How to Braise Meats and Vegetables

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How to Braise Meats and Vegetables

Saladmaster Guide to Braising

Braising is a cooking technique that unleashes incredible flavor, and transforms tough meats and vegetables into tender, juicy meals that everyone loves. Keep scrolling to see cooking tips, recipe videos and special offers! 

 Braising with Minimal Liquid


Understanding different cooking techniques can help you enhance the flavor of simple ingredients, and knowing how to braise opens doors to endless culinary possibilities. The basic principles of braising are a combination of searing or browning and then simmering.  This process accomplishes two things: it cooks the meat, and it produces a rich sauce. This is the reason why braising is referred to as combination cooking, and why braising is better for tougher cuts of meat and hearty root vegetables.

8 Things You Should Know When Braising With Saladmaster
To help enhance the quality of your cooking with Saladmaster, here's what you need to know about braising:

1. When to add seasoning and herbs

For meat, seasoning may be applied before browning, or it may receive its seasoning from the cooking liquid while braising.  But remember that salt on the surface of meat may prevent browning.  Also, herbs may burn in the searing process.  in this case, it is recommended to add seasoning to seared meat prior to simmering.

2. What kinds of meats to braise

Cheaper cuts of meat are ideal because after braising the tough, sinewy and gristly meat transforms into tender bites that melt in your mouth and fall off the bone. For red meat, you can braise beef ribs, brisket, chuck roast, beef or lamb shank. With poultry, avoid using chicken breast, and opt for braising chicken thighs, turkey legs, or turkey wings. As for white meat, you can braise pork shoulder butt, country style ribs, pork chops, or pork hock. 

3. Brown meats, vegetables or legumes with little or no oils

Traditionally, braising can be a messy endeavour because of the oil required to brown meats and vegetables. When using Saladmaster cookware for braising, oils and fats are optional! All you need to do is dry meat thoroughly before searing and browning in a preheated Saladmaster braiser pan, or Saladmaster roaster (also known as a Saladmaster dutch oven). In general, red meats are well browned; white meats are browned less heavily, usually until they are golden. 

For veggie lovers, try braising greens or vegetables like kale, celery, green beans, or leeks. Hearty root vegetables like potatoes, turnips, onions, winter squash, or carrots are also fantastic for braising and carmelization. Asian style braised vegetables can be your choice of dried shitake mushrooms, taro root, or daikon. Braised beans or legumes can be a great protein option for vegetarians, vegans or flexitarians. 

After browning, do not clean or discard what's left sticking to your pan. The source of your flavor stays in the leftover bits on your pan, and after browning, it is the perfect time to deglaze with your choice of liquid. Deglazing releases the flavor and it's precisely why comfort food tastes so good!

4. When braising, how much liquid is required?

The amount of liquid you use depends on the type of preparation, and the amount of sauce required for serving.  Do not use more liquid than necessary, or the flavors will be less rich and less concentrated. Besides water, other types of braising sauces or liquids can be tomato sauce, soy, vinegar, whiskey, sherry, red or white wine. 

Pot roasts usually require about 2 ounces (60 mL) sauce per portion, and this determines the amount of liquid needed.  The size of the braising pan used should allow the liquid to cover the meat by one-third to two-thirds.

With Saladmaster,  you can braise with little or no added liquid. If roasted, sautéed, or pan-fried items are covered during cooking, they essentially become what braising means to accomplish. After browning your meats or vegetables in a preheated Saladmaster braiser pan or roaster,  simply cover, and once the Vapo Valve™ clicks, reduce heat to low and simmer until done. Upon serving, you'll be amazed by the rich broth that appears! 

5. How are braising and stewing different? 

The main difference between braising and stewing, is that stews usually require enough liquid to cover the meat. On the other hand, braising requires minimal liquid, so that the rich flavors come from simmering braised vegetables and meats in its own natural juices. 

6. Vegetable can be the garnish, or the main course

Vegetables may be cooked along with the meat or cooked separately and added before serving.

If vegetables are cooked with the meat, then vegetables like green beans or asparagus should be added just before the end of cooking so they can be cooked through but not overcooked. 

7. Adjusting the sauce

Braising liquids may be thickened by a roux either before cooking or after cooking. In some preparations, the liquid is left unthickened or is naturally thick, such as tomato sauce. You can thicken sauce by:

1. Heating the liquid until the sauce reduces
2. Using flour and butter to create a roux to thicken liquid. Thicken without fat by using cornstarch instead.
3. Adding a prepared sauce, such as demi-glace or veloute to the liquid to create a thickened mixture.

8. Equipment used when braising

Having the right equipment and tools can be the key to easily braising almost any meat or vegetable. Successful braising means knowing when to reduce heat, and you need a cover that tightly seals on your cookware. With Saladmaster's Vapo Valve™, you'll be alerted to lower the cooking temperature, which then initiates semi vacuum cooking for optimal retention of flavor, moisture, nutrition, and heat. Choosing a pan with a large diameter and high sides, like the Saladmaster Braiser Pan, not only gives you greater cooking capacity, but also offers maximum surface area for browning and deglazing. If you'd like to try backward braising, take advantage of Saladmaster's removable handle system by first cooking with liquids in the pan on the stovetop, and then setting the pan in the oven without the handles to brown your food. Cooking with less oils and fats in Saladmaster helps to ensure easy cleanup as well, so you can braise effortlessly and safely without worry over hot oil splattering while you cook.

Hungry for more? Experience a meal with Saladmaster!

Want to try braising? Here's some recipes to help you get started:

Braised Soy Chicken with Carrots & Potatoes 
Braised Short Ribs in Adobo Sauce with Spinach
Braised Kielbasa and Beans
Braised Lentil Stew
Pork with Smoky Tomato & Green Chili Stew
Orange Ginger Tofu & Vegetables

 Saladmaster Sizzler
Old Fashioned Beef Goulash featuring the Saladmaster Braiser Pan



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