A question about oven braising
Assuming the temperature of a braising liquid cannot exceed 212 degrees, and assuming that the braising liquid covers the meat that's being braised in a covered pot, what is the rationale for setting the oven at a temperature higher than 212?
Liquids lose a lot of heat from evaporative cooling. Functionally, this means that if you put a hot liquid in a 212 degree oven, the liquid temperature during cooking will still be a while below 212. Heat transfer from air is also not very fast, so if your braising liquid is cool to start off, putting it in a 212 degree oven will make it take a long time to warm up. Of course, you can account for this to some extent by heating the braise on the stovetop before putting it in the oven. But keeping the oven hotter than the boiling point, in a basic sense, is mostly done to keep the liquid temperature high (but not boiling).
Additionally, keep in mind that many or most people braising a meat don't fully submerge the meat. This means that the cooking is dictated in large part by the temperature of the moist air surrounding the meat. This air and steam can be above 212. Normally, the temperature of the surface of the meat is often below 212 as well, because the meat's temp is lowered by evaporative cooling, just like the liquid. Still, a higher oven temperature will make the meat cook at a higher temperature.
The other thing about higher oven temperatures is if the oven is hot enough, it can heat parts of the braise well beyond 212 by radiation. This can develop more complex flavors and even some browning. Technique and liquid level make a big difference in this respect. In this thread, I discussed how you can brown and crisp meats during a braise:
But even using another technique in a hotter oven can generate a bit of the same effect without using the method I described in that thread.