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Chilly weather is the perfect setting for warm, comforting food. Braised meats are meltingly tender with a rich, flavorful sauce.
Here’s how to achieve braising perfection in four basic steps.
Good news for the penny-pinchers: It’s best to use a tougher, cheaper cut of meat. The connective tissue breaks down into gelatin to create a thick, rich sauce.
Go traditional with a mirepoix of carrots, onion and celery. Or broaden your horizons with leeks, peppers or parsnips. The flavor profile is up to you.
For a sauce that packs a flavor punch, be sure to scrape up all the fond. Which should be easy, since the enamel interior readily releases cooked-on foods. (This also makes clean-up a breeze!)
Let time do all the work of tenderizing the meat and thickening the sauce. The goal of braising is a dish that can be eaten with just a fork – no knife needed for cutting, and no spoon needed for a thin broth.