Here's a shout-out to master of the braise Molly Stevens. The Boston Globe credits her with "rescuing" this under-appreciated technique. Stevens won a James Beard Foundation Book Award for her excellent cookbook All About Braising.
Stevens' All About Braising is calm, methodical, and well researched. This is the kind of cookbook we settle in with, and wish we could make every recipe in the book. "Once you master a few basic techniques, there's little that can go wrong," she assures us.
We appreciate the ten page guide on Choosing the Right Braising Pot. We love that she checked in with butchers around the country to learn the different names for the same piece of meat ("In some markets in the Northeast, country-style ribs may bear the label 'Southern-style ribs' -- perhaps this is because it was a Kentucky butcher who spawned the idea."). Stevens' is a savvy writer and teacher. She shares her research and experience without coming off like a know-it-all.
Give her recipes a try. She's featuring Sausages & Plums Braised in Red Wine and Red Cabbage Braised with Maple & Ginger on her site. 101 Cookbooks shares her recipe for Braised Celery with Crunchy Bread Crumb Topping and the March issue of Fine Cooking has Steven's recipe for Braised Lamb Shanks with Garlic and Vermouth.