Over time, the Dutch oven used in the American colonies began to change. The pot became shallower and legs were added to hold the oven above the coals. A flange was added to the lid to keep the coals on the lid and out of the food.
The cast-iron cookware was loved by colonists and settlers because of its versatility and durability. It could be used for boiling, baking, stews, frying, roasting, and just about any other use. The ovens were so valuable that wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently spelled out the desired inheritor of the cast iron cookware. For example, Mary Ball Washington (mother of President George Washington) specified in her will, dated 20 May 1788, that one-half of her "iron kitchen furniture" should go to her grandson, Fielding Lewis, and the other half to Betty Carter, a granddaughter. Several Dutch ovens were among Mary’s “iron kitchen furniture.
When the young American country began to spread westward across the North American continent, so did the Dutch oven. A Dutch oven was among the gear Lewis and Clark carried when they explored the great American Northwest in 1804–1806. The pioneers who settled the American West also took along their Dutch ovens. In fact, a statue raised to honor the Mormon handcart companies who entered Utah’s Salt Lake Valley in the 1850s proudly displays a Dutch oven hanging from the front of the handcart. The Dutch oven is also the official state cooking pot of Utah.
Mountain men exploring the great American frontier used Dutch ovens into the late 19th century. Dutch oven cooking was also prominent among those who took part in the western cattle drives that lasted from the mid-19th century into the early 20th century.
Modern Dutch ovens designed for use on the cooktop or in the oven are typically smooth-bottomed. Two French manufacturers of enameled Dutch ovens, Le Creuset and Le Chasseur, refer to their ovens as "French ovens", or in the UK as "casserole dishes". Some older styles, such as the unglazed ovens by Lodge, Griswold, CampChef, and Wagner, retain the bale handle, while others, such as the enameled versions by Staub, Sante, and le Creuset, have two loop handles. Modern ovens may also be made of thick cast aluminum or ceramic.
Creamy Pork Noodle Soup
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.
1 pound ground pork
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
2 cups uncooked egg noodles
5 cups chicken broth
1 (8 oz) sour cream
2 heaping tablespoons ketchup
In a dutch oven, add olive oil and butter, heat over medium high heat. Add pork, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Breaking meat up as it cooks. Cook pork until no longer pink. Add mushrooms, chicken broth, ketchup and noodles. Stir well. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. After soup has been cooking for 27 minutes, add sour cream. Stir well. Serve warm. Enjoy!