Braising is amazing
Grilling and dry roasting works beautifully for premium cuts from the rib, loin and round because these muscles don’t have to work too hard. When grilled, they reach their ultimate level of tenderness and juiciness at about medium rare.But grill a shoulder cut to medium rare and it will be as tough as nails. Since the muscles in the front shoulders have to work much harder, they develop a deeper grain and more connective tissue – this calls for a different tactic – braising.Braising is slow cooking in a covered pot with liquid, and is the best way to cook cuts such as chuck, arm, brisket and shanks. Braising takes time, but your patience is well rewarded with luscious, tender meat and lots of juicy collagen. Chicken Fricassee with Mushrooms6 tablespoons Olive Oil2 cloves garlic, minced1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces1/4 cup Flour1 pound Fresh mushrooms, quartered28 ounces canned, Italian tomatoes, drained and halvedSalt and pepper to tasteHeat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy skillet, add garlic, reduce heat to medium low and cook until soft but not brown. Dredge chicken with flour and increase heat to medium high. Add chicken, sauté until well browned on both sides.
In a separate skillet, add remaining oil and sauté mushrooms over medium heat until lightly browned. Add mushrooms and tomatoes to chicken, season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered for 20 minutes, uncover and cook 10 more minutes. Serve with rice or noodles and crusty bread. – Chef Bill Andrews Braised BrisketL 4-6 pounds beef brisketsalt, pepper and herbs3-4 cups beef stock1 pound carrots — peeled and sliced12 new potatoes — scrubbed12 small pearl onions2 cloves garlic1 jar chili sauceSeason brisket with salt, pepper and herbs (or your favorite blend). Place roasting pan over flame, add a splash of oil and sear both sides of the brisket in the roasting pan. When browned, add 3 cups beef stock. Cover tightly and place in 350-degree oven for 90-120 minutes.
Reduce oven to 300-degrees. Remove roast from oven, add veggies and chili sauce, cover and return to oven for 1.5 to 2 hours longer or until roast and veggies are done to your liking. Check during roasting time, adding additional stock if pan becomes dry.To Serve:Remove roast and veggies and skim fat from sauce (can also be chilled and fat layer simply pulled off). Place roasting pan on top of stove and simmer, reducing to taste (or if stock became too concentrated due to evaporation, add water). Thicken to make gravy by adding sprinkles of Wondra flour (superfine flour) at a rate of approximately 1-2 teaspoons per cup of liquid. While gravy simmers and thickens, slice roast and display with veggies. Serve smothered with gravy. Braised Lamb Shanks 2 lamb shanks, splitsalt, pepper, dry herbs, flour2 tablespoons oil1 cup minced carrot1 cup minced onion1/2 cup minced celery1 large clove garlic, minced1 cup beef broth3/4 cup red wineoregano, thyme, bay leaf1 tablespoon tomato paste
Season shanks with a combination of sea salt, pepper, and an assorted herb medley, then toss in flour to coat well. Heat a heavy pot; add oil and shanks and brown on all sides. Remove to a casserole pan of appropriate size.Add minced veggies and garlic to browning pot and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add wine, stock, tomato paste and a sprig of fresh oregano, thyme and bay (or use dry herbs). Bring to a boil and pour over shanks in casserole. Cover with a tight fitting lid and roast at 275 for 2 1/2 hours, turning once and adding water if there is excess evaporation. Skim and serve shanks with sauce as is; or puree veggies in cooking liquid for a thicker sauce. – Chef Mick RosacciChef Michaelangelo (Mick) Rosacci and family own and operate Tony’s Meats & Specialty Foods, Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering, and Tony’s Wines. For more recipes, visit http://www.TonysMarket.com.
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