Braising (from the French word, “braiser”) is a combination-cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats: typically, sear at a high temperature, then finish in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some amount of liquid (which may also add flavor). Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting.
Braising relies on heat, time and moisture to tenderize, making it an ideal way to cook tougher cuts such as shanks, blade steaks or eyes of round to name a few.
A classic braise is done with a relatively whole cut, and the braising liquid will cover two-thirds of the piece in the pan. For braising follow these basic steps:
First pan-sear to brown its surface and enhance its flavor. Most cuts generally do not produce enough liquid of their own, add a certain amount of cooking liquid that includes an acidic element (e.g., tomatoes, beer, balsamic vinegar, wine), often with stock.
Once seared and liquid is added cover pot and cook at a very low simmer, until meat becomes so tender that it can be “cut” with just the gentlest of pressure. The cooking liquid can be finished to create a your sauce.