Braising 101 | Tuesday's Tip of the Day!
There is no better time than fall and winter to dust off your Dutch ovens and whip up a quick feast for family and friends! My favorite cold-weather cooking includes braising either chicken or beef with tons of aromatics and vegetables in a moist environment (chicken or beef stock depending on the protein) resulting in the juiciest, tender and downright flavorful protein imaginable! Now that I have your attention, let’s back up a second and talk braising fundamentals:
What is Braising:
Braising is cooking a protein almost fully submerged (¾ of the way) in either chicken, beef or vegetable stock depending on the protein at hand. This moist environment yields an extremely tender outcome.
Braising 101: Follow these steps for a perfect platform from which to gather around The Table Together:
- Sear: Pre-heat your pan with a few tablespoons of oil and sear your meat on all sides. Color = flavor so be patient with this step! Transfer seared meat to a plate before moving on to step 2.
- Add veggies: Onions (shallots or yellow) and carrots are a great place to start! Roughly chop both (peel the carrots first of course) and while occasionally stirring, cook until translucent and softened, about 5 minutes. Garlic also makes for a great addition but should be added toward the end as it will take 20 seconds max before it starts to burn.
- Deglaze the pan: For beef I like to use a dry red wine, like cabernet, and for chicken or veggies, I like to use white, like a dry sauvignon blanc. Add wine carefully and immediately following, use a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan until au sec, almost dry. Add stock (chicken stock for chicken, vegetable stock for veggies, and beef stock for beef) and return the meat.
- Add Aromatics: This is a good time to add bay leaves, rosemary, thyme or any other herbs.
- Finish Cooking: Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook on low directly on the stovetop or in a 325ºF oven until meat is tender and flavors have developed, approximately 2 ½ - 3 hours for a 3-pound beef roast. For smaller cuts of meat, check with the recipe for an approximate cooking time for reference. As a side note, I prefer to braise in the oven as it offers even heat distribution. When cooking on the stovetop, your only heat source comes from below where in the oven heat is circulating all around.
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Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!
P.S. Coming in the New Year (TBD March 1), I am launching a YouTube channel, The Table Together with Tiffany Lewis, solely dedicated to bringing all of these fantastic tips and recipes to life! Stay tuned for more info to come…
Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!