Braise you like I should

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    Braising is a cooking technique in which the main ingredient is browned in fat, then two-thirds covered in liquid and simmered in a covered pot over a low heat. It’s one of the best ways to prepare hearty, homely comfort food.

    Benefits:

    • Renders cheaper, tougher cuts of meat tender and flavourful
    • Makes its own sauce or gravy.
    • Most of the cooking time doesn’t require much attention – perfect for entertaining.
    • One-pot cooking means minimal clean-up.
    • Cuts down on waste: anything leftover can be reheated or frozen for another day

    Best for braising

    Use tougher, less tender cuts of meat – a lean cut is a waste to braise and will be far less flavoursome.

    • Beef chuck
    • Beef, pork or lamb shoulder
    • Beef or pork cheeks
    • Beef brisket
    • Lamb shanks
    • Beef short ribs
    • Chicken legs and thighs, bones in
    • Root vegetables
    • Fruits like apples or pears (the sweetness goes well with pork)
    • Season the main ingredient with salt and black pepper.
    • Heat a few tablespoons of oil and/or butter in a heavy pan or casserole.
    • Brown the outsides of the meat in the pan over a medium-high heat.
    • Remove the meat and deglaze the pan by adding a little stock, juice, wine or other alcohol. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any sticky bits of meat from the bottom.
    • Add the meat back in and cover two-thirds of the way with a cooking liquid, which can be water, stock, wine, juice or a combination.
    • Cover and cook the meat over a low heat on the hob or in a low oven.
    • Cook until completely tender. This can take from 1-6 hours, depending on what you’re cooking.
    • Strain the meat and vegetables out of the liquid.
    • Skim off any excess fat floating in the liquid, then reduce the sauce to desired thickness, or make gravy by adding a roux.