Your oven is amazing!
Not only will it do a wonderful job on your braised meat dish but it will give you a life style as well!
Braising is a combination of dry heat cooking (using the stove to sear the meat to brown the exterior) and moist heat cooking (where it continues the cooking journey in the oven by simmering in a flavourful liquid until the meat is tender).
Why this type of meat cooking in the oven is popular is due to the flavour of the browning being imparted into this flavourful liquid as this liquid slowly turns into a terrific quality sauce.
Now let’s look further at what the oven does to your dish
First thing to know is that not all cuts are suitable for braising.
Suitable cuts for braising:
|Osso bucco||Osso bucco||Shank||Belly||Leg|
|Gravy beef||Diced off the leg||Forequarter neck chops||Shoulder – whole and diced||Shoulder|
|Diced silverside||Diced silverside||Diced shoulder||Hock – pea and ham soup|
|Diced bolar blade||Diced topside||Diced lamb off the shank|
The cuts that are suitable for braising are from the most exercised area of the animal’s body. They are tough cuts and are high in a protein called connective tissue. These cuts cannot be pan fried nor grilled because the connective tissue will never breakdown.
However, when braised in a liquid of stock and an acid (wine or canned tomato puree), the connective tissue will breakdown during a long and slow (low heat (approx. 120 degrees C/248 degrees F fan forced ) for a long time (8 hours/until meat is tender)) and moist cookery process, covered and in the oven. What happens during this time is that the connective tissue (in the meat) dissolves, converts to gelatine and makes the meat so flavoursome and tender! Not only that but that gelatine also dissipates into the sauce. So, as you can see, amazing work on the oven’s part!
Now that you know what is going on in the oven and that amazing things are happening to your meat during that time, you are all the better for it! Just knowing this is part and parcel of being a terrific chef!
You also know that the oven is freeing up your time to do other things.
The dish is ready when the meat is tender.
This is a great way to feed a group of you in one setting or feed a few of you over several nights. If you are feeding a few of you over several nights then you don’t need to cook anymore for those few nights. Once the braised meat dish is cooked, all you need to do is heat it up! From the time you decide to have dinner to the time you actually have it could literally be about 5 – 10 minutes including microwave heating time. Not having to cook on those nights nor clean up is, to me, a real boost to your lifestyle because you have that time to yourself. Not only that, but the meat improves over time.
Ensure that this dish is ready 2 – 3 days before you actually need it
I wouldn’t use it straight away. Let it sit refrigerated for 2 – 3 days. The meat and flavours improve over time.
When it comes to cooking your meat in the oven, braising is a great cookery method.
The work the oven is doing is freeing you up in the process.
You now know what great work the oven is doing, ensuring that you create the most delicious and memorable meat meals.
Now you can check out braised meat recipes and use this new knowledge to challenge, follow or tweak them.
Good luck in your meat cooking in the oven and, of course, please let me know if you have any questions.
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