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Big Black Cast Iron Fire Pot


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9 replies to this topic

#1 dennisp

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 09:58 PM

BIG BLACK POT
Recently when we were out at Rucker's Farm (picking up some of Heidi's great goat cheese) near Flint Hill VA, I bought a giant (20 gallon +/-) cast iron pot. Came right off a farm where it spent its years rendering lard. It looked destined to rust out as a flower pot (and since I believe that cast iron is America's copper) and needed to be saved.

I wiped out the dust, cleaned it up and put it in the basement.

Now it needs a proper breaking in. Some sort of event. What should I cook in a thing so big and beautiful and ceremonial? Something that just oozes the history of rural Virginia.

Has to be outside, serve lots and be worth the effort of keeping a fire burning all that time.

Could kill a hog and render lard (like home in Tennessee) if there were enough people who wanted to share.

#2 Dave the Cook

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 10:30 PM

VD Stew.

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#3 dennisp

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 09:16 AM

Thanks Dave...yes "stew", as we call it here in VA would be a good possibility. Squirrel are aplenty as well though they usually scare off the women folk.

My Aunt Gertrude down in Monks Corner South Carolina cooks them fried and delicious but the form is still a difficult one to wrestle with.

Brunswick Stew is indeed meant to be cooked in a Big Black Pot. I think more for the fact that stew was usually a crowd served dish (and needed a big cooking pot) than for the cooking qualities of cast iron.

By the way, how did your stew turn out at the pig pickin'? Did you use a Big Black Pot?

Dennisp

#4 jackal10

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 09:19 AM

Mulled wine

#5 dennisp

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 08:47 AM

Hmmm....mulled wine in a cast iron pot that has been used to render hog fat for 185 years raises a few flavor issues....thanks.

#6 vengroff

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 08:50 AM

Hmmm....mulled wine in a cast iron pot that has been used to render hog fat for 185 years raises a few flavor issues....thanks.

Chances are it was also used to make soap in its day.
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#7 slkinsey

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 08:56 AM

Hmmm....mulled wine in a cast iron pot that has been used to render hog fat for 185 years raises a few flavor issues....thanks.

Chances are it was also used to make soap in its day.

And wash clothes.
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#8 dennisp

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:10 AM

I think those are both possibilities...although anecdotally I was told it was only used to render lard...which easily could have lead to making lye soap. Probably needs 12 hours of boiling over a roring fire.

I've had another big black pot that was used for making soap. It never cleaned up.

Thanks for reminding me....(spoilers). Looks like I'll spend the weekend sitting at a fire boiling water.

#9 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:19 AM

I just recently shot a picture which I can try and post later of a Napa Valley Harvest Party. These pots are traditionally used here for massive amounts of carnitas (two or three pigs' worth!).

#10 dennisp

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:32 AM

Now we're talking! Two or three pigs would be a party.