Make the most of the cooler weather with these simple tips to perfect slow cooking. You can also watch our little video
1 COLOUR IS FLAVOUR
Pat your meat dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a little oil in a heavy-based pan to sear and colour your meat on all sides. The more caramelisation at the beginning, the better the flavour at the end.
If you are braising vegetables the same rules apply – a bit of seasoning and some lovely colour to start
2 ADD AROMATS
Add celery, onion, carrots, garlic and herbs like bay or thyme. Let the aromats cook with the meat, releasing sweetness and delicious smells Don’t worry if things stick. As long as it’s not burnt or charred, the magic is happening.
3 ADD LIQUID & DEGLAZE
Good smells and nice colour signal time to deglaze with a liquid like wine, stock, water, passata or beer. White wine matches well with chicken, leeks and potatoes. Guinness is a winner with beef. Lamb shanks come up a treat with stock, Moroccan spices and tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the delicious caramelised bits into the liquid, to make a rich, hearty braise
4 COVER UP
Put the lid on the pan with plenty of liquid inside to keep everything juicy throughout the slow cook. You can add liquid along the way. Just don’t let the meat dry out, toughen or burn. Keep covered on a low simmer until tender meat falls apart and vegies are soft.
5 REST, TEST & SHARE
Once cooked, keep the pan covered and let the dish rest, off the heat. Liquid will soak in to moisten the meat and boost flavour. Take out hard herbs or aromats you don’t want on the plate. Taste test then add any seasoning. Once your table is set, reheat the meal and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with simple greens and comfort food like mash, polenta or rice.
You can print out some of our favourite recipes for braising HERE We have a braised Fennel & White Bean, a recipe for braised Beef Cheeks and a sweet braised Pear with Marsala