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Cooking with "All About Braising" by Molly Stevens (Part 1)

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#121 Smithy

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 11:34 PM

I got to thinking...I wonder how would the meat and sauce turn out if I used BBQ sauce as my liquid.  I'd most likely try half bbq sauce and half beef stock so it won't dry out but I was wondering if anyone has tried braising this way.  Something tells me it would be awesome.

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It is!

I've never been a fan of barbecue sauce, but my husband loves it and tends to use it in his slow-cooker recipes. I've gone from accepting it to actively liking some of it (Famous Dave's Hot 'n' Spicy is the current fave). After the eGCI braising lab I was on a roll, thoroughly sick of bottom round roast but ready to try braising ribs, and with a sudden windfall of cheap baby back ribs. (Those ribs were so cheap I keep wondering whether those cows were mad as hatters, but the deed is done now.) After browning the ribs I deglazed with beef stock or wine, depending on what was handy, and then added a bunch of the sauce from the jar. It was very, very good. Go for it!

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#122 Octaveman

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 12:29 PM

I probably should have searched the net first but I found lot's of way's to do Braised BBQ everything. It still would be nice to hear some tips on doing this since most of the recipes I viewed were to braise the meat then put on the grill and baste with bbq sauce. What about braising IN the bbq sauce?

Anyway, there's always this at Amazon...
What a deal on Braised Short Ribs!!

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#123 Blondelle

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 12:53 PM

Geez! They also have them plain and uncooked at a bargain $79.95 for 1 pound (4 whole pieces). Such a deal!!!


I probably should have searched the net first but I found lot's of way's to do Braised BBQ everything.  It still would be nice to hear some tips on doing this since most of the recipes I viewed were to braise the meat then put on the grill and baste with bbq sauce.  What about braising IN the bbq sauce?

Anyway, there's always this at Amazon...
What a deal on Braised Short Ribs!!

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#124 gourmande

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 11:58 AM

Geez! They also have them plain and uncooked at a bargain $79.95 for 1 pound (4 whole pieces). Such a deal!!!


:blink:
Gotta be Wagyu or Kobe beef, right? ... still!
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#125 Blondelle

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 12:40 PM

I don't think so as they have 12 oz. Wagyu Ribeye Steaks (box of 2) for $99.95!
Wagyu Steaks

Geez! They also have them plain and uncooked at a bargain $79.95 for 1 pound (4 whole pieces). Such a deal!!!


:blink:
Gotta be Wagyu or Kobe beef, right? ... still!

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#126 Steve Rose

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 02:18 PM

Okay, I found myself a nice little chuck eye roast today, and am looking forward to cooking it up tomorrow. But, I have a question.

My roast is a little smaller, at just over 2 pounds. Should I still plan to braise for about 3 hours? Not sure if size is a factor here or not.

thx,
Pam

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#127 kayswv

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 08:43 PM

Greetings all!
Have made some of the dishes from the book. Really enjoyed the Braised Cauliflower with capers and plan on serving it next week to guests. We like roasted cauliflower but my husband said this beat that.
Really enjoyed the pork spareribs with mango, lime and coconut.
Had the veal meatballs tonight with enough left for one more meal. Served with red potatoes roasted with EVOO and rosemary along with braised escarole (from Zuni Cafe Cookbook). I didn't care for the escarole but Al loved it. Plan on serving the leftover meatballs with the pilaf she recommended that uses the extra braising liquid.
More to come soon. Enjoying going back and forth between these two books while still trying to take advantage of the first of the season halibut which came in last week. Three halibut meals in two weeks throws off the braising schedule but we love it.
With braising the house always smell great which is nice.
Kay

#128 mamster

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 04:55 PM

I made the rendang today, substituting pork for beef because I was at Uwajimaya yesterday, which is a great place for pork and less so for beef unless you want it sliced paper-thin for sukiyaki.

Made with the pork, the rendang is exactly like southeast Asian carnitas. No complaints there. I used ten chiles and the spice level is about right. We haven't actually had dinner yet, but Iris and I tasted some and we approve.
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#129 Al_Dente

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 08:23 AM

I made the stuffed veal marsala with sausage and pistachios. Fantastic. Definitely use a food processor to get the nuts down to a fine chop. Also, despite what Molly says, tie your veal rolls-- they come apart very easily after browning them. Once dinner was plated I realized that it was odd that she suggests serving the braised leek recipe along with a risotto. I followed this suggestion and joked to my dinner guests that I'll make this same dinner 50 years from now when we have no teeth-- I could have used something on the plate with a little more texture. This recipe would have been excellent with pork tenderloin instead of veal scallopine as well.
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#130 gourmande

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 10:32 AM

Two recipes I tried this week are the red cabbage braised with maple and ginger, and osso buco alla Milanese

For the cabbage dish I substituted golden raisins for the apple only because I didn't have any Granny Smiths and the raisins were handy. The dish was fine but the maple flavour just didn't come through. I suspect it's too subtle next to the ginger and cider vinegar. However, it was a nice accompaniment to the grilled Italian sausage and roasted potatoes. I think I'll sweeten the dish with brown sugar next time.

Predictably, the Osso Buco was very good. The marked difference between this recipe and the way I usually make it was the use of fennel, and in the end, I'm not sure what the fennel contributed as I certainly didn't detect any of it in the final dish and neither did my husband. Also, I usually chop my vegetables finer and add more tomato to the mix, and to be honest I think I'll go back to my own recipe. However, for someone trying osso buco for the first time, this is a fantastic recipe. I realize that the traditional accompaniment is a risotto, but I've always prefered parsleyed boiled potatoes so that's what we had last night. As an aside, I must have been a very good girl because my husband gave me his marrow bone :smile:
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#131 gourmande

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 11:19 AM

...I also find it interesting that cookbooks continue to have you marinade in a bowl or other container rather than in a zipper type of plastic bag with the air expelled so you don't have to worry about all of the meat being exposed to the marinade...


I agree, however, I was just reading through her marinating procedures for the Saurbraten (which I'm now preparing) and she says, "... I prefer a glass or stainless steel bowl. Whatever you use, don't use plastic; the acidic marinade will absorb flavors from plastic."

Given that this recipe requires a 48 to 72 hour marinade with regular "turning" so the meat marinates evenly, I certainly would have prefered using the zippered bag method. Do zippered plastic bags leech contaminating "flavours" like plastic bowls do? :unsure:
Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

#132 fifi

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 11:40 AM

...I also find it interesting that cookbooks continue to have you marinade in a bowl or other container rather than in a zipper type of plastic bag with the air expelled so you don't have to worry about all of the meat being exposed to the marinade...


I agree, however, I was just reading through her marinating procedures for the Saurbraten (which I'm now preparing) and she says, "... I prefer a glass or stainless steel bowl. Whatever you use, don't use plastic; the acidic marinade will absorb flavors from plastic."

Given that this recipe requires a 48 to 72 hour marinade with regular "turning" so the meat marinates evenly, I certainly would have prefered using the zippered bag method. Do zippered plastic bags leech contaminating "flavours" like plastic bowls do? :unsure:

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I have to think that this is myth. In the first place, the main brands of zipper bags are made of some form of polyolefin plastics . . . polyethylene, polypropylene or some blend or copolymer. (Ziploc® brand is polyethylene.) They do not contain plasticizers or anything that could leech out. I have never detected any flavors in the final product and I use them for very acidic and delicate ceviches. If the plastic was a PVC (polyvinylchloride) you might get something (think "new car smell") but I don't know of any storage bags, or other containers for that matter, made out of that. There is some discussion going on about BPA (bisphenol acetone) but that pertains to polycarbonate primarily. If you check the recycle symbol on the bottom of food containers, that will tell you what plastic is used. In the case of manufacturer's plastic bags, you can usually find out what the plastic is by going to the web site.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#133 gourmande

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 11:49 AM

I guess the problem is the term "plastic" which has become far too generic.

The roast and the marinade are going into a zippered "plastic" bag!
Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

#134 fifi

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 02:06 PM

I guess the problem is the term "plastic" which has become far too generic.

The roast and the marinade are going into a zippered "plastic" bag!

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Amen to that!

By the way . . . Just as a reminder, there is an enlightening discussion going on in the eGCI Q&A, General discussion that might be useful. We are discussing braising not specific to Molly Stevens recipes. Check out the preceeding labs as well. That was pretty fascinating.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#135 Marlene

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 08:09 PM

Tonight was the braised pork chops with creamy cabbage. First pics, then comments:

Dredging the chops in flour
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Then browning them:
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Then adding the mustard seeds, caraway and shallots. Who knew mustard seeds popped like that? I had them flying all over the kitchen!
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Then add the cabbage (ok, I admit I cheated. I used a package of freshly shredded coleslaw mix from Brunos. I just couldn't face shredding cabbage, sorry)
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Add the wine, simmer, then the water, chicken boullion and cider vinegar. I also threw in a cube of chicken stock for the hell of it. Let is simmer for a few minutes:
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Then lay the pork chops on top of the cabbage mixture, cover and braise:
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When the braise is done, remove the chops, add some creme fraiche and stir until thickened.
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Plated:
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Now the comments. First, I could have let the chops brown longer I think. Secondly, once again, her timing's off. She indicates the chops only need to braise for 20 minutes. I did 40, and I could have left them another half hour at least. They were good, but they weren't particularly tender.

I have to say, this smelled heavenly.

The cabbage. Ok, I'm no fan of cabbage. I don't eat coleslaw and frankly, just the thought of cabbage rolls is enough to make me ill. I do however love sauerkraut. So I (being extremely brave) forked up a mouthful of this stuff.

It was good. It wasn't outstanding, although those of you who love cabbage might think so. But for me, it was good enough to have seconds! The caraway and mustard seed combination really make this tasty.


I've got one braise left in me before I pack up my pots and pans to move. I'm thinking coq au vin
Marlene
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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#136 Bella S.F.

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 08:36 AM

I am anxiously looking forward to ABB arriving in the mail. I am having a lot of trouble deciding what to cook first. The dishes sound pretty amazing. Thank you for the mention of half price on eBay for books. (Sorry, I can't remember who mentioned it.)

I have been taking notes from this thread, so that I can remember all of the suggestions and comments about the recipes. Here comes my question, which may sound a bit naive'. I am unsure where to start as far as cooking times and temperatures. Actually the times are easier... if it isn't done, leave it in. But then there are the temperatures... it seems like the majority of you folks say that you need to reduce her temperatures by 25-50 degrees. I have followed Molly Stevens in "FIne Cooking" for years, and I always enjoy her articles and recipes. Why do you think this is happening here? I am tempted to try a recipe the way that it written first, but I do get kind-of bothered when I spend a lot of time on something and then it isn't something we want to eat. Any ideas on why this is happening especially since there were recipe testers? I know, just try something. (Hey, I can't help it... the mind wanders/wonders.

Thanks!
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#137 Madge

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 08:54 AM

I have become addicted to this book!!!! On the weekend I made the goan chicken..fabulous. Also the creamy brussel sprouts recipe raise these things to a new level. I also made the oven baked french fries in the latest Fine Cooking that is Molly's recipe.
Marlene...I have recently caught on to brining pork chops for about 24 hours. It makes them incredibly tender which might have helped in your recipe.

#138 snowangel

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 08:57 AM

Bella, I would start with her temps, and keep lowering until you get to that "barely bubbling" stage. That's what I did with the first two recipes, and now, I automatically adjust the temp down and the time up.

I don't know why the discrepency of what we are finding, and what she suggests. I have been braising for many years, having learned this technique from my grandmother, and always gone very low and slow. fifi affirmed what I've always done! Maybe she just prefers a little higher and quicker? Maybe her oven isn't callibrated :wink:.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#139 wkl

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 09:03 AM

[quote name='Marlene' date='Mar 15 2005, 11:09 PM']

Now the comments. First, I could have let the chops brown longer I think. Secondly, once again, her timing's off. She indicates the chops only need to braise for 20 minutes. I did 40, and I could have left them another half hour at least. They were good, but they weren't particularly tender.

I have had a problem with leaner cuts of meat like chicken breast and center cut pork chops drying out and not being tender when they are cooked longer than 15 minutes in braises or stock/wine that will later become sauce.It always kinda puzzled me that the meat would dry out cooking in all that liquid.Maybe, these leaner cuts can only handle about 15 minutes of cooking this way and will never become fork tender or fall off the bone tender with longer cooking times.

Any thoughts?

#140 Ms. Agrodolce

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 01:32 PM

Made the Vietnamese braised scallops on Saturday. Pretty easy recipe. The sauce was tasty, the dish was pretty good, but we thought the sauce was too powerful for sweet, tender scallops ... a personal preference. I wouldn't hesitate to make this dish with chicken or some sort of white fish ... it would be excellent.

#141 snowangel

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 09:14 PM

OK. SO back to the time and temp thing. Bittman's column in the NY Times today focused on braising; specifically the chuck roast. He, too advocates "300 degrees, more or less." Further, he says that No matter what technique you use, if you rush the cooking, the meat will be disappointingly chewy. If you take your time (and of course these recipes can all be cooked in advance and reheated without suffering, or kept warm over a very low flame for hours."

So, most of us are thinking that low and slow is much lower than 300 (which is the same temp Molly suggests for a couple of the chuck roast recipes.

I'd slow his recipes down, as well!

BTW, his beef in coconut milk looks remarkably similar to Molly's Beef Rendang, without letting the coconut milk cook down as much; nor does it allow for that browning that makes it so wonderful.

So, are we cutting edge of take it lower and slower, or is there something we don't know?
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#142 fifi

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 10:54 PM

. . . . .

So, are we cutting edge of take it lower and slower, or is there something we don't know?

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Cutting edge? I don't know about that. Flash back to somewhere around 1960. I was a latchkey kid having a good time in the kitchen getting dinner started. My
Best creation was chuck roast. That always got a grin and compliment from dad. And he didn't give out compliments unless they were deserved. After browning in the Sunbeam electric skillet, I would add whatever liquid and seasoning. I would then lower the temperature until it was at a bare simmer. I marked it on the dial and it was just a skosh above the 200 mark. So I guess you could say that I have been braising at 225 to 250 for a very long time. Every time I have tried to rush it I have been disappointed. And that goes for chicken and pork as well. I have pushed chicken thighs to 275 to get the time down (thinking about entering a contest) and it was good but not the silky chicken that I prefer.

I have no clue where these temperatures are coming from. All of the general information I have read about braising is all about a gentle simmer. It makes me wonder if anyone has looked in the pot at 300 or, heaven forbid, more than that. It will be boiling and jumping. Every time I have faithfully followed a recipe to the letter, I have been disappointed. Usually, when I check the pot I will give in and lower the temperature so the dish won't be ruined. I am totally perplexed.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#143 greenwich st

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:14 AM

I just did the braised endive recipe -- I've made it in other, more elaborate ways (with bacon, breadcrumbs, cheese, bechamel) but this was definitely the best ever -- the broth, proscuitto, cream combo is elegant and voluptuous -- and very easy to throw together. My FIL was visiting from Paris and his wife is a great cook and he seemed impressed! I found it needed a bit less oven time than she suggests, but oven temp seemed perfect.

#144 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:06 PM

I am a little late to the party, but decided to do the Short Ribs with Rosemary and Porcini. I opened a bottle of Australian Wishing Tree 2003 Shiraz. I had a sip of it and think it should do well. More to come.

#145 jscarbor

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:15 PM

On the advice from me by way of eG, I told my sister to pick up this book because we decided to braise for easter this year. Being that we are eating around lunch time I talked my sis into the braise because it can be made ahead of time since we are planning on church that morning. The only downfall to this type of cooking is the fact that I am sure it will be a muggy 80+ degrees next week and braises just seem better with a nice chill in the air.
Anyway. she picked up the book and decided on the 7 hour leg of lamb. Anyone touch this yet? Any advice?

#146 snowangel

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:23 PM

The only downfall to this type of cooking is the fact that I am sure it will be a muggy 80+ degrees next week and braises just seem better with a nice chill in the air.
Anyway. she picked up the book and decided on the 7 hour leg of lamb. Anyone touch this yet? Any advice?

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No advice on the lamb. Haven't done it. But, to your prior comment. The days are getting longer, the sun has more push. And, although we continue to get snow, this lass's thoughts are turning to spring, the grill, and not using the oven.

But, I do think there are a few more braises in me. But, once we've turned the furnace off, I think this book will take a well-needed break for a few months while we explore those types of cooking, meals and ingredients associated with those lazy, crazy days of summer.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#147 fifi

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 10:26 PM

On the advice from me by way of eG, I told my sister to pick up this book because we decided to braise for easter this year. Being that we are eating around lunch time I talked my sis into the braise because it can be made ahead of time since we are planning on church that morning. The only downfall to this type of cooking is the fact that I am sure it will be a muggy 80+ degrees next week and braises just seem better with a nice chill in the air.
Anyway. she picked up the book and decided on the 7 hour leg of lamb. Anyone touch this yet? Any advice?

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I haven't tried this but I will note that the 275 degrees F seems a bit more reasonable than the temperatures she calls for in many of her other recipes. And, she even suggests checking on it and possibly lowering to 265. I am betting that you will want to do that so I would allow for a bit of extra time.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#148 bakezoid

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 04:34 AM

Did the Osso Bucco with her Risotto Milanaise again on Saturday night for guests since I already knew how good it would be. My son appreciated the (minimal) leftovers yesterday. Will try Beef Rendang later this week. Any suggestions for something in the vegetable department to have with it?
If more of us valued food & cheer & song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. - J.R.R. Tolkien

#149 gourmande

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 06:16 AM

I tried the sauerbraten yesterday... fabulous.
However, I doubled the amount of berries (juniper and allspice), bay, clove, salt and pepper called for in the marinade; marinated longer than 72 hours (just because unforeseen events screwed up my schedule); and kept my oven temp at 250 to maintain the gentle simmer.

The final results were outstanding: fork tender meat and a tangy sweet sour sauce that my husband simply adored.
Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

#150 Marlene

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 06:22 AM

The only downfall to this type of cooking is the fact that I am sure it will be a muggy 80+ degrees next week and braises just seem better with a nice chill in the air.
Anyway. she picked up the book and decided on the 7 hour leg of lamb. Anyone touch this yet? Any advice?

View Post


No advice on the lamb. Haven't done it. But, to your prior comment. The days are getting longer, the sun has more push. And, although we continue to get snow, this lass's thoughts are turning to spring, the grill, and not using the oven.

But, I do think there are a few more braises in me. But, once we've turned the furnace off, I think this book will take a well-needed break for a few months while we explore those types of cooking, meals and ingredients associated with those lazy, crazy days of summer.

View Post



I'd agree with this if we haven't gotten another few centimetres of snow last night. However, braises are ideally suited to cold weather cooking I think. I'll hopefully get one or two more in before the days start to warm up and I turn to the grill for the next season of cooking.
Marlene
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.





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