Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 42

Braising = a combination of dry-heat and moist-heat cooking 

In order to gain a thorough understanding of the braising technique we prepared two dishes: Braised Lettuce and Braised Lamb Stew with Glazed Spring Vegetables. 

Stewing versus Braising? 

Stewing involves using smaller cuts of meat than braising and after the meat has been browned or seared in fat and the liquid is added there is a difference in that amount of liquid. When stewing, you cover your meat completely with liquid and when braising there is usually only enough liquid to go about half-way up the height of the protein in your pot or pan.  It is fair to note that regardless of these two terms, the basic cooking method of using dry heat, then moist heat is the same for both large and small cuts of meat.

When braising you always brown your meet first and the key to this step is ensuring that your pan and oil are extremely hot and also that you DO NOT crowd the pan!!  Sear the meat in batches if necessary but do not crowd the pan or the meat will not brown properly. 

We topped the lamb stew with some beautiful glazed vegetables and fresh chopped parsley. 

The Braised Lettuce was very interesting. We blanched the lettuce first and then stuffed it with a farce (stuffing) before placing it into a pan with some chicken stock and braising it for about half an hour. I served the Braised Lettuce with a bit of the strained broth that was created during the braising process. 

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