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Popularized in the 1970s, Germany's classic Romertopf (“Roman pot”) is a type of traditional clay cookware designed for braising meat, with a domed lid and roasting dish that are the perfect size for a whole chicken or 11-pound roast. Soaking the lid before each use imbues the porous clay with moisture that's released in the form of steam during cooking, producing tender, juicy meat without the need for constant basting. The bottom dish, meanwhile, has an interior enameled finish that's easy to clean and prevents food from sticking—it's even dishwasher-safe. This handcrafted 4-Quart Romertopf features carved images on its exterior—a rooster, a pig, a tree—that exude a farmhouse charm and sense of nostalgia. Use it instead of a Dutch oven for your favorite meat braises and take it straight to the table for an attractive rustic centerpiece.
A few tips from Milk Street: As with all clay cookware, the Romertopf should not be exposed to extreme temperature shock. For instance, let a hot pot cool to room temperature before running under cold water to avoid cracking. Also, be sure to check temperature and doneness before the time indicated on your recipe. The time spent slowly heating your Romertopf cookware and ingredients in the oven will reduce your cooking time depending on the food being cooked.
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