Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Art of Braising for Beginners

potroast An advantage to buying tough cuts of meat, is the relatively low price. But cooking it can be a nightmare if you're not sure how to do it correctly. That's where braising comes in.

The result is "fall-off-the-bone" meats with great flavor. You can braise in a crock pot, pressure cooker or a large saute pan. Popular dishes that use a braising technique are osso buco, pot roast, braised veal & lamb shanks and braised cabbage. You can braise just about any meat, fish or vegetable.

9 Simple Steps to Great Braised Meat:

(1) Season the main ingredient with salt and pepper.

(2) Heat a few tablespoons of oil and/or butter in a heavy pan or Dutch oven.

(3) Saute meat or vegetables in the pan on medium-high heat until the meat browns.

(4) Deglaze the pan by pouring broth, stock, wine or juice and scrape any pieces of meat that are stuck to the pan and stir.

(5) Add cooking liquid (water, stock, wine, juice or some combination) to the half-way point of the main ingredient.

(6) Cover and place the meat on the middle of a rack in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

(7) Cook until completely tender. This can range from 1 hour to 6 hours, depending on what you are cooking.

(8) Remove the pan from the oven and strain the meat and vegetables out of the liquid.

(9) Remove the excess fat floating in the liquid, and then reduce the sauce to desired thickness by cooking it down over low heat until it thickens. Or, make gravy by adding a mix of equal parts fat and flour (a roux).

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