Thursday, December 1, 2011

Culinary IQ: Thursday, December 1, 2011; Braising and Deep Frying

Braising and Deep Frying

Braising is becoming a very popular method of cooking as the trend to use more parts of the animal have become favored. Braising is a great way to cook the tougher cuts of meat, it not only imparts more flavor but results in a very tender finished product. Deep frying on the other hand is less in favor because of the negative health aspects of eating fried food, ignoring of course the recent trend for all things comfort.


Braising is defined as slowly cooking a large piece in a liquid over low consistent heat in a covered cooking vessel with an aromatic garnish. The finished goals of braising are to transform the connective tissues of tougher cuts of meat into gelatin, and to impart a particular flavor to the product.

The braising process is categorized as follows:

Type: mixed
Humidity: humid
Color: white or brown, depending on the searing of the product

The Braising Process

  • Marinate larger pieces in either a raw or cooked marinade.
  • Prepare the piece by larding and, if needed, tying with butcher's twine.
  • Season and sear the piece white or brown.
  • Deglaze and add the liquid just to the height of the solids.
  • Cover, seal, and cook slowly in a medium oven. If available, use an extra deep pan with a tight cover.
  • Remove the product and strain cooking liquid through a large strainer.
  • Finish the sauce.

A braise is served with its sauce, without the aromatic garnish, and is finished with a glaze to give it a glossy finish.


This technique is usually applied to large pieces of meat from older animals that require longer cooking times. These pieces should be seared before the liquid is added. This technique can also be applied to the whole fish and some vegetables, however, they would not require searing as a first. step.


Deep-frying describes the cooking of a tender piece in a large amount of hot fat or oil. The goal of deep-frying is the formation of a crust. The interior of the piece however should be moist and not oily. There are six types of fat or oil to choose from depending on what is being cooked: melted butter, lard or pork fat, beef or veal fat, goose or poultry fat, coco oil, and vegetable oil.

The deep-frying process is categorized as follows:

Type: concentration
Humidity: dry
Color: brown

The Deep-Frying Process
  • Prepare the piece by seasoning or marinating, breading or coating in batter.
  • Cook
  • Drain on paper.
  • Season while hot, serve immediately.

Deep-fried pieces are traditionally served with an emulsion sauce, served on the side, never on the pieces.


Deep-frying can be applied to small pieces that are plain or have been dredged, breaded, or battered:
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Beignets
Tomorrow I will discuss the last classic cooking method, poaching and give you and excellent recipe using one of the methods. Use it for the holidays, it is perfect for a major celebration.

Adapted from Cuisine Foundations, The Chefs of Le Cordon Bleu. Publisher, Delmar Cengage Learning.

No comments:

Post a Comment