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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

September 14 2009

Technique Week - How to Braise Meat

Braising is a cooking technique in which the main ingredient is seared, or browned in fat, and then simmered in liquid on low heat in a covered pot. The best equipment to use would be a crock pot, pressure cooker or Dutch oven.

There are 9 basic steps to braising meat:

- Season the main ingredient with salt and pepper.

- Heat a few tablespoons of oil and/or butter in a heavy pan or Dutch oven.

- Saute meat or vegetables in the pan on medium-high heat until the meat browns.

- De-glaze the pan by pouring broth, stock, wine or juice and scrape any pieces of meat that are stuck to the pan and stir.

- Add cooking liquid (water, stock, wine, juice or some combination) to the half-way point of the main ingredient.

- Cover and place the meat on the middle of a rack in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

- Cook until completely tender. This can range from 1 hour to 6 hours, depending on what you are cooking.

- Remove the pan from the oven and strain the meat and vegetables out of the liquid.

- Remove the excess fat floating in the liquid, and then reduce the sauce to desired thickness by cooking it down over low heat until it thickens. Or, make gravy by adding a mix of equal parts fat and flour (a roux).