7 Braise-Worthy Meat Recipes to Make for Dinner

Braising is one of the easiest ways to create a high-quality, five-star dish that is worthy of any dinner table. Simply select a cut of meat, coat it in a rich, superb sauce, and leave the rest of the work to your oven. When it comes to braising, Bon Appétit explains there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, prepare your braise in advance, so that it has time to sit in the fridge overnight; this is key for creating a flavorful dish. Second, always sear your meat first — you want it to have a deep color all over prior to braising it. Ready to braise your way to a praise-worthy meal? We’ve compiled 7 delicious recipes to get you started.

Source: iStock

1. Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions

Perfect for fall, Gourmet’s recipe via Epicurious creates a palatable pork shoulder that’s covered in a thick cider braise and stunningly sweet caramelized onions. You can even speed up this dinner by making the pork ahead of time — when you’re ready to eat it, reheat it, covered, at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. It yields 4-6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3-4 pound) bone-in fresh pork shoulder half
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ pounds onions (5 or 6 medium), halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • ¾ cup unfiltered apple cider

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Score fat and any skin on pork in a crosshatch pattern. Make slits all over meat with a small sharp knife and insert a garlic sliver in each slit. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown meat on all sides, turning occasionally with the aid of tongs and a carving fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate.

Add onions to pot and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add ¾ teaspoon salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden and caramelized, 8-10 minutes more. Stir in cider and return pork to pot. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and braise pork in middle of oven until very tender, 2½-3 hours. Transfer pork to a serving dish with the aid of tongs and carving fork. Boil cooking juices with onions until mixture is reduced to about 2 cups, 2-3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and serve with pork.

Source: iStock

2. Braised Beef Short Ribs

AllRecipes.com delivers mouth-watering short ribs using stewed tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, and carrots. This is a dinner dish that your family and friends will rave about. We recommend serving your ribs with The Pioneer Woman’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes; the two work wondrously together!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, for coating
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup stewed tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons water

Directions: In a bowl, combine the ½ cup flour, salt, and ground black pepper. Roll the ribs in the seasoned flour. In a large pot, heat the oil and brown the ribs well on all sides. Pour in 1 cup boiling water, tomatoes, and garlic. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1½ hours, adding more water if necessary. Place the potatoes, onions, and carrots in the pot.

Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until all vegetables are tender. Remove the meat and vegetables to a serving platter. In a separate small bowl, dissolve 1½ tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons water for every one cup liquid remaining in the pot. Add this to the pot and stir well until thickened. Pour over meat and vegetables.

Source: iStock

3. Mustard and White Wine Braised Chicken

Saveur has put a unique spin on a French classic. You’ll love the fantastic flavor that’s added to the chicken, which is due to the grainy, seeded mustard used in this dish. The recipe yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped tarragon, for garnish

Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper; working in batches, cook chicken, flipping once, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; set aside. Add shallots and garlic to pan, cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 3-5 minutes. Add wine, stock, mustard, and thyme; bring to a boil. Return chicken to the pan with any juices, cover with a lid, and transfer to the oven.

Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees, Transfer chicken to a serving platter and keep warm. Return saucepan to stove; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 8­-10 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken; garnish with tarragon.

Source: iStock

4. Succulent Braised Pork

Zesty seasonings and spices transform a plain pork shoulder into a restaurant-style dinner. Food Network’s recipe is well worth the 3 hour wait — you won’t be able to eat pork any other way after preparing this sensational dish. It yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 6 large chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1½ cups beef stock or broth
  • 1 bunch parsley stems, tied with string
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup water

Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and working in batches brown the meat on all sides until a golden crust forms. Transfer the pork to a plate. To the pan, add the onion, celery, and carrot and sweat until softened, 5-7 minutes.Add the garlic and sweat another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes to cook off the raw flavor and caramelize it.

Sprinkle with the flour and cook another 2 minutes to cook off its raw flavor. Whisk in the wine and reduce it by half. Return the pork to the Dutch oven, then stir in the beef stock, parsley stems, and bay leaves. Add the water if liquid does not come up to the top of the pork. Do not cover the pork with liquid. Cover the pan and place it in the oven to braise until the meat is fork tender, about 3 hours. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Source: iStock

5. Beer-Braised Brisket

Cooking Light suggests serving this ravishingly rich beef over mashed potatoes or egg noodles for a hearty and comforting supper sensation. This recipe yields 8 servings, and the leftovers taste fantastic as sandwiches. If you’re anticipating having extras, create a lavish lunch by also making Wives With Knives’ Homemade Sandwich Buns.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2½ pounds flat-cut beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ cups pale ale
  • 4 cups lower-sodium beef broth
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 6 carrots, cut diagonally into 1½-inch pieces
  • 6 celery stalks, cut diagonally into 1½-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, each cut into 12 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup water

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of brisket. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add brisket; sauté 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove brisket from pan. Add beer; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth and garlic; return to a boil. Return brisket to pan. Cover and cook at 325 degrees for 2 hours.

Turn brisket over; cook an additional 2 hours. Turn brisket over. Add carrot, celery, and onion; cook an additional 1 hour or until brisket is very tender. Remove brisket and vegetables from pan using a slotted spoon. Skim fat from cooking liquid; discard fat. Bring cooking liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Place flour in a small bowl; stir in ½ cup water. Add flour mixture to pan, stirring until smooth; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Serve the sauce with beef and vegetables.

Source: iStock

6. Braised Pork Belly with Creamy Grits

Pork Be Inspired has created a braised dinner that’s filled with well-blended and unique flavors. Serving creamy grits with this dish adds a unique and welcome texture to your pork belly. The recipe yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2½-3 pounds pork belly, skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • ¼ cup clarified butter, or grapeseed oil
  • 1 bottle pinot noir, or other red wine
  • 4 cups veal stock, or vegetable stock (32 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ ounces fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 teaspoons honey, light flavored (such as alfalfa)

Creamy Grits:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white grits, or yellow grits or polenta (not instant)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a very sharp knife, carefully split pork belly crosswise in half. Season both sides of both pieces with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons clarified butter in a large heavy skillet or 6-quart braiser pan. Add one pork belly piece, fat side down. Cook until fat is nicely brown, about 3-5 minutes. Turn pork belly piece over and brown the other side. Transfer pork belly to a plate; discard fat in skillet or pan. Repeat browning with remaining 2 tablespoons clarified butter and pork belly piece. Discard fat from skillet or pan.

With skillet or braiser pan away from heat, add ⅓ cup wine. Return skillet or pan to heat and cook over low heat, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan; remove from heat. If using braiser pan, return pork belly pieces to pan. If using skillet, pour liquid from skillet into a 6-quart Dutch oven and add pork. To the pork, add remaining wine, stock, onion, celery, carrot, and thyme. Bring to boil and cover tightly. Bake in preheated oven for 3½-4 hours. Remove and let pork belly cool completely. Reserve braising liquid.

Portion pork belly into 3-4 ounce rectangle pieces. Place belly pieces in a large skillet or braising pan with enough of the braising liquid to cover. Reheat on stove top over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the grits, bring heavy cream and water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Slowly stir in grits. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until fully cooked. Stir in salt and pepper.

Source: iStock

7. Braised Pork Tacos

Your taco night is about to undergo a tasty transformation thanks to Rachael Ray’s recipe via Reluctant Entertainer. While you wait for this dish to cook, we suggest following The Lean Green Bean’s instructions for Homemade Corn Tortillas — it’s surprisingly easy, and you only need three ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-5 pound) boneless pork shoulder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges, root end attached
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped oregano leaves, half a palmful
  • 2 red chiles, thinly sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Mexican beer
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oranges, juiced about 2 cups
  • 1 chipotle pepper, seeded and finely chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1½ cups white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup drained sliced store-bought pickled jalapeños or banana pepperrings
  • ¼ head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or 2 cups shredded Monterey jack
  • 16 corn or flour tortillas, charred over open flame and kept warm in tortilla warmer or towel

Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper, to taste, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat the pork dry with a paper towel. Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil — two turns of the pan. Put the pork in the pot and evenly brown the meat all over, it will take about 10-12 minutes; remove the pork to a plate and reserve. Turn heat down to medium-high, and add the extra-virgin olive oil to the pot, a couple of turns of the pan. Add the onions and garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, the oregano, 1 sliced chili pepper, and 2 bay leaves and cook for 7-8 minutes.

Deglaze the pot with the beer, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Stir in the chicken stock and orange juice. Add the reserved pork back to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and put the pork in the oven, turning the meat halfway through cooking, until the meat is very tender, about 2½-3 hours. Remove the pork from the pot, to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat apart with 2 forks. Simmer the braising liquid over medium heat until reduced by half. Add the chipotle and adobo sauce and the lime juice. Add about ⅔ of the shredded meat and stir. Cool the remaining shredded pork and chill for another use.

While the pork is cooking, prepare the pickled red onions. In a small saucepot, bring the white wine vinegar, sugar, teaspoon of salt, remaining chili pepper, and bay leaves to a simmer over low heat. Put the sliced red onions in a small sealable container. Carefully pour the hot liquid over the onions, cover and give it a shake. You may need to lift the lid to release some of the pressure. Every now and then, give it a good shake. Refrigerate to cool. To serve, put the chipotle pulled pork on a platter and garnish with pickled onions and pickled jalapeños slices. Serve with shredded cabbage, crumbled cheese, and tortillas for wrapping.

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