Braising (from the French “braiser”) is a combination cooking method using both 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 of meat is often referred to as pot roasting.
Braising relies on heat, time, and moisture to break down the tough connective tissue collagen in meat, making it an ideal way to cook tougher cuts. Many classic braised dishes such as coq au vin are highly evolved methods of cooking tough and otherwise unpalatable foods. Pressure cooking and slow cooking (e.g., crockpots) are also forms of braising.
Familiar braised dishes include pot roast, Swiss steak, chicken cacciatore, goulash, Carbonade Flamande, coq au vin, sauerbraten, beef bourguignon and Moroccan tajines, among others. Braising is also used extensively in the cuisines of Asia, particularly Chinese cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine, where soy sauce (or in Vietnam, soy sauce and fish sauce) is often the braising liquid.
Braising is a favorite method for me. It allows the Chef to add and enhance flavors through slow cooking. This method can be used for not only meat, but fish, vegetables, legumes and any other type of food that needs a longer cooking process.
Our Osso Buco, a favorite dish of guests at the Grove Artisan Kitchen, is prepared with a braising method. Enjoy!
• 6 center cut pork osso buco
• Kosher salt and black pepper, A.P. Flour
• blended olive oil
• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
• 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
• 1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, smashed
• Pinch crushed red pepper
• 3/4 cup tomato paste
• 2 cups dry red wine
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 fresh thyme bundle
• 2 cups roasted pork or chicken stock
• Gremolata, recipe follows
1. Season the osso bucco with salt and pepper and flour
2. Coat a wide, flat heavy pan generously with olive oil blend Bring the pan to a high heat and add the osso buco to the pan and brown them very well on all sides
3. When the osso buco is well browned on all sides, remove from the pan and reserve. Remove the excess oil from the pan and add a little new oil and bring to a high heat. Add the vegetables to the pan and season with salt and pepper, and brown them very well. Add the tomato paste and cook until it starts to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.Return the osso buco to the pan. Add roasted Pork or Chicken Stock so the liquid becomes even with top of the meat. Taste the liquid and season with salt if needed. Add in the bay leaves and thyme bundle. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover, and put the whole pan in the oven.
5. Cook the osso buco for 1 hour. Pull the pan out of the oven and check the liquid level and the seasoning. Add more liquid, if needed, return the pan to the oven, and cook for another hour. Check to see if fork tender.
6. Remove the lid and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, remove the osso buco, and hold on a serving platter. Skim the fat off the surface of the sauce, if needed. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning and thickness.
• 1 orange, zested
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
• 1 small clove garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
Yield: 6 Servings