Product Type: Raymond Blanc Kitchenware
Newest Review: ... 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 ... more
The best way to roast?
Roemertopf Classic Standard
Member Name: cerys82
Roemertopf Classic Standard
Advantages: Makes meat really tasty
Disadvantages: not cheap to purchase
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.
Summary: Wouldn't be without mine
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