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What's the braising rule again?

katecm Sep 20, 2007 01:31 PM

I'm making beef barbacoa tonight, but won't have a ton of time. I'll cut my beef into small pieces so that they braise super-quickly, but what's the temperature and time rule of thumb? Meat should be 180 for 30 minutes? Thanks to whoever can remind me.

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  1. c
    chazzerking RE: katecm Sep 20, 2007 01:38 PM

    cut it in small pieces and it's a stew not braised. That said, I've always used 200 for an hour for the connective tissue to dissolve, at a minimum.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chazzerking
      katecm RE: chazzerking Sep 20, 2007 02:06 PM

      Once it's shredded for barbacoa, it won't matter what word you use. It'll be delish. Thanks.

    2. C. Hamster RE: katecm Sep 20, 2007 02:20 PM

      "Braise Super Quickly" is an oxymoron. Braising, by definition, is a slow-cooking technique.

      1. monavano RE: katecm Sep 20, 2007 02:33 PM

        Braisingis cooking with liquid in a heavy covered pot, gently until tender (paraphrasing Molly here). When in a hurry I've cut beef into cubes to braise quicker. However, I set my temp on the high side, like 350 degrees.
        It works in a pinch. Good luck with the barbacoa.


        2 Replies
        1. re: monavano
          katecm RE: monavano Sep 20, 2007 02:37 PM

          Thanks Monavano for the vote of confidence! I've done this many times on a weeknight with much success. It's a big change from doing flank steak or ground beef for Mexican.

          1. re: monavano
            C. Hamster RE: monavano Sep 20, 2007 02:46 PM

            Braising is defined by low temperature and slow cooking time. According to M.S. herself: "Braising--cooking food slowly and at low temperatures in a closed pot with a little liquid--produces deeply flavorful food. "

            At 350 you are not braising, you are boiling the meat, not "simmering peacefully" (quoting Molly).

            Braising is not a technique to use when you are in a hurry.

          2. c
            chazzerking RE: katecm Sep 20, 2007 02:41 PM

            one other quibble; barbarcoa is charcoal grilled slowly. It's not braised, stewed or cooked in any liquid. It may be pulled beef but not barbarcoa

            1 Reply
            1. re: chazzerking
              paulj RE: chazzerking Sep 20, 2007 04:22 PM

              Most barbacoa recipes call for cooking the meat in a leaf wrapping, with a pan to catch the juices. Bayless says it is more steam-roasting than smoke-roasting. A home oven approximation would be a foil wrapped or dutch oven braise, where most of liquid comes from the meat itself.

              As to the timing question, unless I am cooking meat in a sealed foil pouch, I judge the timing by taste. Higher heat (e.g. 350 as opposed to 300) doesn't speed up the cooking, it just increases the risk of boiling off all the juices. Unless you keep the oven below 200, the meat is going to be cooking at the boiling temperature of liquid, regardless of the oven temperature.


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