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The under-appreciated rondeau


Fat Guy
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I don't deep fry in cast iron because I tend to use canola as my primary all-purpose kitchen oil. Unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats have open bonds that iron oxide can attach to and cause them to become 'rancid' when heated. Rancid fats may not have any off taste, so you cannot detect them with your senses. But, they are known carcinogens. (basic Durk & Sandy stuff)

Deep frying in a saturated fat should be fine. But, we're vegetarians in my household, both of us, so no lard, and we avoid transfat, so no shortening.

I just whip out the stainless lined copper rondeau for deep frying. We are still looking at getting the 7qt round Le Creuset casserole, but, we simply don't deep fry that often.

For small batches of fried foods, like falafel for 2, I use the stainless-lined copper frying pan.

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For deep frying, I've been using a 9.5" Mauviel copper stainless-lined sauteuse evasée (Windsor pan/splayed saucepan). It is easy to find fry baskets that fit this shape perfectly.

I was extremely lucky to be walking by the clearance section at Bed, Bath and Beyond one day when a clerk was putting two of these pans out for $19.97 each. I asked him if this price was a mistake (at the time, maybe eight years ago, this pan was around $350 in the US), and he assured me that this was the right price. They seemed perfectly fine except for a few scratches on the bottom, as if they had been used for a cooking demo or perhaps used once and returned, so I bought both, kept one for myself, and gave one to my father.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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My understanding is that Falk makes the stainless lined copper sheet stock used by Mauviel and Bourgeat, but Mauviel is still making cookware in Villedieu, non, or maybe they are just making the tin lined pieces there?

Just the tin-lined pieces.

--

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The rondeau is great for carnitas and ossobucco in the oven. I see that the 34cm Sitram Catering Line rondeau that I have is no longer listed on the Sitram website. Seems pricey today - I got mine from Amazon in 2000 for $90.

Right - I like that the one Amazon comment says that the pot plus lid costs $180 (the commenter goes on to say that it is worth the money). The current price for the pot plus lid on Amazon is $355!

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I stand corrected on the Mauviel pieces ... I remembered those rondeaux being shorter.

When I said I liked a shorter sauté pan, meant ones closer to the shape of the American ones. Not sure the dimensions of the AC and Calphalon pans, but they look a lot shorter than the Mauviels and Bourgeats (which I prefer for the material).

Notes from the underbelly

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That's what I see in restaurant kitchens: pots like that 28-quart "brazier." And the people in those kitchens seem usually to call them rondeaus, not that my sample size is big enough to support a claim of "usually."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That's what I see in restaurant kitchens: pots like that 28-quart "brazier." And the people in those kitchens seem usually to call them rondeaus, not that my sample size is big enough to support a claim of "usually."

That is my recollection as well. Those suckers are heavy! That 28 qt. weights 14 pounds empty - add a few gallons of liquid (@ 8 lbs. a gallon) and it's a team sport.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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