11 perfect-for-winter braising recipes

This classic technique turns tougher (and more affordable) cuts of meat and vegetables into tender perfection.

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What is braising?
A method of cooking tougher cuts of meat and vegetables, braising starts with a pan-sear to add colour and flavour. The food is then cooked gently in barely bubbling liquid, covered, until extremely tender.

What do I braise in?
Almost any deep, wide pot with a tight-fitting lid can be used as a braiser. Try a deep frying pan (with lid), an enamelled cast iron dutch oven, a large lidded pot, an electric slow cooker or a heavy campfire pot.

To braise or not to braise?
The slow tenderizing effect of braising makes it perfect for tougher cuts of meat and winter vegetables. Here are meats you should and shouldn’t braise:

Dos
1. Ribs (back, spare, short).
2. Shoulder roasts (also called pot roasts or chuck roasts).
3. Shanks (especially lamb and veal).
4. Brisket.
5. Sturdy vegetables and fruit (cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, pears and apples).

Don’ts
1. Tenderloin (beef or pork).
2. Skinless boneless chicken breasts.
3. Tender vegetables and fruit (zucchini, spinach, berries, bananas).

Related:
Why braising is one of the best ways to cook meat
15 best slow-cooker recipes for winter
14 tips to making the best slow cooker recipes