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All About Braising- ad nauseum

Glenys's picture

Everyone knows I've been braising with all sorts of modified techniques and of course this book, along with Paula Wolfert's abridge methods, has kept me going. This is just a reminder that within each recipe there's a technique that should be adopted use in any repertoire. With grilling season coming up, Honey Glazed Five Spice Ribs will definitely improve many batches of ribs on the grill. The Duck Ragu with Pasta is excellent but also good with a substitution of a smoked turkey drumstick in with fresh ones. Smoky and very good.
I made pot roast for the first time. Been there, done that, not going back. Just not my thing, however take note on how little moisture is needed for the pot roast but more importantly, I did the Moroccan Spiced Lamb Shoulder Chop recipe with shanks. Eight shanks to 2 cups stock. Absolute perfection using the technique described.
For anyone who loves a hot/sweet/sour/salty dish that's quick, the Vietnamese scallops are worthwhile and the sauce has endless possibilities.
All this was for a class at a friend's store. I have to say I still stick to my oven browning technique and won't budge from that, but the good thing is Molly offers it up as well. Great tasting experiment but I did double the "flavour package" on the lamb, but as per the recipe.

Gretchen's picture

(post #62708, reply #1 of 17)

I like the book but her instructions go on 'way 'way too long--like the recipes in FC last issue (or whenever). It's like, "enter kitchen, face stove".

Going to take a look at what Glenys has suggested.

Glenys's picture

(post #62708, reply #3 of 17)

I agree. It's that age old conundrum, do we shorten the recipe by explaining the techniques before or do we keep each recipe intact because many people don't read the forward?

People are usually looking at recipes, and she's got great recipes with great technique. I admit I used my own techniques with some of her
"flavour packages". The ribs with Porter for a beer class and her oxtails in red wine for a "glass for the pot" class. Liked the grappa in the recipe.

foodie's picture

(post #62708, reply #6 of 17)

has anyone tried molly's moroccan spice-rubbed shoulder chops?

Glenys's picture

(post #62708, reply #7 of 17)

I adapted the recipe to shanks cut horizontally into chop sections. It's a superb recipe for we Moroccan faux-citizens. What would you like to know?

foodie's picture

(post #62708, reply #10 of 17)

i have never braised lamb shoulder chops - don't know what to expect. does the rub provide enough flavor?  what changes, if any, did you make?

Glenys's picture

(post #62708, reply #11 of 17)

They're very flavourful on their own. The braise is much shorter time-wise than the shanks and with less liquid, but I've been doing a less-is-more braise lately. Less liquid, more sweating provides a better sauce.

foodie's picture

(post #62708, reply #13 of 17)

thanks, i like the idea of braising w/minimum liquid, the resulting sauce needs no further reduction.

Lee's picture

(post #62708, reply #8 of 17)

Yes, and they are delicious.  The second time I made them, I added dried apricots and small shallots about half an hour before the meat was done.  Prunes would be good too.  I'm going to try it with lamb shanks, but I think it will require more liquid. 

foodie's picture

(post #62708, reply #9 of 17)

i am confused, did you actually use lamb shanks or lamb shoulder chops?

Lee's picture

(post #62708, reply #12 of 17)

I used chops, but will try it with shanks, which I prefer for braising.  As Glenys noted, chops take less time and require less liquid than whole shanks would, but I'm sure shanks would be equally delicious.  Actually, I see no reason why you couldn't do a braise using chunks of lamb stew meat cut from the shoulder.  

foodie's picture

(post #62708, reply #14 of 17)

thanks for clarification, from your post #6 it appeared that both you and glenys were using shanks. i've done a few braises w/lamb shanks, but never w/shoulder chops.

Gretchen's picture

(post #62708, reply #15 of 17)

Jacques Pepin, I think, has a recipe using lamb shoulder steaks as a braise. I'll look, but I was interested because I always have this lamb I order to "do".


foodie's picture

(post #62708, reply #16 of 17)

i am pleased to report that spice-rubbed lamb shoulder chops are delicious, the sauce is rich and flavorful, but next time i'll add more onions. used the oven browning at 450F as recommended here, and it took 2 hrs at 275F for the braise.

delice's picture

(post #62708, reply #17 of 17)

Thanks for the report!  I have the chops ready to braise tomorrow--can't wait!  Lamb shoulder is not easy to get here either whole or cut--I bought all they had!  It sounds so good.

Glenys's picture

(post #62708, reply #2 of 17)

I braise often and a lot; two dozen lamb shanks in a pot is the easiest meal for a crowd. Over the years my method has become more refined which means less work and more a more effective method.
1. Whether it's duck legs, short ribs, shanks- oven roast at 450°F as the browning step. Done.
2. Parchment paper for a "neat" braise with less liquid. Sometimes not.
3. Oven to complete; lid on or off, depending on the braise.

What M.S. Braising offers:
1. Much like the French, she marinates and or uses a spice rub for deeper flavour. Good step if you're planning ahead and definitely worth it.
2. Finish glazes offer another layer of flavour at the end; nice touch.
3. Good reminder of how braising can add another dimension of flavour to vegetables (not poached, or sautéed or steamed) especially in other dishes
4. The flavour of braising, as the Italians know, is unlike anything else when it comes to a sauce. Duck ragu with pasta, a good example.

Lee's picture

(post #62708, reply #4 of 17)

I also substituted lamb shanks for the shoulder chops in the Spiced Lamb recipe and was very happy with the results.  IA that the Vietnamese Scallops and Duck Ragu are keepers; I've made both several times.  I tried oven browning for the first time recently.  I braised a whole beef brisket, and searing it in a roasting pan seemed too cumbersome.  Browning it in the oven worked just fine, and I loved not having a greasy cooktop to clean.  I'll try it with smaller cuts.

I made the last of the short ribs that were in the freezer for dinner last night using your Spice and Wine recipe.  I normally use zinfandel, stock and port along with the other ingredients in your list, but the addition of cinnamon stick, cocoa and chipotle chiles was new to us.  The flavor was delicious!  

pamilyn's picture

(post #62708, reply #5 of 17)

Try the braised cabbage. My DH thought he didn't like cabbage but he ate that. Pamilyn

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls