Braising Meat: Making a Meal without Breaking a Sweat
Whether you are a busy parent or an on-the-go individual, braising meat is the ultimate in creating hearty, tasty dinners. As very few people would argue there is nothing better than coming home to the delicious aroma of a freshly prepared meal, who wouldn’t want a dinner that basically cooks itself?
What is braising meat?
In simple terms, braising is a technique used by cooks the world over since the origins of man and fire. Essentially a form of boiling, braising meats works as added moisture slowly separates collagen, or fibrous proteins found within most cuts of meat. Over a period of time, even the toughest meats can become tender and juicy through the braising process.
How to Braise Meat
While there are varied ways in which to braise, most people refer to the term slow cooking or pot roasting in reference to the process. For many, braising is an easy way to cook as there is typically little prep work and the dish cooks over a period of time with virtually no maintenance. Braising can be done over a campfire, in an oven, or in a specially designed slow cooker using a wide variety of different meats.
- To begin braising, you will first need to choose which type of meat and which spices you will use for your meal. Generally, tougher cuts such as brisket and rump roast are best, but most any meat will work.
After determining your meal plan, simply use your seasonings as rub for all sides of the selected cut. Next, to help lock in flavor, you will sear or brown each side of your cut in a large skillet over high heat for about 2 minutes.
- Using either a Dutch oven or slow cooker, you will place seared meat, fat side up into the cookware and add a minimal amount of liquid. This may be vegetable juice, wine, water, or other fluid required to obtain your desired flavor. A good rule of thumb for measuring added liquids is to never add more than half the height of your cut.
- If using a slow cooker, cover your dish with the lid assigned to your cooker and turn on low for the amount of time required for meat to become tender. If using a Dutch oven, cover the dish and place in the oven at a heat of 350° until meat becomes easily separated with a fork.