A casserole, from the French for "saucepan," ["Online Etymology Dictionary", Entry: [ Casserole] , retrieved October 10, 2007, from [] ] is a large, deep pot or dish used both in the oven and as a serving dish. The word casserole is also used for the food cooked and served in such a dish.Casseroles originate from the ancient practice of stewing meat slowly in earthenware containers. Types of casserole include ragout, hotpot, cassoulet and carbonnade. A distinction may be made between casseroles and stews: stewing is a cooking process whereby heat is applied to the bottom of the cooking vessel (typically over a fire or on a hob), whereas casseroling is done in an oven where heat circulates all round the cooking vessel. Braising is similar to casseroling except that the pieces of meat or vegetable are larger and cooked in a smaller quantity of liquid. Casseroles tend to be thicker than soup. However the choice of name is largely a matter of custom; it is possible for the same dish to be described as soup, stew, and casserole.

Early 18th century casserole recipes consisted of rice that was pounded, pressed, and used as a fillingFact|date=June 2007. Casseroles are cooked in Europe and Canada and the United States, and are found in other forms in many other cultures around the world. The culinary term "en casserole" (also from French) means 'served in the vessel used for cooking'.

Casseroles usually consist of one or two meats or vegetables as the main ingredients. Liquid in the form of stock, alcohol (in the form of wine; for example "coq au vin" or "beef Bourguignon"), beer (for example "lapin à la Gueuze", gin, or cider) or vegetable juices is added. Further liquids are released from the meat and vegetables during cooking. Binders such as pasta, potato, rice or other grains are added to thicken the sauce. It is cooked slowly and may be served as a main course or a side dish.

Meat is usually precooked or browned before placed in the casserole.

Use of term in the US and Canada

A characteristic method of preparing casserole in the United States and Canada is to use condensed soup, especially cream of mushroom soup. Examples for casseroles that can be prepared in this manner are tuna casserole (with canned tuna, cooked noodles, sometimes peas, and cream-of-mushroom soup) and "green bean casserole" (green beans with cream of mushroom soup, topped with french fried onions). A similar staple, macaroni and cheese, can also be prepared as a casserole.

Casseroles are a staple at potlucks and family gatherings.

Hotdish is a US Midwestern (and particularly Minnesotan) term for a casserole; it is one of the quintessential foods of that region. That is legacy of the Scandinavian immigrants of the area; casseroles are immensely popular dishes in all Nordic countries.

See also

* Cookware and bakeware
* Parched grain
* Jugging
* Dutch oven


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • casserole — [ kasrɔl ] n. f. • 1583; de 1. casse 1 ♦ Ustensile de cuisine servant à la cuisson, de forme cylindrique, à manche. ⇒ braisière, sauteuse; caquelon, poêlon. Casserole en aluminium, en cuivre. Casserole émaillée. Queue d une casserole. Casserole… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • casserole — CASSEROLE. s. f. Espèce d ustensile de cuisine, dont on se sert à divers usages. Casserole de cuivre. Casserole de terre cuite …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • casserole — 1706, from Fr. casserole sauce pan (16c.), dim. of M.Fr. casse pan (14c.), from Prov. cassa melting pan, from M.L. cattia pan, vessel, possibly from Gk. kyathion, dim. of kyathos cup for the wine bowl. Originally the pan, since 1958 also the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • casserole — ► NOUN 1) a large dish with a lid, used for cooking food slowly in an oven. 2) a kind of stew cooked slowly in an oven. ► VERB ▪ cook slowly in a casserole. ORIGIN French, from Greek kuathion little cup …   English terms dictionary

  • Casserole — Cas se*role . [F. a saucepan, dim. from casse a basin.] 1. (Chem.) A small round dish with a handle, usually of porcelain. [1913 Webster] 2. (Cookery) A mold (in the shape of a hollow vessel or incasement) of boiled rice, mashed potato or paste,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Casserole — Casserole, s. Kasserolle …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • casserole — [n] dish consisting of a combination of cooked food covered dish, goulash, hash, meat pie, pot pie, pottage, stew, stroganoff; concept 457 …   New thesaurus

  • casserole — CASSEROLE. s. f. Espece d utensile de cuisine, qui sert à faire boüillir du poisson, ou autre sorte de mets …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • casserole — [kas′ə rōl΄] n. [Fr, dim. of casse, bowl, basin < Prov cassa, melting pan < VL cattia < Gr kyathion, dim. of kyathos, bowl, cup] 1. an earthenware or glass baking dish, usually with a cover, in which food can be cooked and then served 2 …   English World dictionary

  • casserole — nf. ; fig., tête vide, sans cervelle, écervelé : KAS(se)RÔLA (Albanais.001, Saxel.002 | Magland), kassèrola (Montagny Bozel.026b, Thuile), kassèroula (26a, Attignat Oncin, Feissons). A1) petite casserole : kassoton nm. (002), kafyèlon… …   Dictionnaire Français-Savoyard