Cooking Techniques

Clay pot cooking

A stew recipe like Beef Stroganoff is great when it is cooked in a clay pot. Don't confuse this with the electric crock pot. Clay pot cooking means using an unglazed terra-cotta pot.

The reason it works so well is that the whole pot, top and bottom, is soaked in cold water before cooking. The terra-cotta is porous and absorbs the water. The result is a moister cooking environment for stews because the soaked pot gives off steam as it is heated. This is not at all limited to stews. Clay pots are great for roasting, making casseroles -- almost anything.

After filling the soaked pot with the item to be cooked place it in a cold oven rather than a preheated one. This helps to keep the pot moist longer. Cooking foods in clay pots at a higher temperature -- around 450°F.