Grilling season is never really over in Austin, TX – but since it’s still a bit chilly we’d like to to prepare our proteins without wearing a parka. Enter: moist-heating methods! Moist-heating refers to cooking foods with or in a type of liquid. This includes steam, water, wine, stock (anything liquid!)
We’ll be going over different ways to cook with liquid over the next couple of weeks, so make sure to check back in for our next installment. The first method we’ll cover is braising.
Braising is a wonderful way to soften tougher cuts of meat and can be done on the stovetop, but we always recommend braising items in the oven so that the heat will surround the pot completely. This will ensure an even cook.
Searing your meat before braising is key. You can also sauté with your favorite oil. Use a large, oven safe pot and place your seared meat inside. Partially cover the meat with your choice of liquid and simmer slowly at a low temperature.
We mentioned that braising can work wonders on a tougher cut of meat. This is important to know, as the connective tissue that makes the meat tough will slowly dissolve throughout the braising process. This will create a gelatinous liquid and add to the flavor of the cooking liquids. Add a boquet garni or your favorite herbs to enhance the flavors.
Braising will cause the meat to absorb moisture from the cooking liquid and steam. It will meld together the flavors from your herbs, liquid and any seasonings you added to the mixture!