I really should do a little more research before I rattle on about something but I've just been so in love with this cazuela from Hidalgo that I'm going to push on anyway. I can't remember where it's from or who made but it was a really grand gift from my friends Yunuen and Gabriel of Xoxoc. There's no glaze and I think the finish was acheived by rubbing rocks over the piece. Or maybe I made that part up. Blame the mezcal.
I didn't quite know how to cure it so I just boiled some garlic cloves in water until they water was gone. As lovely as the cazuela was, I could tell it would only look better with use.
And over the past months, use it I have! This is chicken simmering in an ancho chile sauce.
And this is the finished dish, with potatoes and a squeeze of lime. I'm convinced the gentle heat of the clay makes a perfect sauce. And I wonder if the earth doesn't impart some kind of flavor.
The same potter also made this cactus-shaped jar that I'm also in love with. Once things settle (there's a title for my life story!), I want to look into importing these and selling them online and in our store.