“Braised”, “Braising,” and “Braised beef” are concepts you may have read poring over a menu or in cookbooks. These terms come from French cuisine, one of the world’s most interesting culinary traditions.
The French verb “Braiser” (a relative of the English word “Brazier”), means cooking food with vegetables and some form of liquid (usually wine) over a low fire, in a pot closed with a lid.
This cooking method was originally used to cook meat that was too tough, as well as poultry, fish, and even vegetables like cabbage or artichokes.
“Braise” means “live coals” in French, and this gives us a hint of the history behind braising. In the middle ages, the French used coal to cook, and in its original version braising consisted in placing a pot over the hot coals, putting hot coals on the lid of the pot as well. Applying heat from all sides ensured that the food was cooked uniformly.
“Brown Braising” and “White Braising”
There are two types of braising, “brown braising” and “white braising.” In brown braising the meat is first cooked with oil in a pan until it turns brown (hence the name) and then placed in the pot. In white braising the meat is also cooked in a pan, but not to the point that it becomes brown.
Cooking the meat beforehand concentrates the meat juices that will be released during the braising. The combination of these juices with the liquid used to braise the meat results in a tasty, hearty sauce.
The choice of the liquid to use for braising depends on what is being cooked. Generally speaking, white wines are used for white meat and red wines for red meat. With foods that contain a lot of water, like vegetables, no liquid may be necessary.
More Interesting Food Facts
At Chef Gourmet we know good food, and we love to share that knowledge with you. These are some previous posts where you can find more interesting facts about food:
- 4 Interesting Facts About Artichokes
- What is Purple Rice?
- 4 Reasons Why Italian Food Is so Popular
- How Tomatoes Conquered the World
- Soba Noodles: Everything You Need to Know
- Marinara: the Story Behind the Legendary Italian Sauce
- A Brief History of Tacos
Try Our Braised Beef With Port Wine Sauce!
At Chef Gourmet, we love this cooking method so much that have included Braised Beef With Port Wine Sauce among our Gourmet prepared meals.
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