How to Braise Anything Like a Chef in 9 Simple Steps
If braising isn't already your best kitchen friend this winter, it's about to become your new favorite cooking technique. Why? Because the process of slow cooking protein and/or veggies in liquid fills your home with rich, savory scents that amp up dinner anticipation even if your cooking ambition is at an all-time low.
"I love braising because it's really about coaxing flavors," says Linda Hampsten Fox, Chef at The Bindery in Denver, Colo. "Braising is a subtle dance that happens leisurely at low temperatures, so you can still do a million other things at the same time." (Dropping this month's best Netflix shows here for any multitasking needs.) Braising both softens meat and builds flavor over hours of slow cooking—so if you've ever spent hours cooking meat in broth in a Dutch oven before, you've braised.
Another big bonus to braising? The braising liquid automatically acts as sauce for your protein and any sides you serve with it—roasted veggies, egg noodles, and mashed potatoes. It's also perfect for meal prepping big cuts of meat, meaning your Sunday braise can be repurposed into dinners, sandwiches, and more all week.
Multitasking and creating dynamic flavor for a dish that's often even better leftover? We're in. Below, chefs share their tips, tricks, creative ideas for becoming the best braiser you can be. Try these tips on our recipes for Spiced Braised Beef With Sweet Potatoes, Slow Cooker Cuban Braised Beef and Peppers, Gochujung Braised Brisket, Spice-Braised Short Ribs, or Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables.