined. Obviously steam had blown the lid off.

Is this common and how to prevent? Did not read of any tip or instance
this happening. Or is this Mexican version a design defect and this is
the reason the original buyer got rid of it?
http://www.claybakers.org/romertopf.html Regards, PLA

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2007, 11:57 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Posts: 3,271
Default Romertopf clay pot technique?

Phil wrote:

After a couple hours, looked in oven and saw that lid was tilted off
the pot and the food was ruined. Obviously steam had blown the lid off.

Is this common and how to prevent? Did not read of any tip or instance
this happening. Or is this Mexican version a design defect and this is
the reason the original buyer got rid of it?


This is certainly most unusual. Never happened with my Römertopf,
anyway. Also, at the temperatures suggested, the amount of steam should
not normally be enough to lift the lid. There are even some recipes,
notably the Alsatian baeckeofe, using earthenware pots that call for the
lid to be not only tightly-fitting, but also for sealing it hermetically
with flour and water paste.

Victor
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2007, 09:23 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Posts: 20
Default Romertopf clay pot technique?

Victor Sack wrote:
Phil wrote:

After a couple hours, looked in oven and saw that lid was tilted off
the pot and the food was ruined. Obviously steam had blown the lid off.

[snip]

This is certainly most unusual. Never happened with my Römertopf,
anyway. Also, at the temperatures suggested, the amount of steam should

[snip]

Might of solved problem by raising pot in oven a notch. Using standard
30" Amana electric range and oven. After two 425F bake cycles with lid
about 1 inch from the top broiler element, have not experienced the lid
blown off by steam. Lining the pot with large collard leaves sure make
cleanup easier.

Would like meat shanks in Romertopf. Have any favorite German style
recipes? Thanks, PLA

  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2007, 11:43 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Posts: 3,271
Default Romertopf clay pot technique?

Phil wrote:

Would like meat shanks in Romertopf. Have any favorite German style
recipes? Thanks, PLA


There is a nice Kalbshaxe recipe at the Römertopf Web site. See the
English translation at
http://www.roemertopf.de/english/rezepte_datenbank2.php?id=93.

Victor
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2007, 07:27 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Posts: 20
Default Romertopf clay pot technique?

Victor Sack wrote:
Phil wrote:

Would like meat shanks in Romertopf. Have any favorite German style
recipes? Thanks, PLA


There is a nice Kalbshaxe recipe at the Römertopf Web site. See the
English translation at
http://www.roemertopf.de/english/rezepte_datenbank2.php?id=93.


Hi Victor,

I did read your suggested recipe before; but I didn't try it since it
seemed to have more complex cooking steps than seem to be needed for my
first trials. I also read an epinion review authored by a
German-American; everthing she described was cooking in automatic by
Reco / Romertopf ;-)

The Kalbshaxe recipe used 1 cup white wine and comment to baste at 1/2
hr intervals while baking at 500F for 2 1/2 hrs. This is basteing 4
times in a very hot oven.

Isn't this a little excessive handling since I keep reading that the
clay pot is supposed to do this for you?

Interested in your personal experience cooking with shanks in a
Romertopf?

-----

I also read the interesting Roast Leg of Pork, Schweinshaxe, roasted
recipe which appears to leave out an important detail.

My questions: 1) what oven temperature? for the 2 hr bake with 1 cup of
stock and vinegar. Is no basteing required because pork shanks have
more fat?

http://www.roemertopf.de/english/rez...ank2.php?id=65

http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG

-----

What sized Romertopf should you use to cook shanks? I have a Reco
medium-sized #111, which has a pot capacity of about 2 1/2 qts (l). I'm
wondering if this is too small and has less steaming capacity?

-----

Using the Schweinshaxe recipe as a model, I tried cooking buffalo
(American bison) shank and got a very dry, shrunken meat. I didn't use
any added liquid. Was this a critical mistake? I used 425F for 2 hours.

I read that the general rule of +100F for a clay pot when converting
traditional roasting recipes. But don't you think that a lower
temperature would be better, especially with buffalo, which cooks fast
like veal? Thanks, PLA

  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2007, 11:45 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Posts: 3,271
Default Romertopf clay pot technique?

Phil wrote:

Victor Sack wrote:

There is a nice Kalbshaxe recipe at the Römertopf Web site. See the
English translation at
http://www.roemertopf.de/english/rezepte_datenbank2.php?id=93.


I did read your suggested recipe before; but I didn't try it since it
seemed to have more complex cooking steps than seem to be needed for my
first trials. I also read an epinion review authored by a
German-American; everthing she described was cooking in automatic by
Reco / Romertopf ;-)


To a certain extent, she is right, but then it is true of a lot of stew
recipes, not just those made in clay pots. However, clay pot that have
been soaked are especially forgiving.

The Kalbshaxe recipe used 1 cup white wine and comment to baste at 1/2
hr intervals while baking at 500F for 2 1/2 hrs. This is basteing 4
times in a very hot oven.


The recipe, though indeed right, is not very well written. The Haxe is
actually supposed to be cooked in the Römertopf at the "usual"
temperature, while being basted at 1/2 intervals. It is then removed
from the Römertopf, transfered to a roasting tray and cooked for the
last 10 minutes at 500°F to allow the crust to develop.

Isn't this a little excessive handling since I keep reading that the
clay pot is supposed to do this for you?

Interested in your personal experience cooking with shanks in a
Romertopf?


Myself, I usually do not bother with basting when using a Römertopf,
even if the recipe calls for such, opting instead for soaking the pot
for a long time, sometimes for up to an hour. I would do the same thing
with the above recipe, but that's just me. I am of the opinion that if
one is cooking an unfamiliar dish, or using an unfamiliar method, one
should generally try a supposedly reliable recipe the way it is written
first, before making adjustments.

I would make the Haxe the following way: soak the Römertopf for 45-60
minutes; season the Haxe generously with salt and pepper and put it in
the pot together with whole peeled small onions or shalots, some very
small whole peeled potatoes (called Drillinge in Germany), sliced leek
(white only), cubed celery root, a small sliced carrot, (also optionally
a couple of tomatoes, quartered), a bunch of parsley, and some fresh
thyme. I would then cook it in the closed Römertopf at about 160-180°C
for about 45 minutes. I would then remove the lid, paint the Haxe with
butter and let it get browned under the broiler element. Alternatively,
I would brown the Haxe in a pan *before* putting it in the Römertopf.

Victor
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 07-01-2007, 04:14 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Posts: 20
Default Romertopf clay pot technique?

Victor Sack wrote:
Phil wrote:

Victor Sack wrote:

[snip]
I would make the Haxe the following way: soak the Römertopf for 45-60

[snip]
thyme. I would then cook it in the closed Römertopf at about 160-180°C
for about 45 minutes. I would then remove the lid, paint the Haxe with

[snip]

Hi Victor,

No cup of wine or stock? Your time and temperature in the oven is
radically different than the Roemertopf recipes.

From my experience, I agree with you, about 325F, 163C for 15 min per

pound, or fairly typical in open pan roasting of a 3lb, 1.4kg shank.

Not 425F at 30 min per pound, which renders shanks over-cooked.
Thanks, PLA

  #8 (permalink)  
Old 07-01-2007, 11:54 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Posts: 3,271
Default Romertopf clay pot technique?

Phil wrote:

No cup of wine or stock?


No, as there is enough steam from the Römertopf that has been soaked for
such a long time. Also, the vegetables and the Haxe itself provide
quite a bit of liquid. The result is a combination of steaming and
roasting (and by implication also stewing). However, if you wish to add
some more of the stewing component, by all means consider adding some
water, stock, or wine.

Your time and temperature in the oven is
radically different than the Roemertopf recipes.


Römertopf can be basically used the same way as any other pot,
temperature-wise, even for cooking at 200°F or less.

From my experience, I agree with you, about 325F, 163C for 15 min per

pound, or fairly typical in open pan roasting of a 3lb, 1.4kg shank.

Not 425F at 30 min per pound, which renders shanks over-cooked.


All that moisture in the Römertopf provides a lot of moderating
influence. Besides, that cup of wine makes its own moderating
contribution, I think. Also, remember that the total time in that
recipe assumes putting the Römertopf in the cold oven. I do not think
the Haxe will be overcooked.

BTW, I forgot to mention that in my recipe the time is counted from the
point of reaching the cooking temperature, thus adding some 10-15
minutes to the total... sorry 'bout that.

Victor
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-01-2007, 11:00 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Posts: 20
Default Romertopf clay pot technique?

Victor Sack wrote:
Phil wrote:

No cup of wine or stock?

[snip]

BTW, I forgot to mention that in my recipe the time is counted from the
point of reaching the cooking temperature, thus adding some 10-15
minutes to the total... sorry 'bout that.


Hi Victor and All,

Thanks for your words of wisdom.

I was able to cook my first successful Romertopf dish, a pork shoulder
roast.

I tried to error on the undercooked side as I didn't want a repeat of
charred meat. Used a much lower and longer cooking cycle; 350F (175C)
for two hours (covered) and 1/2 hour uncovered for a 3.8 lb (1.75 kg)
shoulder roast with bone in (40 min per pound).

I used 2 cups sliced orange peel to line the bottom pot and added half
an onion, a stalk of celery and a sliced carrot. Splashed on about 1/2
cup of cooking wine. Put the roast fat side up in a well soaked
medium-sized Classic Romertopf #111.

I placed that clay pot in the highest rack position in a standard
electric oven so that the lid would not come flying off due to
excessive steam pressure.

It came out just slightly undercooked but nicely browned, but a bit on
the dry side (this may because the cut of pork did not have much fat
marbling, just on the top surface). The sliced ends of the roast came
out just fine and had a nice contasting bitter-orange flavor.

-----

I believe that Romertopf recipes on their website result in overcooked
dishes. I'd highly recommend that someone, preferrably a German,
critically edit their English translations as far as their cooking
cycles.

I replyed to their website contact page with the
typical "no reply" in over 2 weeks.

Victor, thanks again for your personal recipe. You've made my day!
Regards, PLA

 




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