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Braised Meats - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for November 2013

What a perfect idea for a chilly month! And what a lot of possibilities. I can't wait to read about your braised meat dishes. Please share your recipes, your techniques, your outcomes, and of course, your photos!

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OK, let's get braising!

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  1. OK, I put a hold on All About Braising at the library.

    LN, do you think goulash qualifies as braising or is it too much of a stretch?

    9 Replies
    1. re: herby

      If you are talking about american (or most non-hungarian) goulash I would say they are perfect examples of braised meat dishes. The hungarian version is more a soup (what we would call goulash is more Pörkölt)

      1. re: honkman

        I have Hungarian cookbook from Hungary that a Hungarian friend brought for me. She made a few notes on the Goulash recipe and I always make it from that recipe using her small changes. It is soupy not not really soup. I think I need to look up definition for braise :)

        1. re: herby

          The All About Braising is probably one of my most favorite cookbooks. The World's Best Braised Cabbage recipe is the bomb.

          For beef, the Top Blade Steaks Smothered in Mushrooms & Onions is great too.

          The whole book is good!!! Did I mention that? Hahaha!

          1. re: chloebell

            Thank you for your endorsement :) I made a note of these dishes for when my library book comes in. Are there any oxtail braises that you like? Anything with lamb?

            Falling Off The Bone might have some good braises. I'll have a look tomorrow.

        2. re: honkman

          Hungarian Goulash is more of a stew than a soup.

        3. re: herby

          Interesting question herby, and one that we actually discussed here at home the other night. And I think that honkman is spot-on, that Hungarian goulash is more of a soup or a stew. But if you have a version that is more of a braise, then, why not?

          1. re: L.Nightshade

            From Wikipedia:

            Braising (from the French “braiser”) is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavor. Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting, though some authors make a distinction between the two methods based on whether additional liquid is added.

            Stews are similar to soups, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Generally, stews have less liquid than soups, are much thicker and require longer cooking over low heat. While soups are almost always served in a bowl, stews may be thick enough to be served on a plate with the gravy as a sauce over the solid ingredients.

            Looks like the main difference is whether or not you brown meat first. Well, I either brown or roast before adding liquid when making soups, stews and braises. Does that mean that I only make braises even if I think of it as soup? Very confused, time for bed :)

            1. re: herby

              I'm similarly confused, and fairly certain that tonight's Truckadero Beef Stew doesn't meet the intent of this month's dish - lots of liquid and only 1.5 hours of simmer after the beef is browned. So I'm off to the WFD thread.

              recipe http://www.food.com/recipe/truckadero...

          2. re: herby

            "All About Braising" is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks!

          3. I am making chicken thighs braised with leeks and dried apricots . I use a homemade leek stock which we make from the leek greens when we harvest them.
            A little sumac sprinkled on at the end for brightness is my secret ingredient.

            2 Replies
            1. re: magiesmom

              what other spices,etc. do you use?
              sounds delicious

              1. re: magiesmom

                Sounds delicious; I love chicken and apricots together. The sumac is a great idea.

              2. Most recently - braised lamb neck fillet.

                I used:

                2 large fillets, around 400 gms in total
                250 mls red wine(I used a cheap cab sav)
                250 mls beef stock
                2 decent sticks of rosemary*
                A stick of thyme*
                4 or 5 whole black peppercorns
                2 dried bay leaves
                2 large cloves of garlic, peeled, left whole, lightly smashed
                1 red onion, peeled and quartered
                Oil and salt for seasoning the meat

                *What I call a "stick" of these herbs is a piece from my plants, around three - four inches long with a healthy amount of leaves. Still doesn't explain it, right?

                I oiled and seasoned the lamb fillets and then seared until well browned in a deep, heavy based pan
                Tucked the garlic, onion, herbs and peppercorns around the meat
                Poured in around 2/3rds of each liquid
                Covered and left at a gentle simmer on the hob for 2.5 - 3 hours - I did gently turn the meat 3 - 4 times during the cooking as it wasn't covered by the liquid. Topped up the liquid when I thought too much had evaporated.

                When the meat was done, I removed it from the pan, strained the liquid and reduced it for the sauce. Served with mashed potatoes and creamed leeks.

                 
                4 Replies
                  1. re: delys77

                    Thank you! Two things I'd change next time - I'd swap one of the sides for a crucnchy green vegetable, like beans or broccoli, and I'd water down the cooking liquor before reducing - the stock I used turned out to be a bit too salty.

                    1. re: ultimatepotato

                      Sounds wise. I have had the same thing happen to me with reduced sauces.

                  2. I have earmarked many recipes in All About Braising by Molly Stevens
                    My first assignment is to read Principles of Braising.
                    I have the book but have not read or prepared recipe from it

                    1. My 26 year old grandson taught me a new trick in brewing chili.

                      I now braised chuck roast in beer at a low temperature like about 200 degrees. It braises overnight so that I can shred and chop it in the morning. The meat is very tender. The braising liquid is reserved in a jar in the fridge for a couple of hours until the fat has risen to the top of the jar. The fat is discarded.

                      A large cast iron Dutch oven is then used to make chili. Yes, it sounds like a lot of work, but the resulting chili is worth the effort. BTW, I'm retired. Usually there is enough chili for 5 lunches stored in 5 plastic contains and kept in the freezer.