In my last trip home to Barcelona for Holidays I got this beauty:

spanish-clay-pot-cassole-cazuela

A clay pot. A Cassole, or “Cazuela” in spanish, the pot that is used for most of my favorite recipes.

In my house Clay Pot has been always present, in a number of dishes. Although clay pots (Cazuelas) are popular all over Spain, in the catalan cusine “Cassoles” are specially popular, as clay pot is something typical of the mediterranean kitchens. But, why we used them in first place?

The clay, as opposite to the metal, is a not a good thermal conductor, so it cooks really slow. We don’t need to stir our food so often, and the ingredients (mostly meats and rice) are cooked evenly.

But there’s more, there’s a unique mediterranean flavor, and a typical burnt which is not “black burnt” as in a metal pot, but a tasty “brown burnt”. Can’t really explain with words.

So, now that I got it in the UK I’ve been giving it a good use, and In the next days I’ll be sharing some recipes specially for clay pots, but that can be done in normal metal pots as well.

But before we start cooking on it, some useful information regarding Cazuelas.

Where to buy Clay Pots in the UK? 

No idea. Honestly, so far I haven’t been able to find one place, even online, that’s why I had to buy it home. Good news is that in Spain you can find a cassole pretty much everywhere. But, if you are in the US you can find a wide range of great and good priced cassoles in LaTienda.com

How to use them?

In order to keep them you need to follow some instructions.

  1. Once you buy it, before using it, soak it in completely in water for 24h (yes a full day). Then let it dry until it’s completely dry. This is very important to “seal” the pot and remove an unpleasant “clay” taste.
  2. Always keep it with a thin layer of oil, exactly like a Paella
  3. Never put it directly to the fire. In order to keep it without cracks, you need to increase slowly the heat on it. For it to reach the maximum temperature allow 30 minutes at least.
  4. Never put it on cold water or over a cold surface when it’s hot. It needs to cool down slowly too.
  5. It’s super fragile. Avoid hits, and keep it in a safe place
  6. Don’t rug it too hard when cleaning it, as you could tear of the glazed coating.
  7. For this same reason use only wooden spoons, to stir, mix, etc.

If you follow these rules it will last you for years, and the most you se it, the better it tastes!

More info on Clay Pot Cooking

I found this amazing post where Janet talks about this book: Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking.

So, ready for some mouth watering recipes?

In the following weeks I’ll share recipes for Chicken, Chickpeas and the world famous “Fideos a la cazuela”

One Comment

  1. 9-2-2014

    Under my point of view this kind of pans are not relly good for cooking.

    In Spanish…

    Las cazuelas de barro o terracota son muy chulas… y realmente son muy adecuadas en según que cocinados. EL problema está en ciertos aspectos que alteran el cocinado.
    Yo uso mucha cazuela de barro o terracota pero.. solo como presentación del producto cocinado…. y es muy simple.

    A pesar que la cazuela está cocida.. con su barniz.. que yo la trato con su remoje en agua durante cierto tiempo.. la puedo cocer en agua si cabe…… No deja de ser un elemento que absorbe.. es poroso y absorbe….
    Si a este elemento le añades calor… transfiere… huele y transfiere sabor y elementos de su factura.
    No recomiendo , en ningún caso cocinar con elementos de terracota sino reservarlo para la presentación final.

    Hay opciones como las ollas de hierro colado. No es lo mismo pero a nivel sanitario son mas aconsejables.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *