Braising

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  1. Schedule intentional time for the email, videos and cooking
  2. Print out the materials and hang them on your fridge
  3. Practice (schedule in that cooking during times that work for you)
  4. Ask questions & be fearless!
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Braising

is often referred to as the “low and slow” approach to cooking large, tough cuts of meat or hard, fibrous vegetables.

Often times, home cooks are braising food and just don’t know it!

Braising is one of my favorite methods of cooking because it is almost all hands off cooking and yields delicious meals.

Braising is also the easiest way to cook a big portion meal to have it for leftovers or use for a party you may be hosting.

What is Braising?

Braising is a cooking method by which meat or vegetables are first seared, then simmered in a liquid to finish the cooking process.

The liquid that your product is cooked in should come up ¾ of the way up the product.     

What Type of Meat & Vegetables Can You Braise?

  1. Tough cuts of meat with more connective tissue (legs, shoulder, butt.)
  2. Hard, more fibrous vegetables (Fennel, collard greens, swiss chard or root vegetables)

The Method of Braising

Braising is done in five steps and whether you are cooking pork shoulder or fennel, the process is the same each time.

The Cook

  1. SEASON your product with salt pepper and any spices you may choose to use.
  2. SEAR YOUR MEAT in a very hot pan (enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan)
  3. BROWN VEGETABLES and add everything back in the pot
  4. DEGLAZE your pan with a flavorful liquid that comes ¾ of the way up our product
  5. Cover & put in the oven to cook at a LOW SIMMER!

The Sauce

If you are braising vegetables, you can simply add a bit of salt and pepper to you sauce to finish it off.

For meat, you will want to take the extra step below.

Strain your braising liquid and cook it down by half to create a yummy sauce.

Be sure to re-season and add a splash of acid!

OR

Blend everything in your pot to make a nice, thick sauce.  

(You may want to strain after blending to get out any lumps.)

Don't forget to print your Braising Notes to hang on your fridge!

It may seem like a small step, but this will make the difference in you actually working on the rubs this month.

Examples to Get Started:

Check out our braising recipes and pick one to start you off!

Remember you can also braise vegetables!

You would use the same steps, just substituting the meat for some veggies.

Braised Cabbage

SEAR: sauté some onion and garlic, add chopped cabbage,

DEGLAZE: add some beer and vinegar

SIMMER: reduce to simmer & voila!

Braised Collard Greens

SEAR: sauté some garlic & onion, add chopped greens

DEGLAZE: add white wine and veg stock

SIMMER: reduce & simmer.  

You can even throw in some chick peas & chili flake for a kick!

Pro Tips:

When braising veggies you do not have to cover your vegetables when braising them, since they are so delicate and will cook quickly.  

Letting the water steam out of your liquid while cooking it uncovered will enhance the flavor of your sauce later on.

Resting your meat

Most meat braises will benefit from sitting it their juices either over night or at least until it cools.  This isn’t necessary, but will make for a delicious piece of meat, that melts in your mouth.

When reheating your food DO NOT BOIL the meat. Simmer it in the sauce gently. Otherwise, you will reverse all that slow cooked goodness and toughen up your meat.

Don't forget to print your Braising Notes to hang on your fridge!

It may seem like a small step, but this will make the difference in you actually working on the rubs this month.

Cooking With Your Kids:

Finishing the whole process of braising with your child could feel overwhelming, depending on their age and skill level. You can have them help you with some of the prep though!

1. peeling carrots or other root vegetables
2. crushing garlic and peeling the skin
3. seasoning food or making a spice rub for your meat
4. cutting soft vegetables (celery, peppers)
5. picking herbs

When cooking with your child, be sure to give them their own station to work from. Their own cutting board, kid safe knife and hand towel. Not only will this make them feel more independent, but it will give you both space to work side by side instead of on top of each other.

It will lessen the stress on your end and that’s all that matters!

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Don’t forget to print your Braising Notes to hang on your fridge!

It may seem like a small step, but this will make the difference in you actually working on the rubs this month.

Consistency is the key to a healthy eater.

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The #1 message for your kids about food…

 

For those of you who don’t know me. My name is Kim. I’m a mama of 2 insanely cute, but crazy as hell little kids. I have a calm as fuck husband who balances us all out and deals with all our insanity. I’m from Long Island, NY and spent most of my childhood growing up in typical suburbia. I didn’t eat farm fresh food from a mom or grandma that spent hours in the kitchen. My mom was a single, working mom who did everything she could for my sister and I (and anyone else in the area who needed it).

We didn’t eat out much because we didn’t have the money. She cooked simple, quick food. Lot’s of pasta, meat and potatoes and frozen (and even canned) veggies. Her specialty was Roast Beef and Mash potatoes with gravy. I didn’t eat crappy food, but it wasn’t anything steeped in culture either.

I always loved to eat though. And thank god, I was never taught as a girl that eating too much was something to watch out for. It was always something that tapped into that primal part of my brain and made me feel good. The more I ate, the more I learned, and the more I wanted good quality food. Not snobby stuff, just the best of whatever it was I was having.

Thinking about it now, I think that came from my dad. He’s always had this little Italian grandma sense to him. Always making you eat more and always spending money on the “good stuff”. Granted, the good stuff to us was Red Lobster and the Sizzler. But hell, we were high end middle classers. The point was that he always attached good feelings to food. Food was fun — exciting and adventurous.

As I got older, I didn’t mind investing my time into making something I could enjoy. The result was worth the effort. “Fresh” mozzerella (it wasn’t actually fresh, now that I know better — just less processed), tomato and basil for an after-school snack as a teenager was normal.

I could have eaten just ice cream from a bowl, but I wanted to take the extra time to make a waffle to pair it with. Hell, who doesn’t want a warm Eggo waffle and mint chocolate chip ice cream. — See!? You want it right now don’t you? 🙂

I realize now that the most important thing I got from my parents around food was something they did mindlessly. They instilled in me that food was ok. Food was fun and indulgent and worth your time.

FOOD IS WORTH YOUR TIME.

That is a message worth passing on to our kids.

That’s the message I model to Lucas and Thiago when I carve out the time for cooking dinner as a non-negotiable, even though I’m tired from being up all last night nursing an almost 2 year old like he’s a newborn (damn teething) and haven’t stopped moving since 6:30am AND I know I’m going to yell waaaay before bedtime even starts.

We have our days of tomato sauce and pasta, of take-out and plenty of leftovers.

But the thing my kids see on a regular basis — 

Good Food is Important.

And that’s the message I want to pass on to you.

Sending you love and Red Lobster,

Kim

xoxox