Braising: Method and Recipes

Methods | Braising | Lamb Shank

Braising is a way of cooking meat, fish, seafood or vegetables by first searing the item in hot fat, and then simmering it, covered, in liquid to finish. Braising differs from stewing in that the item to be cooked is usually in large pieces, as opposed to smaller pieces for stews. Also, the amount of liquid used in braising is less than for stewing, normally barely covering half of the item to be braised.

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Braising is a good way to cook the tougher cuts of meat such as shank, shoulder and round. Long, slow simmering breaks down the connective tissue in the meat and renders a dish tender with a full-bodied sauce. The dish Americans call pot roast is actually a braise. However delicate foods such as fish and seafood can also be braised. Cooking time is simply shorter.

The liquid used as a braising medium is usually water or stock, but wine, beer or tomatoes are sometimes used. And other ingredients such and onions, carrots, or potatoes are often added to impart different flavors.

Braising Recipes

Adobong Manok

Poultry | Adobong Manok Image

(Filipino chicken in vinegar sauce)

Adobong manok, often called "chicken adobo," is often considered the national dish of the Philippines. Its origins are with the Spanish colonizers — adobo is the Spanish word for a marinade — but Filipinos have happily adapted it as their own. Read more »

Afritada Manok

Poultry | Afritada

(Filipino chicken and vegetables in tomato sauce)

Afridata — also known as apritada or apritadang — is an easy-to-make, homestyle dish that shows the strong influence of the Philippines' Spanish colonial history. Savory chicken and the bright flavors of fresh vegetables are bathed in a garlicky tomato sauce and served over hot rice. Read more »

Bigos

Meats | Bigos

(Polish hunter's stew of meat, cabbage and sauerkraut)

The national dish of Poland, bigos is an amazing melange of meats and sausages slowly braised over a bed of mellow sauerkraut. Bigos is a popular cold-weather dish in Poland where it provided a handy way of using up cabbage that was put up before winter set in. Bigos is a favorite meal for the day after Christmas and is also popular in Lithuania and Belarus. Read more »

Braciole alla Pizzaiola

Meats | Braciole over Pasta

(Italian beef cutlets simmered in tomato sauce)

Pizzaiola is an Italian word that means "pizza style." And it perfectly describes this dish of thinly pounded beef cutlets simmered briefly in a simple tomato sauce. Read more »

Braised Short Ribs

Meats | Braised Short Ribs

(Jewish beef ribs simmered in red wine)

While brisket is the traditional choice for Passover, more and more Jews are turning to braised beef short ribs as a more tender, flavorful and luxurious option for their post-Seder meal. Read more »

Brasato al Chianti

Ingredients | Chianti Wine Image

(Italian beef braised in red wine)

Brasato al Chianti is great Tuscan cold-weather food and goes well with polenta or potato gnocchi. Brasato, Italian for "braised," can also be made with Barolo or any other Italian red wine. Read more »

Ca Kho To

Fish | Ca Kho To

(Vietnamese clay pot fish with caramel sauce)

Vietnamese kho (pronounced "kaw") dishes are comforting braised foods cooked in clay pots, and flavored with nuoc mau, a delectable caramel sauce with deep molasses and coffee tones. This kho recipe features fish (), but pork, chicken, seafood, tofu or eggs are also used. Read more »

Carnitas de Puerco

Meats | Carnitas de Puerco Tacos

(Mexican crispy tender shredded pork)

Slow-simmered pork, with a step at the end to add crispiness, carnitas are an amazing option for stuffing tacos, burritos and tamales. Carnitas are easy to make, but it does take some time. Traditional carnitas are always simmered in lard; it adds flavor and tenderness. See the variations for healthier options if all that fat scares you away. Read more »

Carottes Braisées au Beurre

Ingredients | Carrots Image

(French braised carrots with butter)

Carottes braisées au beurre are a classic French side dish. The natural sweetness of the carrots, accentuated with a pinch of sugar, goes perfectly with roasted meats and fowl. Read more »

Carrot Tzimmes

Vegetables | Carrot Tzimmes Image

(Israeli Jewish carrots braised with honey)

Tzimmes, or tsimmes, is a Jewish side dish that is a traditional part of a Rosh Hashanah meal. Carrot, or mehren, tzimmes, are a favorite, slowly simmered with honey to make a sweet dish symbolizing a sweet new year. Read more »

Coq au Vin

Poultry | Coq au Vin

(French chicken braised in wine)

Coq au vin is a classic winter dish from the Bourgogne region of France. Use a burgundy, Beaujolais, or any young, full-bodied red wine for this warming braised chicken dish. Read more »

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Meats | Corned Beef and Cabbage Image

(Irish-American braised brisket with vegetables)

Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patricks Day dish for Irish Americans, but not for the Irish themselves. The meal became popular with immigrants to the United States from Ireland in the 19th century. Read more »

Daube de Boeuf Provençale

Meats | Daube de Boeuf Provencale

(French Provencal beef braised in red wine)

Popular in southern France, daubes (pronounced "dōb") are slow-simmered stews traditionally cooked in a special pot called a daubière. Beef or lamb are marinated in wine and herbs for a day or two, then simmered in a slow oven until meltingly tender. As with much French food, everyone agrees that a daube should be made just so, yet each region has its own variation. The version here is popular in Provence. Read more »

Djej Emshmel

Poultry | Djej Emshmel

(Moroccan chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons)

Djej emshmel is a popular Moroccan chicken tagine also known as djej m'chemel, djej emshemel or djej emsharmel. The unique flavor of the chicken slow simmered with olives and preserved lemons highlights the best aspects of Moroccan cuisine. Read more »

Dublin Coddle

(Irish potatoes braised with sausages and bacon)

Dublin coddle, as its name implies, is a warming dish particularly popular in the Irish capital city of Dublin. Often simply known as coddle, this simple and filling mix of potatoes, sausages and bacon often serves as a hearty dinner. Read more »

Dušené Zelí

Breakfast | Bubble and Squeak

(Czech braised cabbage)

Braised cabbage is a very popular side vegetable in Central Europe, often served with roast meats and dumplings. It is called gedünstetes Kraut in Germany. Read more »

Fesenjan

Poultry | Fesenjan

(Persian chicken in pomegranate-walnut sauce)

Fesenjan, also known as khoresht-e fesenjan or fesenjoon, is special occasion food in Iran. It is traditionally made with duck or pheasant in the north of the country along the Caspian Sea. A thick, rich, sweet-sour dish, fesenjan improves in flavor if served the next day. Read more »

Gołąbki

Meats | Golabki Image

(Polish, stuffed cabbage rolls)

Golabki (pronounced ga-WUMP-kee) means "little pigeons" in Polish and is a reference to their size and shape. These stuffed cabbage rolls simmered in a tomato sauce are popular throughout Eastern Europe. In Russia, where they are known as golubtsy. In Ukraine they are called holubtsi. Hungarians refer to them as töltött káposzta. Read more »

Habas con Chorizo

Vegetables | Habas con Chorizo

(Spanish fava beans simmered with spicy sausage)

Simple and straightforward, this dish of fresh fava beans simmered with chorizo makes a whole meal if you pair it with a few slices of crusty bread. Try substituting serrano ham for the chorizo, or experiment with different seasonings according to what you have on hand. Read more »

Hamam Mahshi

Country | Egypt | Pigeon Loft

(Egyptian braised squab stuffed with cracked wheat)

Egyptians have kept pigeons, also known as squab, since ancient times, and their mud brick pigeon lofts dot the skyline up and down the Nile. One of their favorite ways of serving pigeon is as hamam mahshi (ha-MAM mah-SHEE), stuffed with cracked wheat and gently braised. Read more »

Hasenpfeffer

Meats | Hasenpfeffer Image

(German stewed rabbit)

Hasenpfeffer is German for "hare-pepper," or peppered hare, and is a famous game dish in Germany. Serve it with spätzle dumplings or with boiled or mashed potatoes and blaukraut (braised red cabbage). Read more »

Hong Shao Rou

Meats | Hong Shao Rou Image

(Chinese red-cooked pork)

Hong shao, or red-cooking, is a popular way to prepare meats in the Shanghai region of eastern China. Simmering in dark soy sauce gives the meat a reddish color and the dish its name. Red-cooked dishes often include a mix of meat and vegetables and are similar to a western stew. Read more »

İmam Bayıldı

Vegetables | Imam Bayildi Image

(Turkish stuffed eggplant braised in olive oil)

This eggplant dish is one of the most famous dishes of Turkish cuisine. İmam bayıldı means "the imam fainted." Legends abound as to how it got this name. Some say he fainted at the extravagant use of olive oil. Others say he swooned at its delightful flavor. Both will seem just as likely when you try this excellent recipe. Read more »

Kabocha Nimono

Ingredients | Squash, Winter, Kabocha Image

(Japanese simmered pumpkin)

Kabocha nimono is an easy, quick and nourishing way to prepare kabocha squash. Simmered pumpkin is particularly popular in the fall as kabocha comes into season. Read more »

Kalbi Jjim

Meats | Kalbi Jjim Image

(Korean braised beef short ribs)

Kalbi jjim is a favorite comfort food for Koreans. Beef short ribs are slowly simmered in a sweet-salty broth until they are practically falling off the bone. Vegetables and sometimes chestnuts enrich the mix and provide a satisfying meal for a cold winter day. Other spellings include galbijjim and kal bi chim. Read more »