Braising is defined as the cooking of whole food or large cuts in a covered container with an appropriate amount of liquid which forms the basis of the sauce to accompany the dish. Braising usually takes place in an oven
To cook meat that is too tough to roast but does not need to be cut into small pieces. Also to tenderise vegetables which contain tough cellulose.
Braising, like stewing, is a long slow process which converts and softens the collagen; it also retains water soluble vitamins and minerals.
Rice can be braised when the liquor e.g. stock is to be absorbed.
Large cuts of offal are also appropriate for braising.
There are two main methods of braising:
1. Brown Braising where the food is browned beforehand and dark ingredients such as brown stock or other red meat, or red wine are used.
2. White Braising where the food is blanched, refreshed and cooked in a white liquid such as white stock
Older, tougher, cheaper joints of meat and poultry can be used
Maximum flavour and nutritive value are retained
Variety of presentation and flavour is given to the menu
Examples of foods which you might choose to cook by braising:
Meat lamb - hearts, chops
Meat beef - olives, joints, liver
Vegetables celery, onions