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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 11-15-2010, 04:24 PM   #1
BBQ Bandit
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Thumbs up While in a used book store...

Found a book by Molly Stevens entitled, "All About Braising - the Art of Uncomplicated Cooking"


Sounded like a great educational find for this simple-minded nincompoop.

What really surprised me was a quote from the the back cover

"No cooking method produce more miraculouos results than braising. Trouble is, a successful braise doesn't depend so much on ingredients or tools as technique, and that kind of know-how is extremely hard to glean from the printed page... unless Molly Stevens wrote it. Ms. Stevens's book smashes the braising barrier and proves that she is a gifted technician as well as a world-class teacher."

- Alton Brown, host of Good Eats on the Food Network.

From her website: http://www.mollystevenscooks.com/books.php
Winner of 2005 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Single Subject Cookbook
Winner of 2005 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award for Best Single Subject Cookbook
Included as one of the Top 10 Cookbooks of 2004 by Food & Wine Magazine
Included in The Village Voice "Top 10 Best Cookbooks Of All Time", October 2009




After reading the first ten pages on the first chapter, "Principles of Braising"... felt like I was attending a culinary class.
Definitely a keeper... only paid $1.99.
Here's a link from Amazon.com...
http://www.amazon.com/All-About-Brai.../dp/0393052303
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
landarc
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I like braising as a cooking method, I even have special pots for braising. Oh wait, those are Dutch Ovens.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I like braising as a cooking method, I even have special pots for braising. Oh wait, those are Dutch Ovens.
Zydecopaws calls them CROCK POTS!
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:54 PM   #4
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Braise in a Le Creuset 9 Qt french oven frequently - couple weekends ago did a short rib ragu to serve on pasta - was awesome. Chilli is also good in it - start on the stove, finish in the oven....

Sweet score on the book! Can never have to many cook books
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:59 PM   #5
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I do not consider crock pots to be braising, I consider that to be partially rotting food. Braising requires skill, and expensive pots.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I do not consider crock pots to be braising, I consider that to be partially rotting food. Braising requires skill, and expensive pots.
You aren't Zydecopaws...
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I do not consider crock pots to be braising, I consider that to be partially rotting food. Braising requires skill, and expensive pots.
Not too much skill. Brown all sides of the meat (4-6 mins per side) - brown anythign else you may awant liek onions and such, then put meat back in along with some liquid and other ingredients and into the oven to break down connective tissue.

Braising is a lot like low and lsow smoking except using an oven. Good for us folk when our q's are under 6 feet of snow

A good pot makes all the difference though - enamelled cast iron is the way to go - be it lodge, kitchenaid, batali, staub or le creuset
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:23 PM   #8
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For braising, I use a pizza stone under the pot in the oven, distributes heat more. I have a nice array of cast iron, but, I prefer Le Creuset as a long braise with tomato or vinegar will strip the seasoning off of raw cast iron. The porcelain coating prevents that issue.

I often do two day braises where I cook aromatics and meat the first day, then let it sit overnight in fridge, in the braising liquid, remove fat the next morning. Then prepare a second shorter braise, with original braising liquid, vegetables and fresh herbs and aromatics, this freshens the flavors, the meat which is really already done is added for the last hour to heat through. I often splash some lemon or orange juice or vinegar based sauce on top to liven thing up.

I learned this from a chef who used to be in SF, who made the best Osso bucco and braised meats I have ever had.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:26 PM   #9
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Ok Matt, by "liquid" you mean beer, right?
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:27 PM   #10
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Thanks Landarc.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:30 PM   #11
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Actually, when I make flemish beef stew I use a dark ale and braise the beef in it. I do always have some beer or crown royal on the go - but that's for me - not the braise

Le Creuset is my fave too. Also, I usually make my braise one day and eat the next - that Ragu I made last weekend for guests was the same - all chili, braises, spaghetti sauces, etc taste better the second day....

A little truffle oil is always a nice add at the end as long as you don't add too much ; )
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:42 PM   #12
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Ooo, truffle oil...

I am still deciding on spaghetti sauces, certainly winter sauces you are doing what I like to do. When I can get really good ripe tomatoes, I am more of a fan of really fresh, lightly cooked sauces. Never used to be, always believed they had to be cooked 'grandma' style for hours over a stove...but, then I had one almost uncooked, just heated through, and it was incredible.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:52 PM   #13
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San Marzano canned tomatoes - better than fresh.... Canned tomatoes are picked at their most ripe point and the San Marzano's imported from Italy with the DOP designation are good stuff.... Check your local gourmet grocery store or Italian botega ; )

I often just open a can and add to some sauteed italian sausage, sweet peppers and onion with a little salt and pepper - that's it - and its amazing over rotini or penne and takes 10 mins....

I've thought about adding some leftover pulled pork to spaghetti sauce or chilli - haven't done it yet but bet to would be good....
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:25 PM   #14
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I almost bought a dutch oven just today, but was thinking that the missus thinks I do enough cooking as it is. It was a Lodge w/ a #12 on the lid, for $40.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:37 PM   #15
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Great score on the book. I'll keep my eyes open for it.
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