Warm Up Your Home with Flavorful Braised Meats
On: November 02, 2015
One of the reasons we love southwest Ohio is our beautiful change of seasons. Our food offerings also evolve with the onset of fall: apples and squash come into season, we think pot roast rather than porterhouse, and the mere mention of pumpkin pie makes us smile. Autumn is good for spending quality time in the kitchen making good food and conversation in the company of friends and family.
Speaking of pot roast … cool weather is braising season, the time to savor slowly cooked meats, rich in flavor and substance. Our word “braise” interestingly comes from an old French/German word “breze” and refers to cooking stew over hot coals. Indeed, I can picture some husky Teutonic ancestor of mine wading through billowing snow to his cottage deep in the woods where the home fires are burning. Greeted by his wife, parents, and a gaggle of children, they all gather around a big wooden table by the warm cooking pot, settling in for hearty food and storytelling.
What exactly is braising? Simply put, braising is a slow, wet cooking method
that works best with cuts of meat that have a lot of connective tissue. Braising breaks down otherwise tough meat, melting the connective tissue into a health-giving, flavorful dish where the meat is falling-off-the-bone good and juice-running-down-the-side-of-your-mouth succulent. This method is my favorite because the prep and cooking is not too difficult, tasks can be shared, and the resulting food is so good.
I recommend Molly Stevens’ All About Braising to delve more into the technique itself. But to get started, you’ll need the right cut of meat, such as chuck roast, shoulder roast, brisket, stew beef, short ribs, and top round. You can also braise dark cuts of poultry, such as turkey legs, and even seafood, such as monkfish. And my favorite braised dish is lamb shanks. Add a couple of sides, a good salad with a sharp vinaigrette, some warmed DLM Artisan Bread, and dinner is served.
Braising is an ancient cooking method, and you will be a great cook in any era once you master it. Come and buy good meats at DLM and give braising a try —this slow cooking method will fast become one of your favorite things to do this fall!