Technically, to braise means to cook something slowly in a little liquid,
usually having seared the item in hot fat first and using the cooking liquid as
the final sauce. Pot roast and beef stew, lamb shank, "osso buco" and oxtail are
Whatever meat and liquid you choose, the method is the same. Season the meat
well with plenty of salt and pepper, sear it to a perfect golden brown (be
careful not to oversear, which will make the outer layer leathery and dry), add
just enough liquid to cover the meat and then set it to cook in a 300-degree
oven for hours and hours, until the meat is fork-tender.
It hardly matters which ingredients you use. The pleasure is in the method. If
you flour the meat lightly, take a moment to appreciate the smell when it hits
hot oil - one of the supreme aromas in all of cooking. Take time to enjoy
browning the meat, a great visual pleasure. Once the liquid is added and brought
to a simmer and your pot is covered and in the oven, your home will fill with
smells of great cooking.
Beef Pot Roast with Vegetables
3 - 4 lb. chuck roast
1/4 C. self-rising flour
2 t. seasoned salt
1 t. black pepper
3 T. oil
2 medium onions chopped
6 carrots cut in 3 inch pieces
1 stalk celery in 1 inch pieces
6 potatoes peeled and cut up
3 C. water
Mix together flour, salt and pepper. Coat the roast in it. Heat the oil in a
dutch oven and add the beef roast to it to brown. Remove roast from pan and set
aside. Add the onions to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes. They should be
beginning to show some color. Add the roast and celery to the pan.
Add the 3 cups of water and cover tightly. Roast at 350° F. for 1 hour. Open the
pot and add the carrots and potatoes. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Continue to roast for another hour or until tender.
To make gravy: Remove the roast and vegetables to a platter. Cover with foil to
keep warm. Mix together 3 T. water with 3 T. flour and stir to blend. Bring the
broth to a boil and add the flour water, stirring so that it does not get lumpy,
while it thickens. Season to taste.