Getting the Perfect Braise- Chef Tips

One of the most important techniques that any chef should know is how to braise. Braising is one of the key classic French cooking techniques, along with grilling, poaching, and flambeing, that takes your culinary ventures to another level. 

Although it’s an essential cooking technique in the culinary world, braising is relatively forgiving. So even if you’re not a seasoned cook or have no fancy chef skills in your repertoire, you can still make a dish packed with mouthwatering flavors, even on your first try. 

Fortunately, there are cooking classes available to help you work the kitchen. Food Fire Knives offers cooking classes with renowned chefs, providing you with the perfect opportunity to learn from the best in the industry. 

Braising starts with browning the meat and marrying all your ingredients to create a flavorful, rich dish. With that being said, perhaps you’re curious to know how you can get excellent braise. If so, keep reading—here are the top tips every chef does to achieve the perfect braise.

Tip #1: Choose the Best Cut

The key to nailing the perfect braise is by choosing your cut. Typically, heavily marbled meat is ideal for braising, and usually, you’ll find this on lamb or pork shoulders, shanks, beef chuck roasts, and briskets. These cuts have a ton of collagen and meat juices that will break down while cooking them, giving you a rich and silky texture. 

But since braising is more focused on time, even if you accidentally get tougher meat, all you need to do is add more liquid and cooking time to soften it up.

Tip #2: Start Searing

Before you braise your meat, you first need to brown it. To do that, you can use a large and heavy pot, add a few tablespoons of oil, and fire your stove into high heat. Before placing your meat to brown, make sure your meat is dry and seasoned. 

The key here is to not overcrowd your meat because if you do, you might end up steaming your meat instead of searing it. 

Tip #3: Throw In Some Vegetable and Wine

Once you remove your meat from the pot, you can add your chopped vegetables and stir them in the pot. You want to throw in some carrots, onions, garlic, celery, and fresh herbs for that hearty, flavorful explosion. And the known secret for all private chefs is to add a cup of red wine into the mix. 

If you don’t have wine, don’t worry — you can always use other alternatives with your stock, such as beer or even cider. These are meant to enhance the flavors of your dish, so don’t be scared to get creative!

Tip #4: Give It Time To Cook

As mentioned earlier, time plays a significant role when it comes to braising. With that being said, you need to be patient and give your meat a lot of time to cook. Once your stock is ready, you can put the meat back in the pot and then bring the pot to a simmer. 

After that, cover the pot and stick it in a 325° oven for two to four hours or until the meat is fork-tender. During this time, all the flavors from your stock, veggies, and meat will blend together, producing mouthwatering aromatics, which is a great sign that your dish will taste fantastic. 

The Bottom Line: The Perfect Braise is the Perfect Marriage of Time and Thoughtful Ingredients

After giving your meat some time to cook and absorb all the delicious flavors, there’s nothing left to do but to devour your dish! Seeing as preparing the perfect braised dish can be a bit of hard work, it’s best to learn from the best chefs in the industry and sign up for cooking classes so you can impress your loved ones with your next braised dish.

How Can We Help You?

Cooking can be tricky, but if you want to have restaurant-quality meals at home, there’s no better solution than hiring a private chef or even learning from the best.

Food Fire Knives offer the ultimate private chef experience as well as private chef catering and cooking classes. If you’re looking for a private chef in Asheville, give us a call today, and let’s plan a delicious dinner for you and your loved ones!