[Moderator's note: The original topic, Cooking with "All About Braising" by Molly Stevens, became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Cooking with "All About Braising" by Molly Stevens (Part 1)]
Hi everyone - I'm a new member who has really enjoyed all the recommendations, descriptions and pictures on this forum. I love the book, and after cooking from it for several months have developed some opinions I will share.
Beef short ribs (using the boneless big ones from Costco, which work great!) using almost any recipe, but especially the maple and rosemary glazed ribs braised in ale, Marlene's red wine recipe, and the book's red wine and porcini mushroom recipe. All are fabulous, even if I skimp on the reduction phase.
Chicken with artichokes and mushrooms. I use marinated artichoke hearts because I always have a big jar on hand. I don't do the lighted cognac because I never have that, but the dish is still fantastic. I make it all the time because my kids rave about it.
Braised endive with proscuitto. Yumm! It was most successful with the green endive, not the red, and cooked in a smaller quantity rather than larger. - i.e. for a Thanksgiving crowd.
Coq au vin - a modified version, without pearl onions - was very good.
Rhubarb pot roast was quite good, but so long ago that it's hard to remember and compare. Once I discovered short ribs I sort of gave up on other beef cuts.
Least successful recipe: the cider braised chicken with parsnips. Nobody liked the parsnips, although I'm sure we'd be happy with chicken braised in cider with some other veg. Any ideas?
Favorite cooking vessel: I splurged on a Le Creuset low french oven, or risotto pot, and it's fantastic because it is wide and low. I did 9 pounds of short ribs in it over the weekend, and it worked like a charm. I also like my smaller Staub french oven because of it's black interior finish - nice for browning.
I cook on a four-oven Aga cooker, so it's been interesting finding the right oven to braise in. I would have guessed the simmering oven at 250 degrees would be good, but since Mollie's recipes (the ones I've done, at least) seem to call for 325 degrees, I usually use a rack on the bottom of the baking oven (which is set at 350, but that's theoretically in the middle of the oven). Sometimes I move the pot from one to the other. All in all, it's a style of cooking perfectly suited to an Aga, which is always turned on.
Nice to meet you all, and I look forward to hearing lots more!