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braising question


mikeczyz
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it's been suggested here that shortribs be braised in mirepoix and stock, and potatoes and other veggies be cooked seperate. some seem to favor a more 'stew' like approach by adding potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables for a sort of one pot meal. anny commments? i think i favor the second method, but when do you add the potatoes and other vegetables? if using a crock pot, should i just shove them all in at the beginning and let it all cook together? will teh veggies turn to mush after a few hours?

mike

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my preferred method would be to roast your vegetables (carrot, onion, parsnip, turnip, potato, celery, whole garlic cloves) with color. do this separately as each will not cook at the same rate. deglaze with red wine and then finish with the braising liquid. keep the liquid tight - just enough to glaze, toss in some herbs (rosemary and thyme perhaps) pour over the shortribs and chow.

you could also sub a hairy beer for the wine if you're into it.

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Since you mentioned a crockpot, I'll throw this in: on a recent thread, it was noted that root vegetables cook very slowly in crockpots. Not sure why. This is contrary to my (and others here) experience using conventional stovetop or oven braising.

click-crock

edit: something to do with time/temperature effect on lignin?

Edited by Dave the Cook (log)

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it's been suggested here that shortribs be braised in mirepoix and stock, and potatoes and other veggies be cooked seperate.  some seem to favor a more 'stew' like approach by adding potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables for a sort of one pot meal.

Aside from the texture question, it also depends on where you want the flavor to end up. If you cook the vegetables in the braising liquid for a long time, most of their flavor will end up in the liquid; if you cook them for only a short while, they will retain much more of their flavor. I've sometimes done both, adding half the vegetables at the beginning, discarding those and adding a new batch toward the end (or roasting them separately and adding them at the very end).

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Aside from the texture question, it also depends on where you want the flavor to end up. If you cook the vegetables in the braising liquid for a long time, most of their flavor will end up in the liquid; if you cook them for only a short while, they will retain much more of their flavor. I've sometimes done both, adding half the vegetables at the beginning, discarding those and adding a new batch toward the end (or roasting them separately and adding them at the very end).

exactly. i would like the vegetables to give their liquid and make a more flavorful cuisson.

mike

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There's no reason you can't have it both ways. To begin, finely dice some carrots, turnips, onions, leeks, garlic or whatever. Saute them until well carmelized, then add to the liquid before braising. All their flavor will end up in the braise. If you like, you can strain what little solid matter is left from the braising liquid before serving.

Late in the game, you can bigger chunks of vegetables, or better yet, roast them seperately as Matt suggested.

You can also try some seperately cooked legumes as the veggie part of the dish. Braised lamb shanks over canellini beans is about as good as it gets in my book.

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i would like the vegetables to give their liquid and make a more flavorful cuisson

mike, go back and read my first post again. this is exactly what will happen

you are in effect finishing the flavor of only that portion of sauce which you will be consuming immediately.

this can be repeated continually until the shortribs are gone

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i would like the vegetables to give their liquid and make a more flavorful cuisson

mike, go back and read my first post again. this is exactly what will happen

you are in effect finishing the flavor of only that portion of sauce which you will be consuming immediately.

this can be repeated continually until the shortribs are gone

i see. my critical reading skills need improvememt. thanks

mike

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Some tips for braising. Sear your meat well first - this will colour it nicely and seal in the juices leaving you with nice tender meat - and season. Remove the meat from the pan then lower the heat, sweat your vegetables then colour them lightly and taste and season. A large mirepoix is fine. Remove the vegetables from the pan and deglaze with water, wine, stock, etc. Potatoes. Use a waxy kind of potato - it will not fall apart. Peel and hold in cold water to keep from discolouring. But when you slice them do not soak or rinse them again - you want to the starch to hold the potato together and to slightly thicken your braising liquid. Season your potatoes and add all the meat and vegetables back into your pan, layering if you like. Add enough additional water or stock to just almost cover the contents. Use a pan that is just big enough. Boil then simmer until the meat and potatoes are done. Braise over a low heat so that the meat does not seize and toughen. If you'd like your braising liquid further reduced, keep it simmering low until you reach the desired reduction. Taste and season at the end of reduction.

Sorry I don't know anything about crockpots.

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loufood, as someone else is sure to do so, I had might as well say that "sealing in the juices" is a canard. However searing does produce flavour compounds through what is known as the Maillard reaction. And is essential.

I don't know anything about crockpots either.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Sorry to complexify.

Main Entry: ca·nard

Pronunciation: k&-'närd also -'när

Function: noun

Etymology: French, literally, duck; in sense 1, from Middle French vendre des canards à moitié to cheat, literally, to half-sell ducks

Date: circa 1859

1 : a false or unfounded report or story; especially : a fabricated report

2 : an airplane with horizontal stabilizing and control surfaces in front of supporting surfaces; also : a small airfoil in front of the wing of an aircraft that increases the aircraft's stability

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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OK, righty-o. You're right. Searing does not actually "seal in the juices" as I so carelessly claimed, but it does seize the meat on the exterior. I am not a food scientist so cannot correctly explain the physical process but what does happen then is that not only do you gain colour and flavour to a cooked exterior while the interior remains raw until cooked low and slow in braising.

OK? :blink:

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OK, righty-o. You're right. Searing does not actually "seal in the juices" as I so carelessly claimed, but it does seize the meat on the exterior. I am not a food scientist so cannot correctly explain the physical process but what does happen then is that not only do you gain colour and flavour to a cooked exterior while the interior remains raw until cooked low and slow in braising.

OK?  :blink:

i'm down with that.

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OK?  :blink:

You bet.

The brilliant thing is that searing creates flavour compounds, molecular combinations, that do not and cannot exist otherwise. Searing is a forge for flavours.

Not searing often means that the dish will be less than it could be.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Should braising always be done with a tightly covered lid? This is what I have done in the past, but recently came across some recipes that called for leaving the lid slightly ajar or covering the pot with parchment paper.

johnjohn

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