What is braising?

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 of braising:
  1. Renders cheaper, tougher cuts of meat tender and flavourful — so it’s ideal for anyone working within a budget.
  2. Makes its own delicious sauce or gravy.
  3. Most of the cooking time doesn’t require much attention — perfect for entertaining.
  4. Because it’s one-pot cooking, you’re left with minimal clean-up.
  5. Cuts down on food waste: anything leftover can be frozen, or will be even more flavoursome after a night in the fridge.
What can I braise?

Use tougher, less tender cuts of meat — a lean cut is a waste to braise, and will be far less flavoursome. Some of the best options are:

Braised beef Easy Food

The braising process:
  1. Pat the meat dry with kitchen paper and season generously with salt and black pepper.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil and/or butter in a heavy pan or casserole.
  3. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, sear the outsides of the meat in the pan over a medium-high heat until nicely browned.
  4. Transfer the meat to a plate. Deglaze the pan by adding a little stock, juice, wine or other alcohol. Allow to bubble for 1-2 minutes, using a wooden spoon to scrape any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Return the meat to the pan and cover two-thirds of the way with a cooking liquid, which can be water, stock, wine, juice or a combination.
  6. Cover and cook the meat over a low heat on the hob or in a low oven.
  7. Cook until completely tender. This can take from 2-6 hours, depending on what you’re cooking.
  8. Strain the meat and vegetables out of the liquid.
  9. Skim off any excess fat floating in the liquid, then reduce the sauce to desired thickness, or turn it into a gravy by adding a roux.


Looking for recipe inspiration? Try this braised beef with chillies and onions, a full-flavoured dinner that won’t break the bank.

Braised chilli beef with onions