Braising: Method and Recipes
Image © iStockphoto
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.
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.
(French Provencal beef braised in red wine)
(Polish hunter's stew of meat, cabbage and sauerkraut)
(Irish potatoes braised with sausages and bacon)
(Japanese noodles and pork in rich broth)
(Irish-American braised brisket with vegetables)
(Japanese simmered pumpkin)
(Italian balsamic-marinated chicken)
(Israeli Jewish braised brisket)
(Italian beef cutlets simmered in tomato sauce)
(Moroccan chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons)
(Czech braised cabbage)
(French braised eggplant, tomatoes and basil)
(Spanish fava beans simmered with spicy sausage)
(Egyptian braised squab stuffed with cracked wheat)
(Moroccan braised chicken with dried fruit and almonds)
(Angolan spicy chicken and vegetables)
South African chicken in tomato and onion gravy