Updated: Aug 18, 2020
In winter I enjoy braising meats in the oven. I do on occasion use homemade chicken broth, as a liquid.
Sometimes when you are cooking you don't want the underlying flavor of chicken dominating your dishes. I see the ubiquitous use of the square cartons on cooking shows and shudder at the quality as well as the flavor. Let's shake things up a bit to make winter seem less blah and make your house smell amazing.
Here are some liquids to experiment with next time you braise some meat.
Simple braising instructions will follow the list.
water (plain or add herbs)
balsamic reduction combined with another liquid mentioned here
balsamic vinegar combined with another liquid mentioned here
red wine vinegar combined with another liquid mentioned here
cider vinegar combined with another liquid mentioned here
cooking sherry alone or in combination with another liquid
rice wine vinegar in combination with another ingredient
miso soup (instructions here)
saurkraut and it's juice (homemade)
kimchi and it's juice (homemade, click here for recipe)
kombucha (recipe here)
left over beef gravy
left over pork gravy
left over chicken gravy
fresh tomato juice
fresh apple juice
fresh apple cider
fresh pear juice (diluted)
fresh cranberry juice (diluted)
fresh grape juice (diluted)
lemon juice and water
lime juice and water
orange juice and water
grapefruit juice and water
rose hip tea
juniper berry tea
Leftover soup (for soup ideas, click here)
I should also mention that I have tried many but not all of these liquids, but would in a pinch. Don't be shy in your kitchen. Experiment a little and see what you can create. Don't forget to save the braising liquid, it can make tasty additions to other meals and usually freezes well.
To Braise meat:
The beauty of braising is you can use tough low cost cuts of meat, and the end result is something that is falling apart with the back of a spoon.
Brown or sear you meat in the braising pan or a frying pan. This is optional, it adds loads of flavor but you can just place the meat right in to the braising pan. To braise I use a heavy dutch oven. Add your desired vegetables and herbs if any, add liquid to about half way up the meat, leaving the top exposed (you can also saute the veggies for a different flavor).
Place in your oven at 250 for a minimum of about 4 hours, longer for larger more solid cuts of meat or chicken or pork. You can also braise in a wide shallow Slow cooker if you have but remember each piece of meat should only have liquid about half way up.
Yes, it is that simple. I think it is the perfect way to cook for a busy mom with lots of kids or someone who needs to get dinner on the table without a lot of fuss.
Remember a #SlowCooker is your friend with this method.