Braised Beef, Pork, Lamb and Chicken - Tips, Guides and Recipes

Braising is a traditional slow cooking method for beef pork and chicken that produced tender dishes with a rich full flavor. The meat is fried over high heat then cooked in moist heat inside a Dutch over or heavy pot with a lid.

The meat is partially submerged in an aromatic liquid to which is added vegetables herbs and spices. The meat is cooked slowly, often for several hours, and is imparted with all the flavors in the pot. Braising draws out all the flavors in the meat and the cooked meat is tender and juicy provided it is not over-cooked or cooked to quickly.

This article provide tips and a comprehensive guide for braising various types of meat such as beef, lamb, game meats, pork and chicken.

There are also a fabulous set of wonderful well-proven recipes for braising meat.

Braised beef is easy to prepare. Learn how to do it here.
Braised beef is easy to prepare. Learn how to do it here. | Source
Various vegetables and even gnocchi or tofu can be added to the meat
Various vegetables and even gnocchi or tofu can be added to the meat | Source
Braised pork has a delightful richness and flavor
Braised pork has a delightful richness and flavor | Source
Braised pork chops and spare ribs are delicious and can be served with rice and steamed vegetables
Braised pork chops and spare ribs are delicious and can be served with rice and steamed vegetables | Source
Braised chicken has a rich flavor and the chicken melts in your mouth
Braised chicken has a rich flavor and the chicken melts in your mouth | Source
Braised pork spare ribs
Braised pork spare ribs | Source
Braised Lamb
Braised Lamb | Source

Steps for Preparing Braised Meat Dishes

Drying the Meat

Pat the raw meat dry using paper towels. This helps the meat surface to brown quickly when fried. Place the meat on a piece of baking paper to which salt and freshly ground pepper has been added. Roll and push the salt and pepper into the meat so it will adhere when the meat is being seared or fried.

Searing or Frying the Meat

Heat a Dutch oven or pot over high heat and add one or two tablespoons of rice bran or grape seed oil. These oils have a very high smoke point. Other similar oils can be substituted. Sear the meat well on all sides. Use tongs to hold the meat to ensure all surfaces are well browned. Aim for a dark and crusty sear. This seals the meat and generates a lot of traditional flavor for the braised meat dish. Use a high temperature to ensure the outer layer is well seared on all surfaces.

Enlivening the Spices and Aromatics

Remove the seared meat and set aside. Add the crushed or bruised spices, onions, garlic and other aromatics to the hot pan and fry to release the flavors.

De-glaze the Pan to Harvest the Flavors

Lower the heat and add some hot liquid such as stock or wine. Scrape to gather all the flavor of the materials and coating on the bottom of the pan from the frying. Add enough extra liquid sufficient to partially cover the meat when it is added back into the pan with the vegetables.

Assemble the Seared Meat and Vegetables

Add the meat back into the liquid the pot. Add the potatoes, carrots and other vegetables and add more liquid so that the level in the pot comes about midway up the side of the meat.

Braise the Meat and Vegetables

Place a lid on the pot and place in an oven, using low heat (about 325 degrees F; 160 degrees C). Cook slowly until the meat is tender. This generally takes about 45 minutes for a whole chicken or large pieces. For pork and beef it will take several hours. The cooking can also be done in a slow cooker.

Thickening the Sauce and Serving the Dish

Once the meat is cooked, the dish can generally be served straight from the oven. Or you can remove the meat and vegetables of heat the liquid briefly to thicken it. You can also add fresh herbs, mustard, cream or spices as this stage.

Braised Pork Shoulder Recipe - Slow Cooked

Ingredients

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 carrot, sliced and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch parsley stems, tied with string
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds (1 kg) pork shoulder, cut into 6 large chunks

Method

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Dry the pork with paper towels and roll in salt and pepper on baking paper. Force the pepper and other spices into the meat. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch Oven or thick pot. Sear the meat on all sides using tongs to hold it in place. Remove the meat and set aside, Briefly fry the garlic, onions, celery, and carrot until they just start to soften (about 5-7 minutes). While the pot is still hot, stir in the tomato paste and combine to caramelize the sauce into a paste. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for a further 2 -3 minutes. Pour in the wine and scape the pan to release the bits on the base. Whisk the liquid and heat to reduce the volume by about a half it by half. Return the seared pork to the pot. Add the beef stock, bay leaves and parsley stems, and any other herbs you may want to include. Add extra stock to ensure the liquid level extends up the sides of the meat to about half. Cover the pan and transfer it to the oven and cook very slowly until the meat is just cooked (generally about three hours). Remove the parsley stalks, season with salt, pepper and extra herbs and serve.

Braised Chicken in Mustard and Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup good quality chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz pound (250 g) white button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon ( or other herbs to taste)
  • 2 pounds (1 kg) chicken thighs with skin and bones removed

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rinse and dry the chicken thighs using paper towels. Roll the pieces on baking paper sprinkled with pepper and salt. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven or other type of heavy pan over high heat. Sear the chicken thighs on all sides, working in batches and using tongs to ensure all surfaces are seared. Remove the seared chicken when well-browned and set aside. Add some extra oil to the pot and fry the mushrooms until transparent and soft (generally about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms fry for an additional 3 - 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about two minutes without burning the garlic. Add the tomatoes. Sprinkle on some flour and the tarragon and cook for 1-2 minutes. Increase the heat and de-glaze the pan by adding white wine and scraping while the wine bubbles. Add more wine if needed and lower the heat. Adding the chicken to the pot and pour in enough chicken stock to cover the chicken about half-way. Put a lid on the pot and cook slowly in the oven for about 45 minutes, removing the lid after about 20 minutes. Check to ensure the chicken is cooked right through. Then remove the chicken and set aside. Add the sour cream and mustard to the pan and mix well. Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over the chicken as it is served. Pour into a serving bowl and serve.

Braised Pork Ribs with Apple Cider Vinegar Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 carrot, sliced and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 stalk celery, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 pounds (1 1/2 kg) bone-in pork ribs
  • 2 1/2 cups good quality chicken stock
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed oil or rice bran oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Dry the pork ribs using paper towels and rub salt and pepper into each rib. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy pot or Dutch using high heat. Add the ribs and sear well on all sides. Remove the ribs as they are cooked and set aside. Add some more oil and lower the heat to medium. Add the celery, onions, carrots and fry until the vegetables start to soften (generally about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for an additional five minutes. Then, add the tomato paste and cook while stirring for about 3 minutes. De-glaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar, scraping the release the residues stuck to the base of the pan. Add the bay leaves, red pepper flakes and any additional spices you prefer. Add the seared ribs back into the pan and pour in sufficient stock to half cover the ribs. Bring the pan to a simmer. Then place the lid on the pot and transfer to the oven. Braise in the oven until until the pork on the ribs is tender (generally about 1 1/2 hours). Remove the lid during the last 30 minutes to thicken the sauces and to brown the pork.

© 2014 Dr. John Anderson

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    Dr. John Anderson (janderson99)753 Followers
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    John applies his scientific & research skills (PhD) to develop recipes, food guides, reviews of healthy whole foods, ingredients & cooking



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