Braising combines color with exceptionally tender flavor and textures, a technique where food is first seared over high heat and then submerged in liquid to continue cooking.
Almost every kitchen has its own take on it – so with international travel out of reach for the foreseeable future, braise your way around the world at home instead.
Chili con carne is usually paired with the classic Tex-Mex that combines ground beef, tomatoes, and kidney beans – but once you’ve tried this leafy alternative, you won’t be able to go back.
Don’t be tempted to use a lean cut of meat; the cheaper cuts like the shoulder or the scotch fillet are veined with intramuscular fat that will melt, keeping your meat juicy and fork-tender. If making cornbread is a bridge too far, on weeknights it will be just as delicious served with a dollop of sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges. And maybe a margarita.
Uncovering family recipes is like finding a stash of jewelry – stained margins marked with notes and comments, then lovingly reproduced over the generations. It’s not just nostalgia; these recipes stand the test of time because they are good.
Here, Zijun Meng remembers his mother’s Chinese eggplant dish, gently braised in herbs until the flesh completely submits. Meng has tweaked the recipe in recent years by dredging the eggplant into potato starch and frying it before adding it to the braising liquid for a thicker, richer sauce. Garnish with curly shallots and serve with jasmine rice.
If you’re dreaming of a trip to the vineyards of southern France – hot sun, fruity wines and all that bakery – this recipe will at least partially get you there.
When cooking, Nigel Slater emphasizes the need to go hard on the initial cooking of the skin of the chicken. The Maillard reaction will amplify the flavors inherent in umami, and any toasted bits that stick to the bottom of the pan will break free when you add the cider to develop that deep brown sauce.
Braising doesn’t have to be an all-day activity. Fish is a delicate protein that requires very little cooking – no more than 10 minutes and it’s ready to serve.
Preparing this subtly caramelized and spicy dish will take you a bit longer, as will researching more specific ingredients online or from an Asian grocer, but the authentic flavors will send you straight back to the streets of Thailand.
Variations of fasoulia can be found across the Mediterranean and the Middle East, with many relying on the inclusion of meat for flavor. But Meera Sodha’s vegan adaptation makes the nourishing simplicity of the ingredients shine.
You probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry (beans, onions, tomatoes, and a few spices) but if you need extra encouragement to prepare this dish, consider that Sodha has cooked this “several times over Christmas and over. new year “a time when there is an abundance of feasting on offer. Make these beans.
Arguably the best piece of a pork belly roast is that glassy, blistered skin, but it can come at the expense of hard, cured meat. Yotam Ottolenghi has taken the best characteristics of a roast and braised to ensure you have a succulent and flavorful pork belly that retains the crunchy crackle.
Taking inspiration from the unofficial national dish of the Philippines, adobo, this broth is heavily infused with soy, vinegar and garlic – the perfect complement to the richness of pork belly.
A satisfying stand-alone dish that will delight your carnivorous and vegan friends.
Sohla El-Waylly embers the cabbage in a homemade cashew milk to echo the sweet, nutty flavors drawn by the initial toasting. Pour in the numbing crispy chilli liberally, but all the extras can be used to add heat to the poached eggs or noodles later.
Something magical happens in this Adam Liaw recipe when you combine pork with Chinese cabbage and toss it over a low heat. In Japan, these hot dishes are known as nabe and are usually served with a dip, as is the case here with ponzu. If you’re unfamiliar with ponzu, you’ll want to be, as it is both tasty and tangy and very tasty.
More of a blend of ingredients than a real recipe, for something that looks so ornamental, I can verify that cooking it requires very little dexterity to put in place. (I sound like someone who can barely wield a pair of scissors without lacerating my fingers.)
OK so technically it leans more towards a confit than towards an embers. Maybe it’s an inverted ember since it still requires a short grasp at the end? Semantics aside, New Zealand chef Monique Fiso has come up with a foolproof method for cooking supple octopus – a feat in itself.
You can find sustainably caught frozen Western Australian octopus in many grocery stores, and you don’t lose anything buying it frozen because the freezing process tenderizes the flesh even more. Until we can start eating squid again in the Mediterranean, this is a very good alternative.
For something sweet, try this retro-inspired dessert that exudes caramel and tropical island vibes.
Nicola Lamb says flaming is optional – but who doesn’t want to end their meal with a little drama?
Eggs aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of embers, but they’re the perfect vehicle for flavoring. These bouncy orbs suck just about anything, and coconut-enriched curries like those from the Indonesian coasts are some of the best.
After boiling, you can take the next step and fry them in oil to give them a golden crust, but this is not essential. Serve with rice and this tangy green sambal.
If you’re looking to spruce up your veg options to accompany midweek dinners, these Braised Potatoes from Maggie Beer are an easy win. Throw all the ingredients into the pot, leave it in the oven, walk around / wash the cats and in just over an hour you have tasty potatoes infused with lemon-thyme broth.
The only key here is to use a waxy potato like nicola or kipfler. Other potatoes will simply crumble into a sad, wet porridge.