We’ve now had our Römertopf baker for over six months.
Compared to the photo above, taken when it was new, it’s now a little battle-worn…
…but the glaze on the inside remains perfect. We take care not to scratch it with metal implements, and it rewards us by cleaning up a treat in the dishwasher. The pots we get in Australia come directly from Germany, whereas the ones available in the US are made in Mexico and I don’t believe they have the interior glazing. Edit 2014: they’re now selling the glazed German made models in the US: http://romertopfusa.com/
We use our Römertopf at least once a fortnight and we’re astounded every time by how simple the process is. There aren’t lots of pots and pans to wash up, and it’s an easy way to make use of whatever ingredients we have on hand.
In a nutshell, the procedure for our all-in-one rice and meat dinner is:
1. Soak the baker in cold water in the sink for at least 15 minutes. We put it in before we start prepping ingredients.
2. Rinse one cup of Basmati rice and soak it in water.
3. Chop vegetables, prepare any meat. No pre-browning or frying required.
4. Put the drained rice and vegetables in the bottom of the wet Römertopf, add two cups of stock, then lay the meat over the top. Or, mix the whole lot together and put it in the baker, then cover with liquid, ensuring all the rice grains are submerged. Often, instead of stock, we’ll use water, salt and seasonings.
5. Put the lid on and place the baker into a cold oven. Turn the temperature up to 200C with fan, and bake for about an hour and a half.
Recently, I laid lamb shanks, seasoned with a little salt and pepper, over the top of the rice and vegetables and they cooked to sticky perfection. The boys ate it so fast that I didn’t get a chance to take a photo.
Last week we made a chicken biryani in the Römertopf, adding half a packet of purchased seasoning mix, some onion, garlic, tamarind and curry leaves. It was spicy, delicious, and just so easy.
The Römertopf Rustico baker is still only $39 at Peters of Kensington, which I think makes it the bargain of the year. It has certainly simplified our mid-week dinners. The lack of added oil in the cooking process means that we’re eating better as well!