I got a very nice dutch oven for Christmas -- the rather new Emile Henry Flame.
This is a round, glazed, clay dutch oven that has additives to the clay that make it tolerant of temperature shocks -- so much so that you can start a dish on the stovetop and transfer it to the oven, which is not typical for clay pots. My other clay pot -- the Schlemmertopf -- is so intolerant of heat shocks that you always start cooking it from a cold oven without pre-heating. This isn't anything against the Schlemmertopf because it's a very nice pot and a different way of cooking, but it's nice to have other options.
Here's a picture of the pot:
To give the pot a try, I started with a beef stew. I used the recipe from Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Dinners book, which is his best book, I think. I made a few changes -- a whole squash instead of half, and added extra carrots in lieu of parsnips because I couldn't find any. I also left out the sage and rosemary because they're expensive to buy fresh at this time of year, and substituted a bay leaf, thyme, and coriander seed. I also added a green bell pepper. It's still intact enough to say I took it from his book, though -- I did, after all, retain the half-bottle of wine he calls for.
I didn't brown the meat, but I did coat it in seasoned flour.
This is how it looked before it went in:
...and after it had been cooked for 2 hours and 30 minutes at 300F:
And what a great beef stew it was! The main feature was that the meat was perfectly tender and fell apart into flakes when you ate it.
This is the first stew I've cooked this winter, so it's a very good start to the season!