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Cooking 101: Braising

Asnow89 January 30, 2014 User blog:Asnow89

What is braising?

Rosemary braised lamb shanks full
Braising is a combination cooking method that uses moist and dry heat. Typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavor. Braising allows for really tender meat that falls apart easily. Most people associate pot roasts with braising.

Braising is a great way to cook inexpensive, tough, and fatty cuts of meat.

How do you braise?

  1. Season the cut of meat with salt and pepper
  2. Heat the Dutch oven or heavy pan and add a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil.
  3. Brown the meat or vegetables on all sides on medium-high heat
  4. Deglaze the pan by pouring broth, stock, wine or juice (only enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
  5. Scrape any bits that are stuck to the pan off and stir
  6. Now add cooking liquid (such as water or Stock) until it comes up to the half-way point on the piece of meat
  7. Cover the pan and transfer the meat to a pre-heated oven (normally around 350˚F)
  8. Cook until tender (ranging from 1 to 6 hours depending on what you are cooking)
  9. Take the meat out of the liquid and remove the excess fat.

Cuts of Meat to Choose

  • Beef: Chuck roast, blade roast, short ribs, brisket, and oxtail
  • Veal: Shanks, shoulder, and breast
  • Pork: Boston butt, shoulder, ribs, and belly
  • Lamb: Shoulder, leg, shanks, and breast
  • Poultry: Thighs and legs

Tips & Tricks

  1. You can use the remaining liquid from braising to make a sauce by cooking it down over low heat until it thickens (or you can add fat and flour to make gravy)
  2. Allow the meat to sit overnight in the sauce to get maximum flavor
  3. Always scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan to get more flavor in your sauce


Braised Red Meat
Check the cuts of meat that are perfect for braising above. Beef is one of the best things to braise because most cuts are fatty and tough, which is ideal for long term cooking.

Recipes:Pot-roasted Pork in White Wine with Garlic, Fennel, and Rosemary, Osso Buco, Manitoba Beer-braised Sticky Ribs, Brisket

Braised Poultry
Braising chicken and turkey thighs and legs are preferable because these are the fattier parts of the bird. Braise for less time than you would beef for ideal results.

Recipes:Braised Chicken with Chiles, Braised Turkey Breast a la Bourgeoise, Braised Turkey Thigh Pot Roast

Braised Vegetables
Braised vegetables have an incredible texture and very unique flavor.

Recipes:Braised Red Cabbage with Cranberries, Braised Baby Vegetables, Braised Artichokes with Mushrooms and Onions

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