For years I cooked our casseroles in a stoneware Denby dish, then I dropped the lid – oops. So I’ve been hankering for a new casserole dish for a while. Sometimes for convenience, if we are going to be out for a good few hours, we will leave a stew cooking in our slow cooker, but the flavour just isn’t the same as a casserole cooked in the oven, with none of the browning. I’ve never tried a cast iron one before, so I was curious to see if the results were as good as I was anticipating.
Suitable for use on all hobs (gas, electric, ceramic, glass, induction and halogen) and any type of oven, including Aga Stoves and open fires (even barbecues), the 24″ enamel coated Denby Cast Iron Casserole looks lovely in a cheerful shade of red. I could just imagine it filled with crispy roast potatoes or colourful veg on Christmas day. It is a true cherry red in colour, with the famous Denby name on the lid next to a stainless steel knob. The inside is cream coloured and a generous size.
I prepared a casserole and popped it in our oven for about 2.5 hours on a lower heat.
I thought it might take a little longer than that to cook, but it was just perfect – everything browned nicely and the meat was tender just as I was hoping. The cast iron material is ideal for slow cooking stews and casseroles on a lower heat because its has excellent heat retaining properties. Also, the lid of the Denby cast iron casserole is designed to create a continuous basting cycle.
Although heavy, as expected, it has easy to hold handles with a generous gap to get your fingers through, even with your oven gloves on.
When we tried the food, the flavours were all there. It was rich and tasty, with a hint of sweetness from the root veg and sweet potato. We enjoyed it with some rustic bread and it was a really hearty meal, one I’ll be cooking regularly over the winter months.
I hadn’t realised that cast iron can break as it is a moderately brittle material, so we will try not to bang it or drop it. Also plunging it into cold water is not advised, you should let it cool down first to avoid thermal shock and don’t let it boil dry or overheat. You shouldn’t cut food inside the dish or clean it with anything abrasive, both of which may damage the enamel.
I let the dish cool down, then soaked it for a little while with warm soapy water. A soft sponge was then enough to clean the remnants off, even the brown bits rubbed away easily. Cast Iron can rust, so it needs to be dried well before storing it and cooking oil can be applied along the edges to help prevent rusting.
So a really great result from this Denby Cast Iron Casserole, with a thumbs up and clean plates from the whole family! We would certainly recommend it to others.
Thanks to Denby for gifting me a sample casserole. All thoughts and opinions are genuine and my own!