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Braising vegetables and meat simultaneously

Hi! After many months of reading these forums I've finally made an account so as to seek guidance as I venture into new styles of cooking. I very recently bought my first Le Creuset piece, a 4 qt Soup Pot that I was hoping to use to explore the world of braising.

I'm hoping some more experienced cooks might be able to tell me if it's a good idea to try and braise vegetables (particularly sweet potatoes) alongside my meat of choice. I was hoping to braise some short ribs or lamb shanks over a bed of sweet potatoes so that the two foods start to share flavours, but I'm not sure if I'll end up disintegrating the potatoes into nothingness.

Would the secret be to add the vegetables during the middle of the braise? Or am I worrying over nothing, and the solution is as simple as throwing everything into a pot together.

Thanks in advance for your time and expertise.

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  1. If you're seeking mushy vegetables, then sure. Otherwise, yes, add in the process. If you google a particular meat and vegetable or even just the word vegetable and braised, you'll get yourself started. Welcome.

    1. I wouldn't be braising any vegetable that I wanted to stand alone later. Maybe roast them in the same oven aside from whatever you're braising...unless you want to make baby food.

      1. Here's one:

        http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/67...

        You can also see if your library has Molly Steven's All About Braising.

        1 Reply
        1. re: c oliver

          That sounds wonderfully unique, and delicious. Am going to try it out with lamb shoulder. Thanks.

        2. It also depends on how large the cuts are, but, I would put the vegetables in halfway through.
          Here's an interesting recipe: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/67...
          Another idea: one can lift out the meat, strain the veggies, and mash. Then serve the sauce as a gravy over the mashed vegetables, meat on the side.

          2 Replies
          1. Thank you all for the replies, that recipe for the Vietnamese lamb shanks looks like exactly what I was going for.

            1 Reply
            1. In a similar vein to the original post, I had a another question about braising vegetables.

              I was planning to make this dish this weekend: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

              The recipe says to set aside the solids for another use. In some blog posts I have seen from when people have made the recipe, they just throw out the vegetable solids. Provided I peeled the garlic first, wouldn't the vegetables solids taste good enough to include a heap beside the ribs to enjoy with mashed potatoes? It doesn't need to look great, as it isn't to serve to company. It just has to taste good and I am thinking that might work just as well as a vegetable side as something I could cook separately. Would this work or would those vegetables be destroyed after three hours of cooking?

              6 Replies
              1. re: aasg

                My personal experience with vegetables like that is that I find them pretty inedible...as vegetables. I blend them and make gravy.

                1. re: c oliver

                  This is helpful to know. I will need to look for a nice vegetable to have with it now. Maybe some broccolini,,,

                  1. re: aasg

                    You could have the same vegetables, just cook them after or at the end. And not everyone agrees with me regarding the edibility of those vegetables.

                  2. re: c oliver

                    Good to know I am not the only one who ends up having vegetables that are not very palatable.

                    Will try blending them into gravy next time too see how it goes!

                  3. re: aasg

                    I have used those overcooked veg as the base of a vegetable soup- i discard any peels etc and then add water and blend with my immersion blender. I then use this as the broth of my soup- it has a really great flavor from cooking for so long.

                    Or you could also mash them into mashed potatoes