Certain cuts of meat are best for braising, or cooking slowly with moisture, while others will become dry and tough when braised. “What braises well are meats that are high in connective tissue and fat,” says scubadoo97. Long, slow cooking breaks down the connective tissues of these tough cuts, making them tender, and their fat keeps them moist. “My handy simple rule is … if it’s cheap, it’s good for braising. If it’s expensive, do not braise,” says aching.

scubadoo97 offers these tips on technique: “If you decide to brown the meat, brown quickly to develop color. A little flour can really help here. Don’t overcook during the browning phase. Also for braising, don’t use that much liquid. You are not making a soup or stew. Halfway up the side of the meat is fine.”

“The best resource to learn about braising is Molly Stevens’ wonderful book All About Braising,” says GretchenS.

Also check out CHOW’s step-by-step guide to braising.

Here meats and cuts that are good bets for braising:
–Beef chuck, brisket, short ribs, oxtails
–Lamb shoulder, shanks
–Pork shoulder, butt
–Poultry legs and thighs

Discuss: Best vs. Worst cuts for Braising? Anyone have a list?

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