Monday, June 13, 2011

Product Review: Le Creuset Oven from Kitchenware Direct + Braised Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Recipe

I think most food lovers have a few kitchen items that they dream of owning, such as a Thermomixer, a Kitchenaid, and a Le Creuset oven. Well, I may not own a Thermomixer or a Kitchenaid, but now I am the proud owner of a Le Creuset 4.3L Round French Oven in Cobalt Blue courtesy of Kitchenware Direct. I love my Le Creuset oven so much as I've wanted one for so long. It has lived up to all my expectations, and in Cobalt blue, my favourite colour, that just makes it perfect.

Kitchenware Direct generously gave me the Le Creuset oven to product test. You can pick up a Le Creuset item of your own from Kitchenware Direct, taking advantage of their Le Creuset Bonus Voucher Offer currently running. When you purchase over $150 worth of Le Creuset in one transaction from now till June 30th, you will get a $50 voucher. Check out the fantastic and sexy full range of Le Creuset kitchen ware. I can't wait to grow my Le Creuset collection soon.

The French oven that I got holds 4.3L, or in food terms, about 4 lamb shanks or 8 large chicken thighs. This is more than sufficient to feed 6-8 people when you cook something in the oven. The oven is cast iron, so heat is distributed evenly and retained for longer. The well fitted lid ensures that moisture and flavour is locked inside the food. The beautiful enamel finish not only makes it fantastic to look at and display, bit also keeps it hygienic and free of annoying odours.

To Christen my oven, I decided to cook my favourite Winter comfort dish, Braised Lamb Shanks. I decided to try the easiest recipe first, using My Aching Head's posted recipe. I made a small adjustment by not coating it in flour, which I find a bit gluggy. Instead I just seal the meat as is. This recipe is so easy that anyone can do it. After the little bit of initial cooking, you just put the French oven into the gas oven and leave it alone for an hour or so. Turn the meat once, cook for another hour and it's all done.

The results of the dish are amazing. The meat is super tender, with the sauce thick and full of flavour. The onions are so soft and fall apart. All the flavours amalgamate together to form a lovely comforting Winter's dish. I will be making this again and again before Winter's over, as it's so easy with the Le Creuset oven. Using a baking tray in the past resulted in less tender meat and the flavour not as concentrated. Also it was fiddlier to use different pans to seal the meat, then a baking try to cook it in, then cover the baking tray in foil. The Le Creuset is an all in one item. You can cook anything in it, and I've already done chicken with mushroom, onion and red wine. I'm going to do Pig Trotters next week, and try cooking Gravy Steak with Capsicum and Paprika the week after. I can't wait to eat lots of slow braises throughout this Winter. I can't rate this French oven highly enough and recommend you buy one to cook your own dishes in. The results are so brilliant for so little effort. I can see why the French love to cook braises of all types in these French ovens. Two books I would recommend for slow braises are Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Ripailles.

I've added some photos of some more dishes I've made using my Le Creuset oven. I love it so much and it works so well for any type of meat and makes them all so tender and flavoursome. My favourite dish is still definitely the lamb shanks but the pig's trotters are a close second.

Left: Chicken thighs with bacon rashers, onion using a chicken stock.
Middle: Pig's trotters with Chinese dried mushrooms and chestnut.
Right: Soy chicken wings with garlic.

Braised Lamb Shanks in Red Wine


4 lamb shanks
1 wine glass of red wine
1 large tin of crushed tomatoes
2 large brown onions, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs parsley + parsley or basil to garnish


1) Sprinkle salt and pepper onto lamb shanks. Brown shanks in hot olive oil in the Le Creuset oven.

2) Take out the lamb shanks from the Le Creuset oven. Add garlic to the oven and cook until aromatic. Add the wine to deglaze the oven and get all the beautiful brown bits of flavour off the oven base.

3) Add back the lamb shanks and the rest of the ingredients.

4) Put the lid on the Le Creuset oven and put into the baking oven at 160 degrees for 1.5 – 2 hours or until the meat falls off the bone, turning the meat once in between.

5) Garnish with herbs and serve with crusty bread to dip up the wonderful rich sauce.


  1. Thanks for the ping! You know, I was looking at your pictures on Twitter thinking how much I would love to have a Le Creuset oven in my kitchen. Don't get me wrong my shanks were great in a roasting tin, but owning one of these babies is such a pleasure and the ease of stove to oven must produce a more flavorful dish, no doubt! Lucky you!

  2. Yummo! I love my Le Creuset too... I made most of my stews and curries in them.

  3. Made beef stew with mashed potato. A Le Creuset ll definitely make it a better stew. Hmm..

  4. My mouth is watering and now I want to eat some lamb shank. My domain may not be in the kitchen, but the recipe sure looks simple that a bad cook like me can make something like that. If only I could get my hands on one of them lovely looking Le Creuset oven!!!!!!

  5. Good recipe for winter, comfort food at its best. Quite partial to this French brand for slow cooking.

  6. Hmmmmm, so you can make enough for 6-8 people, can you? Lamb shanks at your house? :p

  7. Make sure you bring a spare shanks to work next time

  8. i used this to cook:
    lion's head (chinese dish)
    mac and cheese (works wonders)
    braised lamb guinness stew
    chinese lamb hotpot
    braised middle eastern lamb shanks

    i feel that this is an essential in every kitchen if you can afford it. and also, be sure to eye for discounts. :D

  9. Martyna, I've done cooking in baking trays too but I find this pot gives far superior results. Go buy yourself one.

    Visal, just head to Kitchenware Direct and pick up a Le Creuset baby of your own. :-)

    Agnes, I can definitely do lamb shanks at my house. It's so easy that I can still enjoy the night as well. Win.

    Michelle, thanks for the wonderful suggestions. I'm going to give the Mac and Cheese a try, the lamb hotpot and the Middle Eastern lamb. Must find recipes now. Any suggestions?

  10. Oh my God this recipe is so delicious, i`ve tried it yesterday and all my family was impressed. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

  11. I love my Le Creuset oven and cook so many things in it. It's so versatile and so easy to make everything in it.

  12. Hi, that looks delicious! I'd like to try this soon. Could you answer this question: Is it allright to place a room-temperature Le Creuset lid into the preheated electric oven? I'm wondering cos there is always this caution that LC has to be heated slowly to prevent damage to the enamel. I hope you can help me, cos I've got a brand-new LC which I'd like to use soon! Thanks v much!

  13. Hi Anantara, I think it should be ok. I always place my room temperature Le Creuset straight into a 160C pre-heated oven. Doesn't look to crack or have any issues.