Cocotte is a French term referring to an ancient cooking vessel, oval or round, with two handles and a flat lid on which hot embers are placed; in this way, thanks to the double heat, the cooking is more uniform.
The cocotte appeared in the early 1800s, at the beginning it was made of black cast iron (excellent heat conductor). Today, it is most often made of enameled cast iron, fire porcelain or copper. The dishes prepared «in cocotte» require an initial browning, over a fairly high heat, then a long crucible, over a very low heat (or oven). There are also cocotte with a lid hollowed in the center, for pouring cold water or red wine, which cause internal condensation and prevent the food from drying out too much during cooking. The cocotte also exists for single portions and is called in fact cocottina.