How to braise meat like a pro

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Braising meat is so much easier than you think. It"s a completely hands-off cooking technique that turns meat into tender, melt-in-your-mouth bites.

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If you’re looking for a rich, filling comfort meal that requires very little intervention, braising meat is the way lớn go. You basically throw everything into a Dutch oven & the meal prepares itself!

Bonus: this cooking technique magically transforms tough cuts of meat into tender bites, making it an inexpensive way khổng lồ feed a crowd. Meats lượt thích chuck roast, lamb shanks và short ribs wouldn’t taste great cooked over the high heat of the grill, but they become juicy và tender after being braised.

What does braising mean?

Braising is a combination cooking method that uses both dry- & moist-heat techniques lớn break down tough cuts of meat over a long period of time. You start by searing the food in a small amount of oil to caramelize the outside, browning & crisping up the exterior without cooking the meat all the way through. Then, you showroom liquid—it can be broth, wine, beer, cider or even water—and simmer the meat over gentle heat for hours until it becomes soft & tender.

What’s the difference between braised meat và stewing recipes like beef stew? Braising uses just enough liquid to come halfway khổng lồ three-quarters of the way up the meat. Stewing, on the other hand, submerges the food in liquid (like a soup). Stews also generally gọi for the meat lớn be cut into small, uniform-sized pieces, whereas braised meat can be left whole in its original roast form.


How lớn Braise Meat Without a Recipe

The best meats for braising are large cuts with lots of connective tissue. When exposed to lớn low temperatures for a long period of time, that tissue breaks down and turns into gelatin, infusing the meat with rich flavor & giving toàn thân to the cooking liquid. Look for pork shoulder or ribs for pork dishes, thighs or legs for chicken, and if lamb’s on the menu, you’ll want shanks, leg or a shoulder roast. There are a lot of options when it comes to lớn beef. Chuck roast, short ribs and brisket are our favorites, but a rump roast or bottom round will work well, too.

Step 1: Sear the meat

Season the meat with salt và pepper and trim off any excess fat. Heat a small amount of neutral cooking oil (like canola oil) over high heat in a large Dutch oven. When the oil is shimmering, showroom the meat. It should sizzle as soon as it hits the pan; if it doesn’t, remove it & let the oil get hotter before proceeding.

Cook the meat for 1 khổng lồ 2 minutes until it’s browned & caramelized. Flip it over & repeat the process on the other three sides. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.


Step 2: Cook some aromatic ingredients

There will be some burnt-on bits at the bottom of the pan, but don’t fear: they’ll release over the next two steps và become a flavorful part of your sauce. Remove all but one tablespoon of the fat from the pan. địa chỉ a chopped onion, carrot and celery (and garlic, if you like). Cook, stirring from time lớn time, for about 5 minutes until they soften and the onions become lightly golden brown.

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Before you move on khổng lồ the next step, you can showroom dried or fresh herbs và cook them for an additional minute. Our favorites are thyme, rosemary, cất cánh leaf, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. You can also add other flavorings, lượt thích Worcestershire, mustard or soy sauce.

Step 3: Deglaze and showroom your liquid

Add a 1/4 cup of white wine, chicken broth, beer or water to the Dutch oven. The liquid should immediately start khổng lồ bubble up and steam when it hits the hot pan, releasing all those burnt bits from the bottom. Using a spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan until it’s mostly clear.


Place the seared meat back into the pan and địa chỉ enough liquid khổng lồ come halfway lớn three-quarters of the way up the meat. If you’re cooking chicken legs or beef short ribs, this might only be 1/4 cup of liquid. For larger roasts, it could take over 1 cup.

Step 4: Cook low & slow

Bring the liquid to lớn a simmer & cover the pot. You can braise on the stovetop over a low flame, or you can transfer the Dutch oven to lớn a 325°F oven—your choice! Take a peek inside the lid every 30 to lớn 45 minutes lớn turn the meat, checking to see if it’s done and adding any extra liquid if necessary.

How long should you braise the meat? It really depends on the form size and cut of meat, but you’ll know if it’s tender when pierced with a fork. That may take only 45 minutes with chicken but as long as 3 hours for pork, lamb or beef.


Step 5: Get ready khổng lồ eat

Once the meat is finished braising, it’s time to lớn eat! You can spoon the braising liquid as-is over the meat, or you can strain out the aromatic ingredients and reduce it lớn create a thicker gravy. Then vị trí cao nhất the dish with some fresh ingredients to balance out all those rich flavors, like chopped parsley, fresh dill, orange zest or pickled onions. To make it a complete meal, serve the braised meat with a starchy or vegetable-rich side dish.

Check out these meaty braising recipes that are so tender they fall off the bone.


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Taste of Home

Braised Short Ribs with Gravy

This recipe can be finished in a slow cooker which makes it very helpful during those very busy days.—Susan Kinsella, East Falmouth, Massachusetts
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Taste of Home

Braised Pork with Tomatillos

A pork braise is a sure way to lớn make people’s mouths water. The tomatillos in this dish offer a subtle hint of lightness to lớn the meat. For ultimate flavor, make the dish one day ahead & reheat. —La Boucherie, Matthew Lawrence, Vashon, Washington
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Contest-Winning Braised Short Ribs

I"ve been relying on this braised short ribs recipe ever since I bought my first slow cooker some 19 years ago. The fall-off-the-bone-tender entree is much appreciated on busy days. —Peggy Edwards, Heber City, Utah
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Wine-Braised Chicken with Pearl Onions

This is a family favorite handed down from my grandmother in London. She made it for every family gathering. It was always the first food lớn go on the table và the first one khổng lồ disappear. —Wayne Barnes, Montgomery, Alabama
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Taste of Home

Braised Herb Pork Chops

These herb-packed braised pork chops are great for entertaining because it comes together quickly & bakes for 2 hours. While visiting, my guests và I can enjoy the wonderful aroma. —Darci Truax, Billings, Montana

Beer-Braised Pulled Ham

To jazz up ham, I slow-cooked it with a beer sauce. Buns loaded with ham, pickles và mustard are irresistible. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts

Braised Hanukkah Brisket

My mother, Enid, always used the most marbled cut of brisket she could find to lớn make this recipe, so she"d get the most flavor. When she added carrots lớn the pan, she threw in some potatoes, too. —Ellen Ruzinsky, Yorktown Heights, New York

Savory Tomato-Braised Tilapia

I shared this recipe with my bunco group và now one of my friends makes it all the time. I think that"s the perfect testament to lớn just how good this dish is. —Nancy Shively, Shorewood, Illinois

Balsamic Braised Pot Roast

I first made this braised chuck roast dish to lớn impress my new mother-in-law. She loved it. Luckily, the oven does all the work in this never-fail pot roast. — Kelly Anderson, Glendale, California

Creamy Braised Chicken

A smooth, delicate cream sauce gives a special taste to lớn these tender chicken breasts accompanied by pearl onions và sauteed mushrooms. This dish is so rich-tasting, you"ll want to serve it lớn company. —Margaret Haugh Heilman, Houston, Texas

Beef & Mushroom Braised Stew

Every spring, my family heads out to our timber acreage khổng lồ collect morel mushrooms, and then we cook up this stew. We use morels, of course, but baby portobellos or button mushrooms or will work, too. —Amy Wertheim, Atlanta, Illinois

Wintertime Braised Beef Stew

This easy beef stew is incredibly rich. Since it"s even better a day or two later, you may want to lớn make a double batch. —Michaela Rosenthal, Woodland Hills, California

Spice-Braised Pot Roast

Just pour these ingredients over your pot roast and let the slow cooker bởi the work. Herbs & spices give the beef an excellent taste. I often serve this roast over noodles or with mashed potatoes, using the juices as a gravy. —Loren Martin, Big Cabin, Oklahoma

Moroccan Braised Beef

Curry powder is a blend of up to đôi mươi spices, herbs và seeds. địa chỉ cửa hàng a pinch of curry to your favorite soups, stews, salads & even rice for an exotic flavor. In this Moroccan stew, begin with 2 teaspoons of curry, then địa chỉ cửa hàng more lớn your taste. —Taste of trang chủ Test Kitchen

Braised Pork Loin Chops

An easy herb rub gives sensational taste to boneless braised pork chops that can be cooked on the stovetop in minutes. The meat turns out tender và delicious. —Marilyn Larsen, Port Orange, Florida

Honey-Beer Braised Ribs

Braised in beer with a sweet honey finish, these tender, flavor-rich ribs will be the talk of the table. Serve them with baked potatoes, green beans & a salad for a memorable meal. —Terry Serena, McMurray, Pennsylvania

Savory Braised Chicken with Vegetables

My braised chicken is a recipe my mom used khổng lồ make when I was small. It tastes much more complicated than it actually is! —Michelle Collins, Lake Orion, Michigan

Coffee-Braised Short Ribs

When the leaves start falling, I crave comfort foods like hearty slow-cooked stews and braised meats. I love this recipe because short ribs that cook until tender smell & taste impressive, but are super easy to make.—Melissa Turkington, Camano Islands, Washington

Coffee-Braised Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Adding coffee khổng lồ meat adds such a deep flavor. & this recipe is so easy—I put it in before work, & by the time we all get home, it"s ready for us lớn dig in. —Jacquelynn Sanders, Burnsville, Minnesota

Beer-Braised Stew

Guests will take one bite of this savory stew và immediately know something is different. & they"ll never guess the secret ingredient is beer! Serve this with a loaf of freshly baked bread and everyone will be happy. —Geri Faustich, Appleton, Wisconsin

Coffee-Braised Roast Beef

This recipe has been a family tradition since 1974. The meat is quick và flavorful, so it"s a nice welcome home after a long day of work. The coffee adds an intriguing flavor lớn the roast, và the juices can be thickened for a delicious gravy.—Nancy Schuler, Belle Fourche, South Dakota

Beer-Braised Roast with Root Vegetables

I lượt thích the combination of seasoned vegetables and lean meat in this recipe, & my wife likes how the seasonings complement the meat. I serve the roast with a garden salad and crusty multigrain bread. —Malcolm Cieszko, Washington, North Carolina