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What Are the Best Tips for Braising Meat?

When braising several round steaks at once, make sure they are all equal size.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2014
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Braising meat is a great way to turn a tough cut of meat into tender morsels for a number of dishes. Although this cooking technique is commonly used on tough cuts of meat, it can also be used on tender chops and steaks. Braising can be done in a braiser, slow cooker, or right on the stove. Some people begin by browning the meat and then transferring it to a slow cooker or crock pot. For those who already know the basics of braising meat, here are a few tips to improve the process and lead to improved dishes.

One of the key tips is to make sure that every piece of meat that is being braised is of nearly equal size. If the pieces vary quite a bit in size, then so will the texture of the final product. The same should be done for any vegetables that will be braised along with the meat. Otherwise the dish could have pieces of vegetables that are undercooked and others that are mushy. Vegetables that braise well with meat include beets, carrots, fennel, and onions. Some fruits such as apples and pineapples also braise well and can add a nice sweetness to the dish.

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When braising meat, it is important not to let the braising liquid diminish too low in the pan. Some people like to let some of the liquid evaporate and use the braising liquid as a sauce. This is fine to do, but should only be done at the very end of the cooking process when the meat has been almost completely braised.

It is also important not to use too much liquid while braising meat. By allowing the liquid to fall too low in the pan or cooker, the result will be baked meat. By using too much liquid, the result will be stewed meat, so for the proper results, it is important to just use enough liquid to come about halfway up the sides of the meat.

When braising meat, be sure not to let the liquid boil. One of the keys to braising meat is to cook the meat slowly, which helps to create a tender dish. If the liquid boils while the meat is being braised, the cooking may happen too quickly and result in a tough dish. This will completely counteract one of the key positive benefits to braising meat, which is to create tender morsels of meat.

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gravois
Post 3

I just learned how to braise meat a few months ago but I have been doing it a lot lately. I made some food over the weekend and I realized that the only kind of meat I have ever braised is beef. That is the way that I was taught and I have never really thought beyond that. But surely it must be possible to braise other kinds of meat.

I think braised pork or braised chicken would be incredible. I have friends that hunt and they always have deer meat that would probably do as well when braised as the beef I have been cooking. Are there any special needs when you are braising meats that don't have as much fat content as beef? Chicken is pretty lean so the liquids would probably have to be different.

backdraft
Post 2

I love to braise meat because when you are done you have a delicious sauce or gravy that you can use on just about anything. Usually when I am braising something I am also serving potatoes or bread and the braising liquid is a great compliment.

There have even been a few times when I have ended up with more liquid than I could use and I put in in a Tupperware container to freeze for later. Now I kind of use it as a bouillon. It has a super concentrated meat flavor and it is an easy and cheap way to add some flavoring to any dish I am making.

summing
Post 1

This article gets it completely right. Braising meat is a great way to turn a tough cheap cut of meat into a delicious meal. So if you are going to braise something, don't worry about getting top quality meat. It is really just wasted money because the cooking process is a great equalizer. Cheap meat and expensive meat comes out the same.

I love to do a braised beef brisket with north African spices. Brisket is always cheap and if you cook it wrong it is tough as leather. But when it is braised it gets elevated into a new territory. Then I have a ton of delicious meat that cost me next to nothing to make.

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