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Best Braising Cookbook?

Please suggest a great braising cookbook to include with a Le Creuset oven for a gift. I don't have a clue since these days I use the internet for recipe searches, but my friend prefers cookbooks. Thanks!

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  1. My wife has about five braising cookbooks, but we both like the Cook's Illustrated Slow and Easy Recipes the best. The Molly Stevens' All About Braising is OK, but it has a lot of strange flavor combinations.

    Also: lucky friend.

    7 Replies
    1. re: ScienceMike

      Molly Stevens' book came to my mind, too. I personally like the flavour combinations and do not think any of them are strange. However, I tend to seek different combinations than many... :-D

      You may also like Daniel Boulud's "Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine".

      1. re: chefathome

        I've not heard of that Boulud book - sounds interesting. Any particular favorites?

        1. re: MMRuth

          Yes, many, and thankfully I was able to find my favourite one one online (rather than typing it out). It is incredible! Braised Pork Shoulder with Guiness, Dried Cherries and Sweet Potatoes.
          http://marketplace.publicradio.org/di...

          Although I recommend Stevens' book my preference is for Boulud's as it is more my cooking style - I like more challenging and unique techniques, ingredients and recipes.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Melissa Clark's mustardy braised rabbit dish is wonderful!
            http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/04/din...

          2. re: chefathome

            I also like Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine. Molly Stevens book is a good starter for braised dishes but Boulud's book has more interesting recipes.

            1. re: honkman

              Totally. His recipes are a different playing field.

          3. re: ScienceMike

            Didn't know CI had an only-braises book! Now that's promising!

          4. I love Molly Stevens' "All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking". Lots of tips and information, discussions on how best to use pots like Le Creuset , and the recipes span the globe, which I really enjoy. For example, I like that there are traditional braises (like chicken & dumplings, zinfandel pot roast, cabbage rolls), but also others with Italian, Indian, Filipino, Moroccan, French, Mexican, Chinese, etc. flavors.

            It was a Chowhound Cookbook of the Month twice, so you'll find a lot of recipe recommendations, reports, and pictures here:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/330177

            Pics of a few favorites: World's Best Cabbage http://www.chow.com/photos/415728
            Braised Potatoes with Butter and Rosemary http://twitpic.com/3kzh8z
            Sausage and Pistachio-Stuffed Veal Marsala: http://twitpic.com/3kzhqs

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rubee

              Rubee thanks for taking the time to post the pics and find that link. I don't have much luck with the search feature. That veal marsala looks delish!

              Going to check out all the book suggestions. Thanks all.

            2. Thanks for the quick responses. ScienceMike brings up a good point that I should have mentioned. Would prefer a cookbook with a lot of classic and user friendly recipes rather than one with too many out there recipes using hard to find exotic ingredients. She enjoys international flavors, but don't think she'll be braising any organ meats and wild game. Hope that additional info helps narrow it down.

              A few of us are going in on this gift for a milestone birthday and we're the lucky ones since we've gotten to eat her cooking over the years. So maybe this is a self serving gift? :>)

              Thanks again everyone.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Island

                All About Braising would suit your friend fine, it sounds like. There are a few rabbit recipes, I think, but otherwise it's generally usual cuts of beef, veal, pork, lamb, and chicken that the recipes call for, plus there are fish and vegetable recipes. The recipes reflect various cuisines but don't call for lots of esoteric ingredients.

              2. par excellence ...

                http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Off-Bon...

                1 Reply
                1. re: todao

                  "Falling off the Bone" is one of the 8 culinary books I received for Christmas (this one is on backorder but I should be getting it next week). It looks like a great one!

                  "All About Braising" would still be appropriate, I think, as it showcases simple recipes and good explanations. Very user friendly.

                2. I bought All About Braising for my significant other and it was the best choice I could have made.

                  He cooks from it often and I love everything he's made form it.

                  The book has recipes I would consider everyday recipes (like the asian chicken thighes recipe -- not sure exactly what it's called in the book - which we have very often) to recipes I would consider more special occasion recipes. I would put the "beef bird" recipe in that category. It involves a thin cut of beef that is rolled up with pine nuts, prosciutto, raisins and other stuff and braised in a tomatoey sauce. It is sublime -- we have it for New Years Eve for the two of us many years in a row.

                  So whether your friend is looking for everyday recipes or more involved recipes, I think this could be a very good book.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: karykat

                    Every recipe I've made from "All About Braising" has been fantastic. It's absolutely one of my favorite cookbooks.

                    1. re: Chris VR

                      +1 All About Braising

                  2. OK All About Braising it is. Picked it up at Borders today. Happy to see it in stock to page thru and it looks great. Thanks everyone and I'll pass on your other suggestions too.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Island

                      The new Jean Anderson, "Tender to the Bone", is excellent, should you want to broaden your scope of braising (primarily) recipes.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        That was hard to find.... The title of the book is actually "Falling Off the Bone", as compared to Ruth Reichl's "Tender at the Bone."

                        1. re: smtucker

                          Yes you are of course right. Oops.

                          1. re: smtucker

                            I was interested in Falling Off the Bone too, but that wasn't in stock and I really wanted to see it first. She loved her gift BTW. I can't wait to see what's on the menu next time she has us over.

                      2. Good suggestions, all. The Molly Stevens book enabled me to understand braising, though I might have picked up that knowledge from many other cookbooks that cover meat or general cooking, as for example any of several by James Peterson. I think a lot depends on whether a cook needs specific recipes or can work from general procedures, as in the case of your friend. You might want to personalize the gift and make a spiral binder with good braise recipes off the Internet. You might open a door for him or her.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Father Kitchen

                          Father K. Good suggestion about compiling the Internet recipes if only I were that organized! My husband wishes I'd pull out the LC more often since braised is one of his favorite words. He even bought some braising starter sauces at Williams Sonoma for a foodie Xmas gifts for me (him?) with the hopes of getting something in the pot more frequently.