Would you please expand a bit on the idea of browning at the end of the braise? Is that done by leaving the lid off and turning the meat as the liquid reduces? Is this a stovetop or oven technique, or both? I like the idea that it saves me from having to mess up a pan for browning when I plan to braise in a clay pot. What difference does it make to the final product whether the browning happens at the beginning or the end?
In Moroccan cooking, this method is described as 'starting the tagine cold'
The lamb is not browned at the beginning of the braise. Instead, lamb is gently heated along with the spices and other ingredients, allowing the flavors to fully penetrate.
Remember you are cooking in a shallow tagine which can't take high heat from the start . I suppose this is one reason this method came about.
At the end of the braising period when the meat is succulent and the sauce is thick and rich and plentiful, it is usually browned by covering the bottom half of the tagine with a flat ceramic plate, then piling hot coals on top. A gorgeous glaze appears.
There are two ways to substitute: one is to broil at the end and the other is to place the tagine on the highest shelf of a hot oven and let the meat brown.
Don't worry aobut putting a tagine into a hot oven. It is now hot enough to take the heat without cracking. (Hot earthenware cracks when put onto something cold.)
by the way, you should never cook earthenware tagines with the conical top in the oven .The purpose of the conical top is to remain cold while the bottom maintains a nice coddling heat as the tagine slowly simmers to perfection..
Those braising Berbers were so smart!!!
Edited by JAZ, 11 March 2005 - 10:21 AM.