Introducing… la cocotte!

La Cocotte

Finally! It’s here! My birthday present and new best friend, my stupendous cast-iron cocotte by Staub!

My parents came by my apartment yesterday and were kind enough to lug it on the metro with them, after driving it all the way back from Les Vosges, snuggly bundled up in multiple layers of bubble-wrap.

31 centimeters in length (12”), weighing in at 6.3 kilograms (14 lbl) when it’s empty — I’ve been buffing up my arms with dumbbells in preparation for its arrival — it can hold 6 liters (6 qts) of something yummy and stewy and even-better-the-next-day to feed six happy friends.

And how could anyone resist a kitchen implement that so proudly brandishes its name? Ever thought how convenient that is, when you see it lying around somewhere in the kitchen and think, “hey what is this thing?”, and you get closer, read what’s on the lid, smack your forehead and exclaim, “but of course! it is la cocotte!”

The secret of the Staub cocotte, I am told, lies beneath the surface (am I scaring you yet?), on the underside of the lid, where all around the cocotte’s belly-button are tiny little pikes — the technical word I believe is picot — that gently invite the evaporated liquids to drip back down onto the food, thus preserving all the flavors and juices.

I feel a little like Calvin when he collects the points from his boxes of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs* to receive a propeller hat, with which he thinks he will be able to fly all over the world. I really believe my cocotte is a magic wand that will make whatever I cook so good my guests will go into tastebud shock and faint.

*Calvin describes these cereals as “tasty, lip-smacking, crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside, and they don’t have a single natural ingredient or essential vitamin to get in the way of that rich, fudgy taste”. Quite the little food writer.

  • thodarumm

    Love your blog. I had a huge laugh reading Calvin’s description of cereal. It came at the right time, my Indian tastebuds are crying because I have been on salads the past two days and this came as such a great mood enhancer.
    Oh, I lifted Calvin’s description of cereal from your blog and posted it on another forum (acknowledging you as the source of course). I hope it is alright or should I have asked before I did it ;-).

    Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • http://www.sassyradish.com radish

    Clotilde, it looks fantastic! May you get many a good meal from it – what a gift! Will last a lifetime and bring on many warm memories!

  • http://www.joannou.net brian w

    I wonder if those picots really work…my dutch oven doesn’t have them and the lid is ALWAYS soaking wet when I open it up to stir or add an ingredient. It makes such a mess!

  • http://www.askthepope.blogspot.com/ Pope Benedict XVI

    It’s beautiful.

  • victoria

    I thought “cocotte” meant “cutie”?

    I am basing this belief on that scene in “La Femme Nikita” [great movie and all who have not seen it must now rush out and rent it] where the police officer calls Anne Parillaud “cocotte” as he hands her a pencil to write her name.

    She takes the pencil and uses it to stab through his hand and into the table, screaming “cocotte!” as she does so.

    In the version I saw, with English subtitles, “cocotte” was translated” as “cutie.”

    Or at least it sounded like “cocotte.” I supposed it could have been a homonym.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Victoria – Yup, “cocotte” is also an old-fashioned term for a girl. It can be endearing (my grandfather used to call me “ma cocotte”) or patronizing, depending on who says it and how. Apparently Nikita did not like it so much — I had forgotten about that scene!

  • dnash

    Clotilde, I know just how you feel. Last Christmas I got a Le Creuset “cocotte” and was so very happy and eager to start cooking with it. I do think I make better Boeuf Bourguinon in it!

    And Victoria, perhaps you’re thinking of “coquette”? ( http://www.answers.com/coquette&r=67 )

  • http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com shauna

    Clotilde:

    I have cocotte envy! I’m going to have to start saving up for one.

    I just wanted to let you know that I threw a dinner party last night, with every recipe coming from one of my favorite food bloggers. Of course, I had to make the fresh herb muffins, because I had to have you in there! I put up a post about it this morning, because it all tasted so good.

    Thank you, again.

  • Michael

    Clotilde: I beleive that these cooking vessels really are magical. Every time I use mine, some unexplained alchemy occurs creating wonderful meals far beyond my actual cooking skills. Happying Cooking!!

  • http://inpraiseofsardines.com Brett

    Autumn and winter are fast approaching, so you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy your cocotte soon! There’s nothing better than slowly simmered stews and braises at that time of year. My bright blue Le Creuset is one of my favorite cooking vessels, along with my collection of earthenware and clay pots.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/nubianvixen NubianVixen

    LOL! Enjoy your new Staub cocotte! Wasn’t Calvin the best? They don’t draw comics like that any longer (sniffle)

  • Brady

    I cannot wait to hear about the first delicious meal you make in your new cocotte!

  • http://richardab.typepad.com/iheartnyc/ RichardAB

    So cool! I got that same pot but a 7qt in Red from ebay for $119. It was too expensive but I really wanted it. I bet they are much cheaper in France.

  • Rainey

    Oh you lucky, lucky girl!!! Do you have any idea how expensive Staub is in the US! [i]Mon Dieu![/i] Even those adorable single serving casseroles are obscene. =o

    When I was in Canada I got a wonderful piece of enameled cast iron that was French. …but it has no marking on it and I can’t remember who made it. It has not only those [i]picot[/i] but a sort of trench around the handle on the lid. The concept is that you put ice cubes into the trench to increase the condensation as things simmer inside.

    Happy Birthday again and many happy and delicious years enjoying your Staub.

  • http://www.davidlebovitz.com David

    I’ve always wanted one of those…lucky you! Have you seen the square Staub teapot? They’re also on my wish list…you’ll have to get one to go with your Cocotte.

  • Rudy Bellani

    How magnificent! I’m very happy for you!
    On the subject of cookware and similar, may I please know the name of the dishes that you presented your food with on July 25th, as my fiance saw the picture and fell in love with the plate style and I’d like to surprise her?

    Happy birthday to you!

    ~Rudy

  • http://www.trembom.net valentina jacome

    Clotilde, I had not received the newsletters for a while and it rather saddened me.I love reading your blog. IT always gives me something to think about…Thank you for bringing me such pleasure. I also have cocote envy and might check the price of one tomorrow…May you have many good meals with yours..

    Valentina

  • Susan Jones

    Clotilde, I’m intrigued by the idea of cooking a meal in a cocotte – I may look into getting one myself. Please share some recipes when you get the chance. But most of all, enjoy!

  • http://pmatthewsblog.blogspot.com/ pmatthewbrown

    I am quite fond of my enameled cast iron cookware, also. I am certain you will enjoy your Staub oven!

    When cleaning your Staub cocotte with non-abrasive cleansers and implements, do not scrub too hard – although you want to remove pieces of food, the “patina” that develops aids in food release.

  • Patsy

    Clotilde — I have cooked with a doufeu, in bright red enameled iron, since before you were born and it is still one of my favorite pots. I know you’ll have many years of happiness with your cocotte!

  • may

    heyee! sorry this is a wee tad late… Bon anniversaire! and i hope you’ll get to make lots of scrumptious meals with your new cast-iron friend!

  • http://perrine.canalblog.com Perrine

    Congratulations ! and of course Happy birthday. I have the same in red (I waited for my wedding to have one) and I love it, I always succeed what I cook in it ;)

  • amanda

    For all you Staub owners, I am curious how the pot holds up over time. I noticed that it does seem to have some kind of a coating, at least the ones that are stocked by Sur La Table out here in CA.

  • Shane Ludwig

    Clotilde,

    First of all, a belated “bon, Annie verre sert!” :-)

    I am very happy for you and jealous at the same time ! I stumbled here whilst looking for stores selling Le Creuset items. For 12 years I’ve wanted a big cocotte, so I finally decided I’m getting one. Ebay can be your friend. :-) I got a small 2 L for $45, a 6 L for $143 (both blue) and a 9 L (azure blue) for $170 !! All brand new. Now I want the 15 L. Oui, je suis gourmand !

    BTW, to RichardAB, this kind of cookware is not much cheaper in France. La qualité, ça se paye !!

    Alors, Clotilde, pour le dîner, c’est à quelle heure chez toi ? On veut pas arriver en retard ! :-))

    Enjoy your cocotte, and may the meals you prepare in it and share with friends create many happy memories.

    -Shane

  • http://www.2pauls.com Saha

    Clotilde — I have cooked with a doufeu, in bright red enameled iron, since before you were born and it is still one of my favorite pots. I know you’ll have many years of happiness with your cocotte!

  • http://bunnyfoodfoo.blogspot.com/ BuddingCook

    how do you like it? i was thinking of getting one. :D

  • fabio

    Je viens juste de recevoir 2 cocottes staub. Une bleue 26 cm et une noire ovale 31cm. J’espere pouvoir faire un test avec un roti au four le prochain weekend.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Bravo pour ces nouvelles acquisitions, elles devraient vous durer quelques générations !

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