What is Braise Cooking Technique?
First of all, let’s start with the dictionary meaning. Braise Cooking or (Braisé) or “Stew” cooking method in a low temperatures and longer time, closed in a little liquid sauce after roasting.
In fact, there were serious reasons why braisé (Braisé) was common in the West; The most important of these was the difficulty in finding a certain level of quality meat in the near future. In the south of the European continent, meat had already been consumed in moderation for centuries. In the northern regions, fattening animals were not as much as it was thought and cattle were bred to a very limited extent. Moreover, these animals were fed either for milk or to be used for plowing. Those whose milk yield was low or could not be double-grown were cut. The nobles, on the other hand, could not even be slaughtered before the economic life of the villagers had expired, as opposed to the occasional slaughter of quality livestock.
The result was the strongest of the reasons for the emergence of hard and hard to eat, muscular pieces of meat and the technique of developing braise to make this meat edible.
One of the most important issues about the Braise technique is the cooking liquid. This fluid is often and usually water. However, it is possible to use different liquids instead of water, broth, chicken broth, fish broth, and in some cases even wine or fermented liquids can be used to add flavor. However, the most important feature of the brewery technique is that the cooked food does not come into direct contact with the cooking liquid. In fact, for this process, a plate with holes or grill feet is placed inside the braze containers. Thus, the direct relationship of the food with the water remaining at the bottom is cut off. However, even if there is no direct liquid contact, the liquid in the container evaporates, providing a direct effect on the meat and directly affects the taste of the food.
How to Braise Cooking?
If you are going to use braise as a cooking technique, if you have enough patience, do not worry about the attractive scent that will emerge while cooking, if you are curious about the expression on their faces and the pleasure they receive when you offer your food to your guests, if you want to cook a meal with rich sauce at home, the conditions are provided. you are in.
The starch molecule in the content of the foods cooked with the Braise process is broken; The ligaments of hard-to-cook parts such as cellulose, protein, fiber, nerves, cartilage, hard muscle / connective tissues are broken, bringing them to the consistency of delight. It is the most suitable cooking technique for hard or less quality meats.
What is the Difference Between Braising and Stewing?
The primary difference between a braise and a stew is whether or not the protein is submerged in liquid. Braising usually uses whole, larger cuts of meat and the least amount of added liquid, while stews require food to be cut into uniform pieces and completely submerged in liquid. Sometimes these terms can be used interchangeably in the kitchen, though.
When what you’re cooking features a rich broth or gravy that’s just as important as the main ingredient, you may consider stewing as a technique. But if you’re making a larger pot roast or short ribs, or even a big batch of bitter green vegetables, a braise may be the way to go.
Different Braising Methods
- Stove Top Method– Braising on the stove is a fine way of starting out, but using one burner, especially for a larger pot, can be difficult; it’s harder to regulate the temperature and depending on how hot your stove runs, you may need to check the liquid levels frequently to make sure there’s no burning or hot spots. You may be able to step away for a few minutes, but not all that long because of the quick evaporation of the liquid.
- Oven Braising– Once you add all your ingredients and you’re ready to step away from things for a bit, consider an oven braise. The internal heat of the oven is a wonderful way to get consistent heating with little fluctuation. Checking a large pot in the oven can be tricky, though, and can be heavy to lift out when you need to do so.
- Slow Cooker- Keep the lid on to maintain a consistently hot and moist environment. Opening the lid multiple times causes the heat to leave, requiring extra time to come up to temperature. Crock-Pot’s run about 209ºF at its simmering point, perfect for braising. The braising liquid should be about halfway up the meat.
The Braising Technique
The first part of a successful braise is browning the meat. Browning uses the famous Maillard reaction to swiftly and effectively caramelize the sugars in the food to give what you’re cooking a richer, deeper flavor. Once your pot is heated, add an oil or fat (butter, lard, etc) and add your seasoned meat to the pot. The trick here is to get the meat deeply browned on the surface.
Once you’ve browned the meat, most likely you’ll have to remove it from the pot to add other ingredients that will make up the rest of the dish. This might be the time to add onions, leeks, garlic, fruits, vegetables, or other aromatics into the fat that’s in the bottom of the pot. Adding any of these ensures the flavors will be complex and delicious come dinner time.
How Much Liquid to Use
How much liquid you add depends on how you plan to serve it—add more if you want a more soupy, stew-like meal, less if you want a more concentrated sauce. This can be broth, beer, wine, vinegar, tomato juice, or even water, but be careful that you don’t add too much.
The liquid helps deglaze the bottom of the pot. Once deglazed, you can add the browned meat back in, careful that the level of the liquid doesn’t rise over the meat. You still want all that meat to rise above the liquid you’ve added.
Once you’ve reintroduced the meat into the vegetables and liquid, get the whole mixture back to just boiling, when large bubbles break through the surface of the liquid rapidly, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, at the lowest temperature on the stove.
Why Bring to a Boil and Then Simmer?
Making sure the food you’re cooking gets up to boiling before turning the heat back down is a great way to visually determine where you’re on the spectrum of moist heat cooking. Don’t let the braise boil too long, though, or what you end up with may ultimately be too tough.
What is the Braising Temperature?
If you’re doing the braise on the stove, use the lowest setting you can. If you’re using the oven, set the temperature somewhere between 250 and 325 degrees, depending on the recipe you’re using. Once you get the hang of braising, though, you can probably set your own temperature without a recipe.