Friday, January 15, 2010

A Dutch Oven Duel!

Andy J, who joined me for a cookout last August, recently sent me this email:


I am throwing down the cast iron gauntlet. I hearby challenge ye to a cast iron duel. If ye choose to accept the challenge, here are the terms:

1. I will choose 3 ingredients:
   a. Meat
   b. Spice
   c. Fruit or Vegetable or Starch

2. Ye must cook a one pot dutch oven dish with the 3 ingredients. Ye may add any additional ingredients so long as they do not nullify these terms. (See number 3.)
   a. The ingredients must be as common and available as possible. I do not expect ye to backpack through the mountains of Nepal for the rare Joo-Joo Truffle or some such.
   b. The ingredients may be up for interpretation. For example, if I say Chicken, ye may use chicken breasts, wings, nuggets, whatever ye wish. If the ingredient specifically states Rib Eye Steak, then there can be no choosing.
      i. Although it states the ingredients may be up for interpretation, meat is meat, so ye may not substitute stock for meat, or eggs for meat, although these items could be added. I will however, consider tofu a 'meat' only because the readers of ye blog may be vegetarian.
      ii. No matter who you talk to, ketchup is not a vegetable.

3. It must be delicious.

4. Ye shall hearby document the entire process, including experiences at the grocery store, prepping the dish, cooking the dish, and most importantly, eating the dish.

5. The recipe shall be original in the whole, and the recipe shall be posted for all to see. (see documentation of step 4)

6. Ye shall post the experience on the interwebs for all to see and enjoy.

So, do ye accept the challenge? If so, I would expect to see a counter challenge with a list of my ingredients.

If ye be of valor, here are your ingredients. Choose your weapons wisely.

1. Meat - Pork
2. Spice - Curry
3. Fruit/Veg/Starch - Orange

Well, I'm not one to turn down a challenge.  Especially from a knight so brave and skilled as Sir Andrew.  I quickly responded with this missive:


Sorry, I'm lagging way behind.  This is a GREAT idea.  Your challenge ingredients look fun, too.  It might be as much as a week or two before I get to cooking it, though.  Is that OK?

Here are your ingredients:

       a. Meat:  Fish
       b. Spice:  Dill
       c. Fruit or Vegetable or Starch:  Potatoes

The only downside here is that we really should get together and cook these challenge meals, then sample each other's dishes.  I just don't know when we could do this.

Well, we discussed (via electronic carrier pigeon) the possibilities of staging this fated duel face to face, but soon realized that it was a futile effort.  We must cook, each man in his own fair land, and the fame of our heated cast iron battle will needs be shared far and wide in song and legend.

So, a few days ago I was in the grocery store, and I started checking out pork, to see if anything inspired me.  I did come to one conclusion:  Pigs is Pricey!  I thought about getting a pork roast, and then pulling it and serving it over a rice/orange/curry kinda thang.  That sounded good, but that made it a two-step, instead of a one-pot meal.  I probably coulda gotten away with that, but in the end I decided I'd go with some pork chops.

I'm still not too sure how I'm going to do it.  I've got some ideas that I think are really cool, but I'm not certain.  One thought is an orange curry kinda glaze thing, and probably still over rice.  It might be cool with an orange marmalade...  Hmmmm...

At any rate, my plans are to cook it up this weekend, probably Sunday.  As always, I'll keep you posted!


Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: You're All Unique!


  1. Mark ~ You are such an inspiration. You truly are inspiring.

    I posted the whole thing on the IDOS forums! Got to share the love!

  2. Shux! ...And make sure to give Andy J the credit, it was his idea.

    Everybody go check it out at the IDOS forums and see if anyone else picks up the challenge!

  3. A Black Pot Duel! How fun. I can't wait to read about this adventure.

    Good Luck to you and Andy ~ but mostly have fun.


  4. I'd love to join in the duel! count me in for sure!

  5. Mark,

    You could totally be cool doing two step as long as it ends up on the table in one pot.

    I've got to figure a way out of searing the fish, making a sauce and cooking the potatoes in one are so cruel! I thought I was mean mixing curry and fruit... Good luck to us both!

    Andy J.



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