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I looked at the weather forecast and discovered a braise front was moving in. My braising repertoire consists of stew, pot roast, goulash, carbonnade, short ribs (Al Dente recipe), lamb shanks, and veal stew. I use a Le Creuset pot and a long, low cook. Typical accompaniments are mashed potatoes or spaetzel. I'm thinking of trying some grits or polenta.

When I'm braising beef, I almost always use a chuck pot roast that I bought on sale at Giant and either cut it up myself.

I'm willing to expand my repertoire and thought I would tap into the collective and see what others do, hence the question: What's in your pot?

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I looked at the weather forecast and discovered a braise front was moving in. 

I like it! We think the same way.

Anyway, here's my rather sketchy recipe for comfort food pot roast. Haute cuisine it is not.

Brown a rump roast on all sides in a mix of rendered pork fat (eg, fat back, salt pork, bacon) and oil, then place in a pot just large enough to hold it. Brown some coarsely chopped celery, carrot, and onion briefly in the same pan, then add to the pot with the roast. Deglaze the pan with some light stock (eg water + beef or veal stock) and add to the pot. Add some red wine. The liquid should about half cover the roast. Add a small handful of rinsed dry porcini, half a cinnamon stick, one clove, a bay leaf, a pinch of thyme, a sprig of rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste.

Put a lid on it and cook at 375 for several hours - until falling apart tender. (According to aCook's Illustrated article I once read, if you want it really tender, get it to 210 inside and keep cooking for another hour.)

Strain the liquid, reduce if necessary (it seldom is), and thicken if desired with a little flour/water slurry or beurre manie .

I like to serve this with spaetzle or mashed potatoes. Or roasted potatoes. And candied carrots. And the rest of the bottle of wine. And coconut cake for dessert. :)

I don't believe I've ever shared this recipe with anyone. Let me know what you think if you try it.

If I didn't have to work the next few days I'd be making a big batch of pozole. I ain't sharin' that recipe, though.

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Why not share the pozole? :)

Y'know, that's a good question. I've always been really reluctant to share any recipe I developed myself, but now that I think of it, that's just plain silly. And petty.

Any pozole fans out there want my recipe?

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I'm looking to do a sauerbraten [Alton Brown] still, and maybe something like an blanquette du veau [Les Halles Cookbook]. Need to obtain a suitable vessel, though. Dear Santa....

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I looked at the weather forecast and discovered a braise front was moving in.  My braising repertoire consists of stew, pot roast, goulash, carbonnade, short ribs (Al Dente recipe), lamb shanks, and veal stew.  I use a Le Creuset pot and a long, low cook.  Typical accompaniments are mashed potatoes or spaetzel.  I'm thinking of trying some grits or polenta.

When I'm braising beef, I almost always use a chuck pot roast that I bought on sale at Giant and either cut it up myself. 

I'm willing to expand my repertoire and thought I would tap into the collective and see what others do, hence the question: What's in your pot?

PLEASE, PLEASE go to epicurious.com and look up "Braised Lamb Shanks with Winter Squash and Red Chard." The squash and chard are not the point. This is the BEST, BEST recipe for lamb shanks EVER. I made this for a serious meeting and the President of our association declared these "AWESOME." No kidding. Do yourself a favor (and the people you wish to feed !) and make these. I usually just make some coucous to go with them. Whatever. This stuff is really, really GOOD.

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bourguignonne

1 inch cubes of chuck blade. Brown them and remove from pot

Sweat some lardons and whatever vegetables you want.

Return meat to pan. Throw in a bottle of red.

Put in low oven to simmer for a few hours.

PM me and I'll forward the exact recipe I use.

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Typical accompaniments are mashed potatoes or spaetzel.  I'm thinking of trying some grits or polenta.

Grits?! Polenta?! You are a wild man! :)

Instead of beef why not do a pork shoulder or some pork belly? Flavor it depending on what you are in the mood for that day.

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Grits?!  Polenta?!  You are a wild man!  :)

Instead of beef why not do a pork shoulder or some pork belly?  Flavor it depending on what you are in the mood for that day.

Port shoulder and belly are not as readily available as beef chuck is. Heck the local Giant has it on sale frequently and it is on sale this week at Harris Teeter for $2.49/lb.

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Maybe I am just not getting it or braising the correct way but whenever I braise it ends up as stew, regardless of the cut of meat.

Am I missing something or do I need new recipes?

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Maybe I am just not getting it or braising the correct way but whenever I braise it ends up as stew, regardless of the cut of meat.

Am I missing something or do I need new recipes?

Stewing, braising-- same thing basically. It's the same cooking technique, but I think of a stew as being a little more soupy. If you serve it in a bowl, it's a stew. You could serve pot roast or short ribs on a plate. Or in a large trough as I'm known for doing. :)

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That right there is what we call a 'multi-tasker'.  You can cook with it, and also use it as an implement of blunt trauma.  Sweet!  :)

All good braising vessels can be used as weapons and a variety of other purposes.

(see post #4)

Edited by Al Dente

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Maybe I am just not getting it or braising the correct way but whenever I braise it ends up as stew, regardless of the cut of meat.

Am I missing something or do I need new recipes?

How would you describe the difference?

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Braising is the cooking technique used for stews. But other recipes also call for braising, such as pot roast and lamb shanks and short ribs. I tend to agree that a stew generally has a thinner liquid than say a carbonnade or a goulash.

And HERE is the recipe I use for goulash. My kids beg me for it.

Edited by Jacques Gastreaux

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I thought the difference was that braising involved only partially covering the meat in liquid, while stewing submerges the meat (I realized awhile back that I'd basically been stewing everything... most cookbooks don't make much of a distinction between braising and stewing).

The four-part EGullet 'braising lab' they did this year was pretty interesting (though it raises more questions than it answers).

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Maybe I am just not getting it or braising the correct way but whenever I braise it ends up as stew, regardless of the cut of meat.

Am I missing something or do I need new recipes?

I presume that what you mean by this is that if you cook meat on the bone, it falls off and breaks up into chunks or shreds. My clinical diagnosis of this symptom is: too hot/too longitis. Cooking a stew or braise as Porcupine suggests above, for several hours at 375 degrees, is going to leave you with paradoxically dry, falling-apart meat. That's just too hot and too long IMO. Water boils at 220, and at 375, you've got a really vigorous boil going. You want to gently poach the meat for optimal texture.

My recommended course of treatment is:

Cook in a cast iron pot with a tight-fitting, heavy lid, enameled if possible.

Don't completely submerge the meat, as suggested above.

Bring pot up to gentle boil on stove top before putting in the oven.

2 hours at 275, or 3 hours at 240 is how I do oven braising.

Remove roast, shanks or ribs, strain out veggies, spoon off all grease or chill cooking liquid overnight and remove solidified fat. Reduce liquid to make fabulous sauce. Briefly and gently reheat meat in in sauce before serving.

See the receptionist to make a follow-up appointment, if needed.

Dr. zora

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Port shoulder and belly are not as readily available as beef chuck is.  Heck the local Giant has it on sale frequently and it is on sale this week at Harris Teeter for $2.49/lb.

Pork shoulder is readily available at my local Giant and Shopper's (cheaper here).

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I presume that what you mean by this is that if you cook meat on the bone, it falls off and breaks up into chunks or shreds. My clinical diagnosis of this symptom is: too hot/too longitis. Cooking a stew or braise as Porcupine suggests above, for several hours at 375 degrees, is going to leave you with paradoxically dry, falling-apart meat. That's just too hot and too long IMO. Water boils at 220, and at 375, you've got a really vigorous boil going. You want to gently poach the meat for optimal texture.

Yes! This is exactly what I was going to write. Another thing is that proteins firm up when boiled as opposed to being poached at a lower temperature. I will have to dig up my On Food and Cooking to verify, but I think I am remembering it correctly.

cjsadler also correctly points out the difference between braising and stewing.

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I presume that what you mean by this is that if you cook meat on the bone, it falls off and breaks up into chunks or shreds. My clinical diagnosis of this symptom is: too hot/too longitis. Cooking a stew or braise as Porcupine suggests above, for several hours at 375 degrees, is going to leave you with paradoxically dry, falling-apart meat. That's just too hot and too long IMO. Water boils at 220, and at 375, you've got a really vigorous boil going. You want to gently poach the meat for optimal texture.

My recommended course of treatment is:

Cook in a cast iron pot with a tight-fitting, heavy lid, enameled if possible.

Don't completely submerge the meat, as suggested above.

Bring pot up to gentle boil on stove top before putting in the oven.

2 hours at 275, or 3 hours at 240 is how I do oven braising.

Remove roast, shanks or ribs, strain out veggies, spoon off all grease or chill cooking liquid overnight and remove solidified fat. Reduce liquid to make fabulous sauce. Briefly and gently reheat meat in in sauce before serving.

See the receptionist to make a follow-up appointment, if needed.

Dr. zora

When making a stew, it is important to note that the vegatables that were added during the cooking process need to be removed before serving. The carrots, onioins, celery, etc. are there to add flavor to the sauce and once the meat is cooked, most all of the flavor of the vegatables has been extracted and they will be mushy. Also, I don't bother to do much chopping of the vegatables that are used at this stage; I quarter an onion, cut a carrot and a celecy stalk into 2-3 pioeces. This makes it easier to remove them at the end. I add separately cooked pearl onions, carrots, potatoes and mushrooms to my stews. That way you can control the cooking of the vegatables and add them just before they are done (they will cook a little more in the sauce).

Edited by Jacques Gastreaux

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:)

She's thinking in Death Valley.

On second thought maybe that's not low enough beneath sea level. :o

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