It’s no secret that winter is my least favorite season, however it does get serious bonus points for the kind of cooking that it ushers in… the braise! Culinary comfort, the only real benefit of freezing temperatures.
Braises are perfect for winter. It’s a long, slow process (which is how winter feels to me) and it is usually comfort food cooking. What is a “braise” exactly? In its most basic definition, it’s cooking something (usually meat) in a liquid (usually stock, wine or a combination thereof) for a long period of time on a low heat. Most often, braises are tough cuts of meat that benefit from long, slow cooking turning them into the most succulent and flavorful of meals.
Another benefit of braising is, it’s easy. Many braises are one-pot meals, some with a side of starch (and we all know how I love that…) which means you aren’t left with an entire sink of dirty dishes, something else I can really appreciate.
I have a particular pot that I use for braises, it is a Le Creuset enameled cast-iron pot. I have had this pot for almost 15 years. It has made hundreds of meals and looks almost the same as the day I bought it. This is one very good example of “you get what you pay for”. These are expensive, but it is something you only buy once.
I wanted to do a post about braising and was searching for short ribs that would make the cut. It took some time, but I found locally raised organic meat with beautiful marbling and so in went the ribs… deciding what to put with them was easy. I had been craving rutabaga, which I know is not something you hear everyday, so once I had my veggies I was ready to get this braise going.