Cooking method used for cuts of meat, poultry and game which are too tough to roast. It is
also good for some vegetables. Use a pan or casserole with a tightly fitting lid so that little
liquid is lost through evaporation. Place the meat on a bed of chopped vegetables (called
a mirepoix) add sufficient liquid to cover the vegetables and cook on the stove top or in
Braising is cooking with "moist heat", typically in a covered pot with a small amount of
liquid. From the French "braiser". Braising relies on heat, time, moisture and the presence
of an acid to successfully break down tough collagens in meat. It is an ideal way to cook
tougher cuts. Many classic braised dishes such as Coq au Vin are highly-evolved
methods of cooking tough and unpalatable foods. Swissing, stewing and pot-roasting are
all braising types.
Most braises follow the same basic steps. The meat or poultry is first browned in hot fat.
Aromatic vegetables are sometimes then browned as well. A cooking liquid that includes
an acidic element, such as tomatoes or wine, is added to the pot, which is covered. The
dish cooks in relatively low heat in or atop the stove until the meat is fork-tender. Often
the cooking liquid is finished to create a sauce or gravy.
A successful braise intermingles the flavors of the foods being cooked and the cooking
liquid. Also, the dissolved collagens and gelatins from the meat enrich and add body to
the liquid. Braising is economical, as it allows the use of tough and inexpensive cuts, and
efficient, as it often employs a single pot to cook an entire meal.
Don't overcook the meat, as it will become dry and tough. If the sauce has not reduced
enough and the meat is done, remove meat and let it sauce reduce more. Meats that cook
quickly such as chicken and fish should only be braised until they are completely cooked.
Tough, bony cuts of meat should be braised for long periods of time, so that they will