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Argh! Browning Meat....

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Alright. I love making chili verde and sometimes it comes out excellent and sometimes it comes out just okay. I don't know what I've done different the times it's come out excellent versus the times that it hasn't but I do know that the times it's come out pretty bad is when I tried to brown the meat. For some reason I have no idea how to do it correctly. I chop up the pork in cubes, pat it dry, leave it get room temp and etc. I put the meat in batches in a pot on medium high and leave it for a couple of minutes. When I'm done I add my chilie verde (blended up roasted tomatillos, garlic, peppers, spices,etc) and let it simmer for three hours or so. The meat always comes out tough the times I "brown" it and I can't seem to brown it without cooking the meat through before letting it simmer. Lately I've been paranoid trying to brown the meat and then halfway through just ending up not browning it and pouring the sauce over it. Any suggestions?

Thanks.

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  1. Brown the meat, then set it aside. Cook the rest of the chili for awhile, with the fond from browning, then add the meat back in.

    3 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      Thanks. Yeah, that's what I do. I put it to the side but it seems by browning that it cooks all the way through. Is it supposed to cook all the way through or be pink?

      1. re: Starving_Sound

        You could make the pork into larger (thicker) cubes, or you could increase the heat so that your browning step happens very quickly on high heat.

        (I've never made chili verde, but I do this with beef strips for stroganoff & am able to brown the meat without cooking it through. Same process - brown in batches, pull it out of the pan & set it aside in a shallow bowl, then add it back in after other ingredients have cooked a bit.) Be sure that your simmer is not at too high of a heat, too.

        1. re: Starving_Sound

          I'm with eepi on this. Brown quickly at higher heat. The meat should not be cooked through at this step. I use a separate pan for browning, and stir meat around to get it browned al over quickly.

      2. I prefer to brown the meat while it is cold and on a high heat. That way you can get some dark colouration on the outside without it cooking on the inside.

        And I do it in smaller batches then I used to think necessary.

        1. what cut of pork are you using?

          1. What size cubes is the pork? Too small?

            1. I disagree with the high heat browning. Heating causes the meat fibers to contract, forcing moisture to the inside, which is cooler. This is why it's important to rest meat. The juices then redistribute toward the exterior as it cools a bit. If the initial heat is too high, those juices will have cooked away. IME, searing is best done in a heavyweight pan that has been preheated at medium heat for 10 minutes. I do agree that it should only be browned briefly so it does not cook through on the sear.