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braising techniques

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
okay, looks like i hafto post this again. i tried posting it yesterday night but i guess a moderator removed it because it had a link to my blog which described in further detail of what i was trying to portray to make it easier to answer the questions but whatever. anyway i used the following recipe:

1½ cups pear or apple juice
1 cup sake
1 cup mirin
½ cup sugar
1 cup soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons neutral oil, like corn or grapeseed
4 to 5 pounds short ribs
2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons butter
8 to 12 small potatoes, preferably fingerlings, trimmed
½ cup chopped scallions
4 cups cooked white rice.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, combine juice, sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce, about 20 grinds of pepper, both forms of garlic, sesame oil and 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
2. Put corn or grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof braising pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add ribs, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper. Brown well on one side, moving them around to promote even browning. Turn, add onions and half the carrots, and brown other side, stirring vegetables occasionally.
3. Carefully pour braising liquid over meat and bake, bone-side up and submerged in liquid (add water or juice if necessary), for 3 to 4 hours, until meat falls from bones. Cool ribs in liquid for 1 hour, then remove; strain liquid. At this point, ribs and liquid can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
4. Remove bones from ribs. In a pot, combine meat with braising liquid; heat to a boil then simmer, reducing liquid until syrupy. If it seems too thick, thin with a bit of water.
5. About ½ hour before you are ready to serve, put butter in a skillet and add potatoes and remaining carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally and seasoning with salt and pepper, until browned and nearly tender, about 20 minutes. Add to meat. Taste mixture and adjust seasonings if necessary, then garnish with scallions and serve on rice.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

now i made this recipe and have a picture of it but cannot show it because it is on my blog and i can't give you the address. anyway after making it, it tasted like braised short ribs, nothing special or out of the ordinary. it did however end up a bit sweet so i think i'll not use the sugar next time and maybe less soy sauce cuz it was a bit salty as well. maybe ill use honey next time.

as for my question, what suggestions do you have in regards to exciting the palate and blowing people away when tasting braised dishes? thyme, basil, parsley, tomato paste, a particular wine perhaps? what is it that makes your braised dish exciting, whether it be coq au vin or braised short ribs, what do you do to make it exciting? if you have any recipes to offer i'd gladly appreciate it and be willing to try them. thanks for any input you might have.

post #2 of 2
One of my favorite cooking methods is braising.

This recipe seems to be a glorified teriaki sauce as the braising liquid.

What I can see from the recipe alone is there really is not enough unflavoured liquid to withstand such a reduction without becoming too sweet and salty.

Fruit juice - sweet
Mirin - sweet
Sugar - sweet
Soya - salty

and then you recommend to salt & pepper the ribs liberally.

By what I can tell from the recipe alone is that the first set ingredients that you boil would make a great and flavorful dipping sauce or glaze and when the ribs are cooked in it you lose any taste of the beef and have an overpowering taste of a "teriaki" sauce.

I personally like the traditional beef stock, tomato paste, mirepoix, fresh herb and red wine braise and finished with a buerre manie for beef.
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