In a nutshell: This amazing terracotta pot offers an effortless way to cook potatoes and root vegetables, without adding any liquids, for perfect flavour that keep all their nutritional qualities intact.
This French terracotta pot, known as a "Diable Phenix", works like a stove-top oven to perfectly cook vegetables without the need to add any cooking liquids such as water or oil. Cooked in their own moisture and steam, they retain all all their nutritional goodness and flavour. Created by Gustave Rousset, a French lawyer and inventor, whose nifty pot (named after the phoenix, the mythical bird borne out of the ashes) won awards at various European exhibitions in the 1890's. We simply follow his sound advice: "Put in either broken chestnuts or potatoes then lay the devil on a good fire and return from time to time. After about 20 minutes for the potatoes, and 10 minutes for the chestnuts, the cooking is complete. For coffee, shake continuously and turn over occasionally: 25 minutes is enough to toast a pound. Never put a single drop of water in the pot and never wash it!" Cooking potatoes and beetroot this way gives exceptional taste, and chestnuts and coffee beans can be roasted to perfection.
For turning contents, simply invert the pot without removing the lid, which is designed to cook on both sides without any heat loss. Always handle the pot with an oven glove or cloth, as the handle will become increasingly hot during cooking. Use on top of the stove or BBQ over a medium heat and in the oven or the embers of any wood-fired oven.
It's also an easy way of cooking if you follow a few rules:
1) Always cover the terracotta pot in cold water and soak for 15 minutes before use.
2) Place all your ingredients inside the dish without any liquid, and add a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and herbs.
3) Use oven gloves or cloths and be careful of the weight and heat of the terracotta pot when lifting or turning and vigilant of the steam that escapes when you remove the lid.
4) Never place on a cold or wet surface after cooking, always place on a wooden board or cloth.
5) Do not use detergent or scourers when cleaning as it will penetrate the porous terracotta; simply allow to cool then clean with a brush in warm water. After drying, place the lid on top of the base before storing safely.
Details 32 x 22 x 18 cm
We have sourced our impressive stoneware products from one of France's oldest surviving ceramic manufacturers in Burgundy. Founded in 1875, they still make the mustard pots for Maille and other familiar kitchen items, such as yoghurt pots, water jugs and terrine bowls. Using clay sourced in the Loire valley, Auvergne and Burgundy, the products are handmade by artisans. Fired at a very high temperature (1250°C) then fixed with some unique glazes which makes them non-porous, perfect for storing liquids and for cooking.