Definition: Braising is defined as the cooking of whole food or large cuts in a covered container with an appropriate amount of liquid which forms the basis of the sauce. to accompany the dish. Braising usually takes place in an oven
To cook meat that is too tough to roast but does not need to be cut into small pieces. Also to tenderise vegetables which contain tough cellulose.
Braising like stewing is a long slow process which converts and softens the collagen, it also retains water soluble vitamins and minerals.
Rice can be braised when the liquor eg stock is to be absorbed.
Large cuts of offal are also appropriate for braising.
Methods: There are two main methods of braising:
1. Brown Braising where the food is browned beforehand and dark ingredients such as brown stock or other red meat, or red wine are used.
2. White Braising where the food is blanched, refreshed and cooked in a white liquid such as white stock[back to the top]
Blanching and refreshing: is where the food is covered with cold water, brought to boil, or as in the case of vegetables plunged into boiling liquid and rinsed under cold water to remove sediment and impurities, bitterness, and to stop discolouration.
Marinading: is soaking in a mixture of wine, vegetables and seasonings to add flavour and aid tenderisation.
Glazing: is achieved by frequent basting with some of the cooking liquor after cooking to achieve a gloss finish to a joint.
Larding/Barding: is the threading of thin strips of fat (Larding) through the centre of a joint or the placing of a layer of fat on top (Barding).
Browning: can be achieved by flash roasting in a hot oven or in a pan on the top of the stove.[back to the top]
1. Use thick bottomed pans or ovenproof dishes with tight fitting lid. Bratt pans and jacket boilers are sometimes used.
2. Preheat oven - braising takes place at about 170ºC.
3. Prepare the base Vegetables (Mirepoix).
4. Add carefully prepared main food item (if brown braising vegetables and meat are browned beforehand) then add liquid to ....... of height of food.
5. Bring to boil, skim, cover, and transfer to oven.
6. Baste as appropriate checking temperature and quantity of liquid.
7. When cooked remove food, place in warm oven/hot cupboard, strain cooking liquor, thicken if white braising with cornflour, arrowroot, or beurre manié. correct seasoning, degrease.
8. Carve Meats in 5cm(1/4 inch slices), arrange in serving dish or on plate and lightly cover with sauce to prevent drying out.