Yesterday I ordered a piece of kitchen equipment of a kind that I have never before owned and never before used. Decades ago these devices became popular in America. Back then, I viewed them as a ridiculous fad of little utility or interest. Times and tastes do change. In fact, whole countries and cultures change noticeably over just a few decades. I've seen it happen.
A new kitchen appliance
The thing I'm talking about is called a cuiseur or mijoteuse électrique in French. When I tell you that my favorite kind of French cooking is preparing what are called plats mijotés, you'll wonder why it took me four decades to decide to acquire a mijoteuse. Some of the most famous plats mijotés are coq au vin, blanquette de veau, and bœuf bourguignon — not to mention la poule au pot and le pot-au-feu.
So if you know what the verb mijoter means, you've figured out what appliance I'm talking about. The next time I decide to make a daube de bœuf, lapin en gibelotte, or choucroute garnie, it will be just the the kitchen appliance to have at the ready.
Here's an American slow-cooker that resembles the one I've ordered.
Mijoter means « faire cuire ou bouillir lentement, à petit feu » and, more figuratively, « préparer un plat avec soin, avec amour ». It means "to simmer", in other words. The device is a "simmerer" or, as it's known nowadays, a slow-cooker. A crock pot. I'm jumping feet-first into the '70s!
The one I've ordered from amazon.fr has a removable oval-shaped stoneware cooking dish that you can put on the table to serve the meal from. And then you can run it through the dishwasher. It holds 6.5 liters if filled to the brim, for about 5 liters of usable volume.
The removable stoneware cooking vessel
With that shape and size, it can accommodate a small poulet, canard, or pintade, not to mention a small rôti de bœuf, de veau, or de porc that you want to braise slowly for several hours. I can see some good NC-style pulled pork or a batch of chili con carne coming out of it... not to mention all my favorite French plats mijotés listed above.