Tell-a-FriendHow To - Braise Foods

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Braised Lamb Shank 

If you want to know how to braise foods, then eJozi's RecipeBook is the right place to be. Braising is a slow and gentle method of cooking, often meat with vegetables, in a relatively small amount of liquid, at low heat for an extended period of time. If you cover the food completely with liquid it is then known as stewing. The food is half covered with cooking liquid, such as stock, and is slowly heated in a saucepan or pot that has a tight-fitting lid. The lid is essential to stop the cooking liquid from evaporating during cooking, so the food will retain its flavour and moisture. The cooking liquid may later be used to make an accompanying sauce. Braising can be done either on top of the stove or in an oven.

How to Braise Vegetables

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  1. Wash the vegetable to remove sand and other loose material. Remove old or damaged leaves.

  2. Slice the cylinders of leaves crosswise into thin strips (chiffonnade cut).

  3. Melt and simmer some oil or fat.

  4. Add the sliced vegetable.

  5. Stir then add some liquid, but not enough to cover the vegetable.

  6. Continue braising at a low temperature.

  7. Add other ingredients and continue braising.


How to Braise Vegetables Step 1

Step 1Wash the vegetable to remove sand and other loose material. Remove old or damaged leaves.

How to Braise Vegetables Step 2

Step 2Slice the cylinders of leaves crosswise into thin strips (chiffonnade cut).

How to Braise Vegetables Step 3

Step 3Melt and simmer some oil or fat.

How to Braise Vegetables Step 4

Step 4Add the sliced vegetable.

How to Braise Vegetables Step 5

Step 5Stir then add some liquid, but not enough to cover the vegetable.

How to Braise Vegetables Step 6

Step 6Continue braising at a low temperature.

How to Braise Vegetables Step 7

Step 7Add other ingredients and continue braising.

How to Braise Vegetables Step 1

Step 8The finished braised product.


How to Braise Meat

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  1. To begin braising, trim excess fat from the meat and thoroughly dry the meat off with a paper towel to ensure even browning. The meat can be lightly coated with flour before searing to aid in browning the meat, but it is not essential.

  2. Heat enough oil, or an oil and butter mixture to sufficiently cover the bottom of a heavy pan. Place the meat in the heated pan and sear over medium high heat until pieces are nicely browned on both sides. To ensure even browning, do not overcrowd the pieces.

  3. Once browned, discard any excess grease and then add the braising liquid.

  4. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and continue to cook at a gentle simmer.

  5. Cook until meat is tender. The length of time will depend on the type and thickness of the cut. When done, remove from the pan and boil juices to reduce for a sauce to accompany the meat when serving.

  6. To prevent the meat from becoming dry and stringy, keep the liquid at a simmer throughout the braising time and do not allow it to boil. The meat should be checked occasionally during the cooking period to see if the liquids need replenishing.


Step 1To begin braising, trim excess fat from the meat and thoroughly dry the meat off with a paper towel to ensure even browning. The meat can be lightly coated with flour before searing to aid in browning the meat, but it is not essential.

How to Braise Meat Step 2

Step 2Heat enough oil, or an oil and butter mixture to sufficiently cover the bottom of a heavy pan. Place the meat in the heated pan and sear over medium high heat until pieces are nicely browned on both sides. To ensure even browning, do not overcrowd the pieces.

How to Braise Meat Step 3

Step 3Once browned, discard any excess grease and then add the braising liquid.

How to Braise Meat Step 4

Step 4Bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and continue to cook at a gentle simmer.

How to Braise Meat Step 5

Step 5Cook until meat is tender. The length of time will depend on the type and thickness of the cut. When done, remove from the pan and boil juices to reduce for a sauce to accompany the meat when serving.

Step 6To prevent the meat from becoming dry and stringy, keep the liquid at a simmer throughout the braising time and do not allow it to boil. The meat should be checked occasionally during the cooking period to see if the liquids need replenishing.


Braising Facts

  1. Braising is a slow method of cooking so it is ideal for tougher joints of meat and poultry. The slow process also makes meat more tender.

  2. In order to colour a joint of meat and retain its juices, the joint should be sealed in hot fat before braising.

  3. The braising temperature for meats is 180-200°C.

  4. Most vegetables should be blanched before they are braised.

  5. A selection of chopped vegetables and herbs, called a mirepoix, is usually used as a base upon which the meat is placed. This improves the colour and flavour of the sauce.

  6. During braising, the meat tissues are broken down by the release of meat juices in the form of water vapour. The juices then filter back through the meat and into the cooking liquid.

  7. You’ll know that the meat is cooked when it can be penetrated by a skewer without too much resistance.

  8. Once the food is cooked, the sauce can be adjusted by:

    1. 8.1.thickening with cornflour if it is too thin

    2. 8.2.reduced by further cooking

    3. 8.3.adding a glace de viande.

  9. White meats, such as poultry, veal, pork and offal, should not be seared before braising.

  10. The insertion of strips of pork fat into the meat prior to cooking can be used to improve the flavour and increase the moisture content of the meat.

  11. A marinade can be used to impart flavour, help tenderise and add moisture to certain cuts of meat, such as lean beef and venison.

  12. Certain products are trussed with butcher’s string to help retain their shape during braising. These products include racks of chops and legs of chicken.

  13. It is important that the size of the braising pan is in proportion to the amount of food being braised.

Foods suitable for braising include.

  1. meats such as various cuts of lamb chops, topside steak, cheaper cuts of lamb and mutton

  2. offal products

  3. whole fish

  4. vegetables such as celery, fennel, leek and cabbage.

Category: Cooking Methods

Sub Category: Braising

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Word Count: 1947

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