This Romertopf or as it is commonly known 'chicken brick' is an old-style clay pot for cooking meat in. It used to be quite hard to get a few years ago, but more recently it has become much more accessible and you can buy this one or variations on it from the likes of Lakeland and Amazon.
Essentially it is a terracotta coloured pot with two haves that fit onto each other. It is quite heavy and has various grooves and etchings in it.
It comes in a variety of different sizes and styles
To use you must beforehand soak for 20 minutes in a bowl of cold water in order to get the 'brick' ready for cooking.
We have used ours for any roast meat that you can think of as long as it fits inside the dish. For example for roast chicken what we do is cut up celery, onion, carrot, coat them in oil and then stick the meat on top of this vegetable season and coast the meat in oil. This enables the juices from the meat and veg to be made into gravy. It takes the same amount of time to cook via this method as any conventional roasting as well as any resting time.
Whilst I personally feel you get the biggest benefit out of it when it comes to using it for meat, there are a lot of other things that it is good for including various stews and even baking vegetables and side dishes such as potatoes. The Romertopf website has some really great ideas for this. The versatility of this implement means that it is particularly useful if you only have a limited number of pots and pans in your house.
In my opinion this method is pretty simplistic but really makes the meat incredibly juicy and tender. I am unlikely to use any other method for this now.
After cooking, you must remember that the chicken brick cannot be cleaned with detergent due to the materials used. It can only be cleaned with warm water and you must also not be too hard with the scrubbing so as to not too badly damage the surface. This may be offputtting to some but to be honest with you it is not really an issue, any foot spatter comes off quite easily and also any staining adds to the rustic character of the implement rather than looking too bad.
We have had ours for about 5 years now and if anything happened to it we would definitely get another one right away. The way that it cooks the meat to be so juicy, tender and more succulent - it is a revelation and I cannot imagine using other implement to roast meat.
The dish itself is quite heavy and has ridges rather than handles so I think if you had hand problems, you may not find it very easy to use with oven gloves when it comes to lifting in and out.
Also, although it is pretty hefty and thick, there is definitely a risk of breaking it or at least one of the halves if it gets dropped. The gravy it makes is particularly good and may even get something good out of vegetables that are otherwise past their best.
To be shallow, it also looks quite good. The harking back to an older way of cooking is pleasantly rustic and when I have used it in front of other people they have been quite intrigued by it as well as really impressed by the texture and flavour of the food it produces.
Starting pricewise at around £30 it is obviously more of an investment purchase but as opposed to tins and trays for around that price this is much better. If looked after carefully then it should last almost indefinitely, for instance I know that my mother-in-law has had hers for donkeys years.
If you like your roast dinners and would like to find a new and easy way of getting the best out of your meat at all times, I think you should definitely consider this.
Roemertopf Classic Standard clay bakeware first came onto the market in 1967. This is a new cooking method which works by steaming the food and allowing it to braise in it's own juices, which is the healthiest way to prepare meals without using additional fat.
This way of baking food in the oven is fat free and healthier.
You can buy these Roemertopf Classic Standard baking dishes from Amazon for £32.50 and in our local town in the kitchen utensil shop they caost £36.50, you can also go to the Roemertopf web site and order online.
The dishes are made of strong clay and the browny red colour shows the in the clay and the traditional pots are made from natural clay found only in a certain region of Germany.
It looks very country kitchen to me. I love the style and design of the dishes which also come in various sizes and can be used for various foods to cook.
This standard classic is used for cooking meats and fish, you can just pop the meat or fish into the dish with the vegetables add a little water and leave it in the oven on a low heat to slowly release the juices from the meat and cook the food fright through giving it the full flavour that you sometimes lose with covering meat in vegetable oil, or fat when cooking. It cooks joints of meat slowly and whole chickens, as well as fish dishes.
Although a little expensive there's nothing better than being abe to prepare a meal and leave it to cook slowly whilst you get on with the gardening or other household chores, without having to worry that it's going to burn.
The dishes are thick and strong and wash easily, they do not stain and are decorated with a pattern on the outside and on the lid.
The lids sit snuggly on top without slipping and you can pop them in the oven and they fit on the oven shelf nicely, they have ridges on the bottom so you can remove them from the oven with one hand if you like, but you have to wear an oven glove for this as they hold the heat.
Once the dish is out of the oven, you can bring it to the table for everyone to dig into.
I like this idea of the family eating together round a pot, there's something rustic about it. It feels right.
The Roemertopf Classic comes in four different ranges, classic, large, maxi and spit roast. The classic has a small and a standard size. The small model is for for 2-4 persons and holds 1.5 Kgs meat. This dish is suitable for meat and poultry.
The standard size is for 2-6 persons and it holds up to 2.5 Kgs meat. This is also suitable for meat and poultry.
I think this is a good healthy convenient way to cook your food, nice and slowly in the oven with the added bonus of being able to bring the dish to the table once the food is ready. I like the tenderness of the meat when it's cooked and the flavour can be tasted more than convential cooking.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to you.