We turn to it in the spring because, well, we're busy in the spring! It seems like time speeds up and we don't have a lot of time to plan out dinners or supper parties. We sear some meat quickly, throw it in the Crock-Pot with a glug of wine and a handful of garlic, and go about our day.
The thing about a braise is that you really, really can't screw it up. You get great flavor, an easy meal, and tender meat without fiddling with recipes, thermometers, roasting pans, or gravy-making. We could literally do it in our sleep.
Also, even though you need to cook meat long and slow, you're doing it at low heat. So while your kitchen is getting warmer and sunnier, you're not adding to the rising heat. You're just leaving the oven on a gentle low heat, or keeping the oven off entirely and using the Crock-Pot instead.
Here are a few of our favorite tips on spring braising, and some of our favorite recipes from last year's contest. The photo above is from this recipe: Individual Pot Roasts with Thyme-Glazed Carrots.Braising Tips • Word of Mouth: Braise • Buying Meat for a Braise • Good Beef: How to Find Local Meat • Browning - How Dark Do You Go? • CrockPot Meals: How to Braise in a Slow Cooker • Braise With an Inverted Lid of Foil • Dutch Oven Roundup • Alternative to Dutch Ovens Meaty Braises • Raedia's Rogan Josh • Joanna's Crostini Toppers Three Ways • Rachel's Beer Braised Beef with Kohlrabi and Leeks • Mike's Gigot Brais a la Malarkey • Carolina & Ron's Chinese Five Spices & Beer Beef Stew Vegetable Braises • Wine-Braised Cabbage • Greek Style Braised Green Beans • Betsy's Wine Braised Lentils on Crostini • Kristina's Braised Carrots • Emily's Braised Endive with Prosciutto • Teri's Slow Braised Tomatoes
(Image: Faith Hopler)