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Old 06-23-2009, 07:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Braising

I was just given a new Enameled Cast Iron pot as an early birthday present and I want to make some food in it...

My first thought was to make some braised lamb shanks (which I love) but I am getting a lot of eye-rolling from my wife and son. They don't like lamb shanks (my wife is a vegetarian so I suppose she has an excuse but her point is that people find eating lamb difficult... I think lamb is the best meat... but, as usual, I digress).

I am looking for some suggestions for some braised meats. What have you got to share?


Braised Lamb Shanks

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 lamb shanks
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 liter apple cider
2 cups raisins
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 bay leaves
2 crisp apples, cored and chunked
Salt and pepper
1 celery rib, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 apple, cored and chunked

Heat a heavy bottomed stew pot over medium high heat and add oil. When it begins to smoke, add lamb shanks and brown until they are a deep golden colour on all sides. Remove from pan and rest on a plate.

Drain excess fat from pot, then return the shanks to the pot. Add carrots, celery, onions, apple cider, raisins, cinnamon, bay leaves, and the apples. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover tightly and braise for 1.5 to 2 hours, until meat is very tender and almost falling off the bone. Add sliced celery, carrot and apple during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you it sounds sweet so not really for my house but I am sending it to my sister-in-law who I think would love it.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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did you get a le crueset? (i wish you could hear the tone and intonation when i ask that)

braising is GREAT for tough cuts of meat (it breaks down collogen and makes the meat all tender and juicy) and root vegetables.

here is a tasty recipe for beer braised short ribs


you need:

* 3 pounds beef short ribs, about 10 ribs
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 10 to 12 garlic cloves smashed
* 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
* 12 ounces good ale. Bass is good, Fat Tire is good. dont waste time with budwiser or other watery beers.
* 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
* 1 cup hoisin sauce

salt and pepper the ribs. heat the oil in your new pot cast iron enameled pot. brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary. remove the ribs and pour off all but a couple tablespoons of the rendered fat.

lower the heat to medium and saute the garlic and ginger for about 3 minutes. put ribs back in pot. add the beer and the vinegar. stir it up, cover, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

pour the hoisin sauce over the ribs, stir it around, move the pot to the oven, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.


serve this with mashed turnips (just like making mashed potatos, only use turnips) and snow peas (sautee snow peas in vegetable oil and sesame oil for about 3 minutes, till they are bright green. throw on salt and pepper and sesame seeds. )
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What a nice birthday gift.

I love my enameled cast iron Dutch oven. I will probably never cook meat in it, but I will be watching this thread for delicious recipes to dream about. Sorry, I have no recommendations; I use mine mostly for making soup. If you're interested in vegetarian recipes for your wife, I have plenty of those.

I've always wanted to do lamb shanks myself, and squeeb, those short ribs sound tasty.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Idiot Question: We are talking about the same style of cooking and temperature settings associated with a crock pot or slow cooker correct? Looking at images of the type of cookware described by the OP I'm thinking I'm correct in my assumption, but the is always room for error.

If it's the same style, then I've got some recipes for it.

To the OP, I'd try throwing some Port wine into that recipe one time, we always braised our shanks with Port or some sort of red wine. Then again, I put alcohol in everything.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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lord eden -

NOT an idiot question. not at all.

to braise something, first you brown it on the stove top, then you add liquid and aromatic ingredients, cover, and put it in a hot oven for a long time. you are trying to get everything in the pan tender, and you usually use that braising liquid, which after hours has become intensely flavorful, in a sauce.

when you hear the term "pot roasting" or "pan roasting" it usually means shallow braising, not as much liquid.

with a crock pot or slow cooker, you throw everything in there and turn it on and let it do it's thing. it's like braising, only without browning the ingredients.

as for what to briase in - you need a high sided oven proof pan that can be used on a stovetop. so a dutch oven, a cast iron pot, a deep roasting pan with a lid, all work.

does that help at all?

oh, and adding wine or port will usually just make whatever you are cooking that much more awesome! especially if you are using a red sauce.
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Last edited by squeeeb; 06-24-2009 at 12:01 PM..
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I adore braising, especially lamb and pork.

The Braised Pork Taco has been a part of my culinary repertoire for years.

• 2 ancho chiles
•omg2 dried chipotle chiles
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 (3 to 5 pound) bone-in pork shoulder
• Salt and pepper
• 2 onions, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 4 sprigs thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand crushed
• 1 orange, halved
• 1 lime, halved
• Tomatillo Salsa Verde, for garnish, recipe follows

Put the chiles into a small bowl and cover with hot water; set aside. In a large heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Generously season the pork with salt and pepper. Brown the meat well on both sides, about 5 minutes per side; remove the meat and set aside. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, cumin, thyme, and bay leaf; fry until softened, about 5 minutes, scraping up the browned bits in the pan. Stem and seed the soaked chiles reserving the soaking liquid; hand tear them into the pot. Return the meat to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Top the meat with the tomatoes. Pour in the chili soaking liquid, straining out any seeds, until it almost covers the meat; add water if you need more liquid. Squeeze the orange and lime juices into the pot and add the rinds. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the pork is very tender. Remove the meat to a platter and cover to keep warm. Strain the braising liquid and reserve.

Shred the pork. Add some of the reserved braising liquid if the meat is dry. Take a tortilla and place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top. Garnish with the avocado, radishes, and Salsa Verde; fold the sides up and serve.

Salsa:
• 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
• 1 jalapeno, stemmed
• 1 small Spanish onion, quartered
• 3 garlic cloves
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
• 1 lime, juiced

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatillos are soft but have not burst. Add the cooked vegetables to a blender with the cilantro leaves and lime juice. Pour in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and process to a coarse puree. Taste and adjust seasoning with more cilantro, lime juice, or salt.

Braised Pork Tacos Recipe : Tyler Florence : Food Network
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey Squeeb... excellent explanation of braising, couldn't have written it better myself.

It's not a Le Crueset but it will do the job.

I am also thinking I might do some Veal Cheeks or Osso Bucco...
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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osso buco.... FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

you gotta use red wine or port in that.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some tips on braising from Harold McGee:

• No matter what you're braising - big roast, small chunks of meat, or a vegetable - use a heavy pot that conducts heat well, with a tight-fitting lid.
• Keep meat chunks large, and try not to give them ragged edges or pierce them when you put them into the pot. You want their juices to stay in and also be able to absorb and retain the moisture you're adding.
• If you're cooking meat, brown it very quickly over high heat. You don't want to cook the meat very much at all - just create flavor.
• Manage the heat; just boiling meat for two hours will not make a tender stew.
• Start the braise in a cold oven or over a cold burner, and let the the liquid slowly heat over a period of two hours. McGee says that the time that the meat spends below 120F replicates the aging process, weakening connective tissue, so a slow, deliberate warming will make it even more tender.
• Let the meat or vegetable cool in the liquid. This will help it reabsorb moisture.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan View Post
Some tips on braising from Harold McGee:


Start the braise in a cold oven or over a cold burner, and let the the liquid slowly heat over a period of two hours. McGee says that the time that the meat spends below 120F replicates the aging process, weakening connective tissue, so a slow, deliberate warming will make it even more tender.
.
i was unaware of this. i've always had a pre-heated oven. this sounds like a great technique.

now i gotta braise something.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeeeb View Post

now i gotta braise something.
You and me both brother...
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