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What's good to braise besides shortribs?

Chowpatty Feb 5, 2008 05:11 PM

I'm kind of a meat cooking novice but I've gotten great results with beef shortribs braised in port, etc.
I'm not really a huge lamb fan, and I'd like like to get my meat at a normal supermarket, not a pricey specialty butcher.
What cuts of beef or pork are good braised? Any favorite recipes?

  1. toodie jane Feb 10, 2008 09:43 AM

    beef or lamb shanks served over cheesy polenta. m-m-m-m.

    Try Latino markets for a greater variety of less tender beef and pork cuts. Prices are usually 30% less than Anglo supermarkets as well.

    1. steve h. Feb 9, 2008 05:13 PM

      boneless beef chuck or bottom round is the best. look for a fresh supermarket cut around three pounds (you'll want leftovers). braise the beef in red wine. lidia bastianich has an outstanding recipe (stufato al barolo). pair with gorgonzola polenta.

      1 Reply
      1. re: steve h.
        chef chicklet Feb 10, 2008 10:35 AM

        You just jogged a memory. To save money,I would take a thick cut round steak, wine, tomato paste, peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, onions carrots, and green peppers. Let it braise for a good amount of time. 2 hours or so then thicken the sauce, make perfect mashed potatoes and called it Swiss Steak. I love your idea to serve this with polenta.

      2. ipsedixit Feb 6, 2008 08:27 PM

        How about pig's feet or oxtail?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit
          m
          Mel.D Feb 9, 2008 05:00 AM

          I just got the Molly Stevens All About Braising, mentioned above by Beetlebug, and I highly recommend it. It's exactly what the title suggests with about 160 recipes.

        2. m
          mlgb Feb 6, 2008 12:14 PM

          Back when I used to eat a lot of meat and was poor, I would braise a "7-bone chuck roast."

          1. m
            morwen Feb 6, 2008 07:50 AM

            Shanks braise beautifully-beef, veal, and even though you're not a lamb fan, I've converted people with lamb shanks. Same basic method for them all in a dutch oven. Season simply and brown them off. Remove the shanks and then sweat large diced celery, onion and carrot in the same pan. Throw in some parsley and rosemary, s&p. Lay shanks on top, Add liquid (stock, water, wine or a combination thereof) cover and simmer slowly on top of the stove or in the oven for 2-3 hours until fork tender. Remove the shanks, strain out the veggies, separate the grease from the stock and return the stock to the pan and simmer until reduced. Or you can take some of the cooked veg, puree and return to the stock to thicken. Low and slow is the secret to tender braised shanks. Herbs, spices and wines can all be varied to your tastes or appropriate to the meats you're using. When I do venison or other game I throw a few juniper berries in the mix.

            2 Replies
            1. re: morwen
              280 Ninth Feb 6, 2008 09:50 AM

              Another lamb shank anecdote: I made a lamb osso bucco using shanks and served it to someone who I later learned "hated" lamb. Well, three servings later, I think she changed her mind, at least about braised shanks!

              Braising is a wonderful technique for many foods, as you can see above. This weekend I'm going to braise a 2 1/2 lb. slab of bacon and add the braised bacon to a tomato sauce I'll serve over pasta (recipe in Zuni Cafe Cookbook).

              Enjoy!

              1. re: 280 Ninth
                t
                torty Feb 6, 2008 07:07 PM

                Gotcha on the lamb shank. I was babysitting the neighbor's 9 year old. She kept asking for some more of "that sweet chicken". She is now a high school senior with an athletic scholarship to a major university- still not sure if I would tell her what she ate.

            2. Morganna Feb 6, 2008 05:34 AM

              I braise spareribs all the time a la Alton. His "Who loves ya, babyback" is the recipe I use, even though that's for babybacks I use it on everything from spareribs to beef ribs to chuck roast.

              1. b
                bbrooke Feb 6, 2008 05:01 AM

                The best meat to braise is a cut with lots of connective tissue or fat that will break down as the meat cooks and become very tender. My favorite meats to braise are pork shoulder or pork butt but braised chicken thighs(bone-in) or duck legs are also great.

                1. fmed Feb 5, 2008 06:35 PM

                  Pork Belly is great for braising. My favorite method is a sweet Asian style (often with a sake base).

                  1. goodhealthgourmet Feb 5, 2008 06:15 PM

                    cabbage & brisket are my absolute favorites.

                    1. firecooked Feb 5, 2008 06:09 PM

                      I did a pork loin roast a couple of weeks ago... I was looking for pork shoulder, but the butcher was out, so he gave me a "tail end" of a loin roast (it was a bit thinner than the loin roasts in the case), about 2 1/4 pounds. I salted and seared, added a chopped onion and some garlic, then a bit of chicken broth (about a 1/2 inch in my pot). I added a couple of dry chipotle chili's, and cooked at a low simmer for a couple of hours. I pulled out the meat to cool, and stained the liquid. I removed some of the fat (there wasn't much) and returned the liquid to the pot, and reduced down to about a 1/2 cup. Meanwhile, I shredded the pork, then returned to the pad to re-heat.

                      It was so yummy! We ate in burritos, mixed some leftovers with BBQ sauce for sandwhiches, and even had a bit more in a queso.

                      1. Jennalynn Feb 5, 2008 05:45 PM

                        Oxtails!

                        Don't fear them... they're delicious. (oh, they're beef)

                        Try this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                        1. beetlebug Feb 5, 2008 05:42 PM

                          In October 2006, Molly Stevens, All About Braising was the cookbook of the month. Here is the mother thread.

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/330177

                          Some of my favorite things to braise: cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli rabe with arugula, chicken thighs, pork butt, potatoes, veal meatballs and a big slab of bacon.

                          1. v
                            valerie Feb 5, 2008 05:35 PM

                            I love brisket. I make it using this recipe for short ribs, but it works just as well for brisket. Only changes are that I double the ingredients for the sauce, and cook it longer than the recipe calls for. Plus I use crushed pineapple rather than chunks. For a 4 or 5 lb. brisket, I cook it for 3 - 3 1/2 hours, covered. Yum.

                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/4669

                            Or if you like a more savory brisket, there are a million recipes out there, many on Chowhound, just do a search.

                            The other thing that I make on a consistent basis in my LC is Alton Brown's 40 Cloves and a Chicken. He says use a wide fry pan or skillet, but I use my LC all the time and it's great.

                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                            1. v
                              Val Feb 5, 2008 05:24 PM

                              Is turkey out of the question? Dark turkey braises beautifully...here's a recipe from my "to try" pile for Braised Dark Meat Turkey Over Egg Noodles which sounds heavenly, maybe you can try it before I do!

                              http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipe...

                              1. m
                                Mel.D Feb 5, 2008 05:16 PM

                                I posted somethng similar a few days ago b/c I had a probelm with a pork tendeloin which I overcooked, and too tender for brasing anyhow. I was told by other posters that pork shoulder is good and my mom told me that a plain pork roast is good, as is a beef pot raost. Chicken is good brasied in chicken stock and white wine. There are some good and free braising recipes on the williams sonoma website. I got a le crueset dutch oven for christmas and I've been on a braising frenzy!

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