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low temp, scant liquid braising: covered? or not?
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pbone



Joined: 05 Jan 2008
Posts: 99
Location: Dutchess County, NYS

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:26 pm    Post subject: low temp, scant liquid braising: covered? or not? Reply with quote

I have a 2 1/2 lb, brick shaped loin boneless pork roast with a nice layer of fat on the top. It has been frozen and thawed. I want it to be very tender and juicy, even though a lot of juice leached out during thawing. Thought I'd braise it in a dutch oven in an inch or so of liquid in a very low oven for a very long time. Like 3 or more hours in a 200 degree oven. Should I cover the pot? Should I use a shallower pot? Should I turn the roast halfway through? Is my timing and temp okay or wrong? Should I brown it before putting into oven?
Any suggestions?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
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Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

- cover the pot
- braising typically involves liquid to a depth 75% of "object"
- adjust pot size to achieve that level and accommodate the amount of liquid you want left over for gravy, sauce, stuff to cook my veggies in, <whatever>

you'll probably need more than 200'F - I'd go with 275'F as a starter

<browning> yes, browning adds flavor - the crispy stuff tastes good. brown in the same pot you braise in, as possible. for a braising intention, go heavy on the browning because the liquid tends to "wash it away"

<turn the roast> yup; start it fat side up
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pbone



Joined: 05 Jan 2008
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Location: Dutchess County, NYS

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: braising pork roast Reply with quote

Actually, I looked again at this pork roast, and it is a fresh pork roast, and the fat layer has rind on it, and there is a bit of a "butt" bone in it. It would be a ham roast if it were smoked or salted. Should I cut the rind off at some point?

Thank you, Dilbert, for your suggestions!
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>Should I cut the rind off at some point?

I would - but at the "just before serving" bit.

I find bones & fat layers greatly improve overall flavor - true, they can be a bit messy at the "let's carve" stage -

a bit of adroit kitchen "pre-table-service-carve" attack with a boning knife can usually eliminate that issue.

just put it on the platter ugly side down <g>
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Watt
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest that a piece of meat is submerged in liquid no deeper than 50% the height of the meat. This is because the browning reactions (during braising, not at the beginning) occur only on the meat out of the liquid, which is composed of water and fat/oil. The temperature above the liquid is higher that in the liquid, and the reactions that occur must do so in little moisture if browning is to be obtained.

Browning in fat at the start of the cooking can be done (best if rolled in a little flour) but not to the extent that shrinkage of the meat occurs. One reason to cook at a lowish temperature (I would set the oven for 120-140C) is to reduce the amount of muscle shrinkage, thus reducing toughness. Long slow cooking enables the connective tissue to break down to gelatin, giving meat that 'falls off the bone'. The flour breaks down to form sugars that help wih the browning during braising. The meat (best on the bone) must be turned several times to allow the browning process which only happens (in the time allowed) out of the water based liquid. Ensure the pot is sealed by layers of aluminium foil, or a ribbon made from dough, so as to reduce water loss during cooking.
HTH
Watt
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: low temp, scant liquid braising: covered? or not? Reply with quote

susan pettibone wrote:
I have a 2 1/2 lb, brick shaped loin boneless pork roast with a nice layer of fat on the top. It has been frozen and thawed. I want it to be very tender and juicy, even though a lot of juice leached out during thawing. Thought I'd braise it in a dutch oven in an inch or so of liquid in a very low oven for a very long time. Like 3 or more hours in a 200 degree oven. Should I cover the pot? Should I use a shallower pot? Should I turn the roast halfway through? Is my timing and temp okay or wrong? Should I brown it before putting into oven?
Any suggestions?


Here's a recipe I did a while back and I have to say I can still taste it in my mouth. It's hands down one of the best ways to deal with a pork roast. The short of it is to brown in butter and whole garlic, add milk and cook at 325 for maybe 4 hours or so. Here's my recipe, read the comments too they're useful.

http://www.cyberbilly.com/meathenge/archives/000993.html

I received a lot of feedback about this one and it's all glorious. Not only that, a few have done it multiple times it comes out so wonderful. Plus, the sauce it makes will cause you to bury your face in it, easy.

Cheers

ps - Meathenge is going through a complete redesign (upgrade has already taken place), so it looks plain and some features aren't present.
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pbone



Joined: 05 Jan 2008
Posts: 99
Location: Dutchess County, NYS

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:06 pm    Post subject: low temp, scant liquid braising: covered? or not? Reply with quote

Oh, Dr Biggles! Thank you. I've been hiding under my black cast iron skillet for weeks, too horrified to report on how stringy and dry my "pork roast" turned out to darling Dilbert who's always so helpful. But not to worry; I think it was such a disaster because: it was frozen for far too long, marinated (with sherry) for too long, cooked too long (about 4 hours in liquid w/ sherry) and basically a ridiculous cut of meat, brick shaped fresh ham with HUGE bone in it. The butcher who conceived of this failed work of art should be prosecuted to the full extent of the slaw (sic). Thank you so much for the inspiring recipe that got me out of hiding. I'll make this soon and come back with comments.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
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Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wondered how that worked out.... don't worry about "failures" - heck you always get to eat again another day! I'd relate all the flops I've made but I'd probably run out of cyberspace . . .

"brick with a bone" - very strange cut there.

if it turned out stringy & dry after a braising, something was amiss from the beginning indeed.
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pbone



Joined: 05 Jan 2008
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Location: Dutchess County, NYS

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:01 pm    Post subject: braising brick shaped fresh pork roast Reply with quote

Am I correct in thinking that any marinade w/ wine or sherry or maybe even lemon juice in it can serve to dry out a piece of meat? Ditto, braising meat in a liquid that contains even a small proportion of alcohol, say 1/2 c sherry or red wine to 3 cups of stock w/ herbs also serves to dry out meat? I think I am basing this theory on how alcohol in cosmetics can dry out skin on the human face...
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
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Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ref: serve to dry out a piece of meat?

acids work to convert proteins much the way the heat of cooking does - so in some portion of that theory you are correct.

wines tend to the acid side, as does (obviously) citrus. I think it was one of the foodtv show hosts that once stated you could in fact "cook" a fish just in lemon juice, no heat required . . .

not sure how fully accurate that is - but if you've ever doused a salmon fillet too heavy with lemon juice you may have noticed it turning a "cooked" color.
(not that I've ever goofed, mind you . . . . yeah, right . . .)

another classic "jeesh it's cooked already' method is german sauerbraten. that is a days long soak in vinegar solution - up to a week - followed by a wet cooking. curiously, it is not noted for being tough or stringy.

I'm also of the opinion that freezing is not always a good thing when it comes to meats. you mentioned there was a noticeable amount of water/ juice after the thaw - I suspect that is the root cause in this case.

then there's the ole' freezer burn effect - if it is not wrapped vapor tight the freezer will slowly "freeze dry" meat - but that does take some time before the effect would penetrate fully thru a roast.
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Watt
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: braising brick shaped fresh pork roast Reply with quote

susan pettibone wrote:
Am I correct in thinking that any marinade w/ wine or sherry or maybe even lemon juice in it can serve to dry out a piece of meat? Ditto, braising meat in a liquid that contains even a small proportion of alcohol, say 1/2 c sherry or red wine to 3 cups of stock w/ herbs also serves to dry out meat? I think I am basing this theory on how alcohol in cosmetics can dry out skin on the human face...


The amount of alcohol in cosmetics (perfume, etc.) is very high, and the alcohol will draw out some near surface water to leave a white deposit (of other materials found in the skin). The very low amount of alcohol you seem to be suggesting for a braise, IMHO, will do very little, especially as most of the alcohol will boil off in time. As for marinating, alcohol if present, is not in excess, so nothing much will be affected, I don't think. But if you want to add a sherry flavour, I would wait until the meat has cooked, then I would spoon over the sherry whilst the meat is resting.
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danicamoore



Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 58
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: braising brick shaped fresh pork roast Reply with quote

Watt wrote:
susan pettibone wrote:
Am I correct in thinking that any marinade w/ wine or sherry or maybe even lemon juice in it can serve to dry out a piece of meat? Ditto, braising meat in a liquid that contains even a small proportion of alcohol, say 1/2 c sherry or red wine to 3 cups of stock w/ herbs also serves to dry out meat? I think I am basing this theory on how alcohol in cosmetics can dry out skin on the human face...


The amount of alcohol in cosmetics (perfume, etc.) is very high, and the alcohol will draw out some near surface water to leave a white deposit (of other materials found in the skin). The very low amount of alcohol you seem to be suggesting for a braise, IMHO, will do very little, especially as most of the alcohol will boil off in time. As for marinating, alcohol if present, is not in excess, so nothing much will be affected, I don't think. But if you want to add a sherry flavour, I would wait until the meat has cooked, then I would spoon over the sherry whilst the meat is resting.


Pretty good idea. I was thinking about to put some soda on meat it would make it tender. What do you think. Just my opinion though.
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IDontUse
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't even read most of the posts because the first few were so horribly wrong. Start by seasoning your protein and searing in very very hot vegetable oil in a regualar saute pan, not stainless. Don't cook the meat through just get that nice maillard reaction on all sides. This will be the bulk of your flavor. Deglaze the pan with stock or wine or whatever you prefer (reduce by 1/2 or more if wine) and add the the braising liquid. Heat the braising liquid and meat up to a simmer. The amount of liquid varies depending on who's cooking but it's generally 1/2 to 2/3 covered. This is what determines a braise from a stew. Stews are completely submerged, and usually smaller, bite sized pieces. Braising is great for large cuts. After your liquid is to a simmer, cover, and place in your oven at 325-350 until falling off the bone (if there is a bone), about 45 mins or more depending on size. If you are holding the braised item hot, hold it with some of the liquid and make a sauce with the remaining.

Oh one post said to put flour on your meat. Don't. Make sure it's dry before searing and it won't stick.
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Irenes



Joined: 06 May 2009
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that many cooks recommend brining the pork meat in a salt and water solution prior to cooking. This will increase the water content of the meat, resulting in a moister, juicier dish. Good luck!
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mikefleming



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
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Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject: covered or not Reply with quote

Covered or not? -
One must be careful to control temp and cover / or seal correctly. Any change in pressure can decrease overall cook time / or temp required to brasie etc.
mike f
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