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How To Use Your Dutch Oven To Cook Meat And Veggies At The Same Time

Beef and vegetables in a Dutch oven
Beef and vegetables in a Dutch oven - Nadia Nice/Shutterstock

A Dutch oven, especially an enamel-coated cast-iron one that will last years, is an essential kitchen tool for any home cook. They have so many uses, from cooking soups and stews to roasting meats like beef tenderloin or a whole chicken. Another perk is that most Dutch ovens can be transferred from the stovetop to the oven so you can go from braising to roasting. Its lid also comes in handy, letting you cover food to let it roast slowly, which is why you should take advantage of it to cook meat and vegetables at the same time.

Why? When you place the lid on the Dutch oven, it traps the steam from the evaporating liquids inside. The result is succulent, slow-roasted meat, with tender vegetables and flavorful juice at the bottom. (It's a bit like how you'd use a slow cooker.) Most of the pots can handle at least a couple of quarts in volume anyway, so why not throw the vegetables into the bottom of the pan to use all of its space? It's an easy way to cook an entire meal in just one pan — meaning less mess to clean up for you, and a delicious meal for your friends and family.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

Cooking Meat And Veggies Togther In A Dutch Oven

Whole chicken and vegetables in Dutch oven
Whole chicken and vegetables in Dutch oven - Robyn Mackenzie/Shutterstock

Which ingredients to pick for cooking meat and vegetables together in the Dutch oven is your choice. But, here are a few of our recommendations. A no-brainer is to make a classic pot roast with carrots, onions, and potatoes for a comforting dinner any night of the week. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, and put them in the bottom of the Dutch oven before you place the meat on top. You typically don't need much extra butter or oil for the vegetables, because there will be juices left from the braising. And if your recipe doesn't have that braising step, the juices will fall to the bottom of the pan and coat the vegetables.

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Do you prefer your vegetables to be cooked separately from the meat? Or perhaps you're making soup and want to steam some vegetables for another meal? There's one method for both of those options. Find a steamer basket that fits your Dutch oven, and place it above the roasting meat or simmering soup. Make sure there's enough room between the basket and the food below, especially if you're making soup. Then place your vegetables in the basket, pop the lid back on, and let the steam do the rest of the work. Steaming only takes three to 10 minutes depending on the vegetable, so don't forget to set a timer.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.