A large, lidded cast-iron pot with a fold-away, bail handle. Originally, the dutch oven was used as just that, a bread oven. In the days when most families lacked modern stoves, and depended on the fire-place hearth for their cooking, a dutch oven could be filled with bread dough, lidded and buried in hot embers in order to bake the bread. Nowdays, the dutch oven is usually placed atop the stove to cook beans and stews, though sometimes it is still used in a conventional oven to cook bread loaves and baked beans. In rare instances, a cast-iron dutch oven can double as a deep-fryer.
In some areas, the dutch oven is referred to as a "dutchie." This is claimed by the surviving members of Musical Youth as the "dutchie" in the lyric: "pass the dutchie from the left-hand side." from their one hit song. It is of course now believed that the word in the song was changed from "cutchie," a Jamaican slang term for a kind of marijuana.
I cooked a dutch oven full of lentil soup, a pot of saffron rice and even baked a loaf of crispy bread. I am a good cook, no?