braising n : cooking slowly in fat in a closed pot with little moisture
- present participle of braise
Braising (from the French “braiser”) is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour.
Braising relies on heat, time, and moisture to successfully break down tough connective tissue and collagens in meat. It is an ideal way to cook tougher cuts. Many classic braised dishes such as Coq au Vin are highly-evolved methods of cooking tough and unpalatable foods. Swissing, stewing and pot-roasting are all braising types. Braising is a form of pressure cooking.
Most braises follow the same basic steps. The meat or poultry is first seared in order to brown its surface and enhance its flavor. Aromatic vegetables are sometimes then browned as well. A cooking liquid that often includes an acidic element, such as tomatoes, beer, or wine, is added to the pot, often with stock, to not quite cover the meat. The dish is cooked covered at a very low simmer until meat is fork tender. Often the cooking liquid is finished to create a sauce or gravy.
A successful braise intermingles the flavours of the foods being cooked and the cooking liquid. Also, the dissolved collagens and gelatins from the meat enrich and add body to the liquid. Braising is economical, as it allows the use of tough and inexpensive cuts, and efficient, as it often employs a single pot to cook an entire meal.
Familiar braised dishes include pot roast, beef stew, Swiss steak, chicken cacciatore, goulash, carbonade, braised tilapia and beef bourguignon, among others. Braising is also used extensively in the cuisines of Asia, particularly Chinese cuisine.
braising in German: Schmoren
braising in Spanish: Bresear
braising in Esperanto: Brezi
braising in Dutch: Smoren (kooktechniek)
braising in Polish: Duszenie (gotowanie)
braising in Russian: Жар
braising in Swedish: Bräsera
braising in Chinese: 烧 (中餐)