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Pot Roasting in the Wood Fired Oven

I don’t know about you, but as we creep towards Winter, we suddenly start craving simple but delicious slow cooked dishes here at the cooking school – and you won’t find a much easier cooking method than pot roasting. This age old method requires a slow gentle heat and locks in flavour and moisture, resulting in beautiful succulent dishes, such as this Pot Roast Chicken in this week’s #woodfiredweekly.

Pot Roasting in the Wood Fired Oven – How it Works

As your pot is, in essence, acting as a mini oven, this cooking method is quite forgiving as once your pot has reached temperature it doesn’t really matter if the heat fluctuates or is uneven as the pot itself captures and holds the heat and distributes it evenly around the food. The pot is creating the stability you need in the oven with a small amount of attention from you.

We used our Morso Forno for this recipe but it would also work well in the Alfa oven – basically great in any oven without much thermal mass but it will still work well in the falling heat of a refractory oven as well.

Pot Roasting in the Wood Fired Oven – What we did

Put a whole chicken and a few vegetables (carrots, onions and celery) in a cast iron pot together with some herbs, stock and a large glass of white wine. Then season everything with salt & pepper and dot some butter on top.  Cover with a tight fitting lid – this is the key to a good pot roast as you don’t want any moisture to escape so if your lid is loose then cover with tin foil first. Alongside the chicken we also did some pot roast potatoes – toss some whole small potatoes with a little salt and some olive oil, cover with a lid as before and put in the oven next to the chicken.

Pot Roasting in the Wood Fired Oven – Fire, oven state and equipment

Start off with a good fire in your oven in order to bring your pot up to temperature.  Thereafter feed the fire in order to maintain a gentle heat. We used a heat deflector and cooked the dishes with the door ajar.

Check both dishes after about an hour – the internal temperature of the chicken should be 75C and the vegetables should be soft and yielding. However it won’t matter if you keep everything cooking for longer – that’s the beauty of pot roasting. If you want to brown the chicken, take the lid off and cook for a further 30 minutes or so. This will also reduce the liquid.

Pot Roasting in the Wood Fired Oven – Alternatives

  • Brisket or silverside of beef in ale
  • Irish stew
  • Lamb Shanks with Red Wine
  • Beef Stew with Guinness
  • Belly pork or pork ribs in cider

Wine Suggestion for our Pot Roast Chicken

If you’re looking for a wine to go with our Pot Roast Chicken and potatoes then our friends over at Michael Sutton’s Cellar suggest an oaked chardonnay such as the Wente Morning Fog from California, whose palate has a rich roundness & a gentle refreshing acidity.

Do let us know of your successful pot roasting experiences …

Happy cooking!

Holly & David