Braising is the application of moist cookery to small cuts and joints of meat, poultry, game and offal. The main commodity is two-thirds covered with liquid, vegetables and herbs are added, the receptacle is tightly covered and the dish is cooked in an oven at a temperature of 180°C. Braising, in simple terms, is stewing in an oven.
There are two methods of braising:
(a) white braising – this may be applied to white meats such as veal and poultry and offal such as sweetbreads;
(b) brown braising – this may be applied to meats such as beef, veal, mutton, and duck and offals such as heart, tongue and oxtail.
Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: 1½ hours. Oven temperature: 180°C.
— 1½ kg prepared meat
— 250 grams sliced carrots
— 250 grams sliced onions
— 200 grams sliced celery
— 80 grams bacon trimmings
— 1 sprig thyme
— 1 bay leaf
— parsley stalks
— 150 grams butters
— 1 liters white veal stock
— 1 juice of lemon
— salt and pepper
(1) Melt the butter in a braising type of pan. Add the bed of roots and lightly cook without coloring for a few minutes.
(2) Place in the seasoned meat, coat the meat with butter, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
(3) Remove the lid, and add the stock. Bring to the boil and skim as necessary.
(4) Re-cover with a lid and return it to the oven to braise, basting from time to time until cooked.
(5) Remove the meat from the cooking liquid and retain in a covered dish to keep warm.
(6) Strain the cooking liquid into a clean saucepan. Boil and skim off any traces of fat or grease that surface. Slightly thicken with the diluted arrowroot, add the lemon juice and season to taste. Strain the liquid through a fine conical strainer.
(7) Remove the string from the joint. Carve into 3 mm thick slices across the grain of the joint.
(8) Neatly arrange the slices of meat on an oval dish, coat with the sauce and serve.
(1) The sauce should be transparent and of a consistency that will enable it to flow lightly over the surface of the meat.
(2) Lemon is associated with many veal recipes, partly to add a little sharpness to the flavour and partly to compliment the delicate flavour of the veal.
To test if cooked:
The joint may be tested with a trussing needle. When cooked the needle should penetrate to the center of the joint without undue pressure and the juices released should be clear. The reading of a thermoneedle should be 80°C.
White braised offal:
Braised sweetbreads are fundamental to several other dishes. Once cooked they should be transferred to a shallow dish, covered completely with the strained cooking liquid and buttered greaseproof paper. If not required for immediate use they should be permitted to cool as quickly as possible for use as necessary and covered with cling foil. Store in a refrigerator at a temperature of 8°C.