Braising is a fantastic cooking method for tough meats, such as shanks, ribs and rumps, as it breaks down the connective tissues and leaves them tender.
There are ten simple steps to braising a cut of meat...
- Cut the meat into evenly sized pieces. This will ensure that they will cook evenly
- Season the meat with salt and pepper
- Heat three tablespoons of oil in a heavy, oven-proof pan
- When the pan is hot, add the meat and brown it on a high heat
- Deglaze the pan with stock or broth. Scrape any meat pieces that have stuck to the pan and stir
- Add some diced tomatoes - their acidity will help to break down the connective tissues in the meat
- Add stock, broth, water, wine or a combination so that the liquid covers about three quarters of the meat
- Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place on the middle shelf of an oven that has been heated to 300F/150C
- Braise for 45 minutes to six hours, depending on the size and toughness of the meat
- Remove the pan from the oven and strain the meat from the liquid
Tips for braising meat
- Why not make the braising liquid into a sauce or gravy? For a sauce, thicken over a low heat. For a gravy, add equal parts fat and flour.
- If you don't have an oven-safe pan, you can braise meat by simmering the pot on the hob over low heat. Check regular to make sure that the liquid isn't boiling.