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Posts Tagged ‘braised pork shanks’

Braised Pork Shanks - FinalSay the word “braise” to most home cooks and you’ll likely get a blank stare.

Leaving out crock-pots and pot-roasts, I think it’s safe to say that the braise is rarely used in the modern kitchen. Even if you love pot-roasts, you may not know what a braise is or what it does.

A braise is a long, slow cook in moist heat. It’s great for stews and pot roasts, as it transforms a cheap cut of meat into succulent, tender morsels of flavor. It breaks down those tough connective tissues–tendons, ligaments, cartilage–transferring them to the braising liquid, building that unctuous mouth-feel we love in sauces and gravies. Technically, my In-the-Oven Chicken Stock is a braise, cooked at low temps for a ridiculously long time, and the difference shows in the results. It has a complexity of flavor you just don’t get with other methods.

Our most common mistakes in using the braise are:

  1. We cook with too high a heat
  2. We cook for too short a time

A braise requires patience and subtlety as we build flavors layer upon layer. However, a braise doesn’t have to take all day. Here’s an example…

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