Recently, we made the dreaded trek down the freeway to the outlet mall just to go to the Le Creuset store and, thanks to a generous Christmas gift from my in-laws, purchased a very large (9 1/2 qt.), very blue oval Dutch oven.
Though they cost a scary amount of money, this baby has more than earned its keep in the last month, churning out a batch of heavenly choucroute garni for nine, coq au vin (a couple of times) and, just today, a cannellini bean dish with sausages that would take any mortal's breath away. Something about the way the heat is concentrated inside the Dutch oven when it spends a couple of hours in a low, slow oven turns the beans to butter and steeps everything in that wonderful smoky goodness from the sausages and bacon. I've made this dish many times on the stove and it's never tasted like this. What a great addition!