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Braising and Stewing

A combination cooking method where the main item is cooked using a dry-heat method known as searing, then cooked using a moist-heat method known as simmering. Braising and stewing meats are generally tougher cuts of meats such as whole birds, beef short ribs and pork butt. These foods can withstand higher amounts of heat for longer periods of time without falling into shreds. When braising and stewing make sure the liquid covers about ⅔ of the protein. Before cooking make sure the meat is properly trimmed, tied or trussed, to maintain shape, and is properly seasoned and/or stuffed. Use a very flavorful liquid such as a stock or brown sauce for maximum flavor. Make sure to use the proper aromatics such as a mirepoix or a bouquet garni.
Steps for braising and stewing:
  1. Preheat pan and oil
  2. Sear meats on all sides (to lock in flavor and add flavor to the cooking liquid)
  3. Remove seared meat from pan and add aromatics.
  4. Add a small amount of the cooking liquid (stock or brown sauce) to deglaze the pan.
  5. Add the appropriate amount of liquid to the pan (covering about ²/₃ of the protein)
  6. Cover with lid and finish braising.

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Mother Sauces

Bechamel Sauce - a  whole milk based white sauce usually thickened with a white roux.
Espagnole Sauce - a brown sauce that is normally made with veal stock and sometimes chicken stock, usually thickened with a brown roux.
Hollandaise Sauce - a egg yolk and clarified butter based sauce, thickened by emulsification.
Tomato Sauce - a tomato based sauce commonly thickened by reducing the sauce slowly and/or a puree of the sauce.
Veloute Sauce - a white stock based sauce made of veal, chicken or fish stock, usually thickened with white roux or sometimes a liason.