Braising



A very full plate with all the Braising class creations.



Chef Todd Leonard taught a Braising class at Orson Gygi last Thursday. Previously, I discussed here about taking a Soup class from him. It was wonderful.

The concepts of braising include: combination cooking-dry heat (searing, carmelizing) at beginning, then add moisture; braising is usually for tougher meats which takes a lot of low & slow cooking to break them down; the secret is in the liquid-very flavorful liquid not only makes the meat delicious, it can make a wonderful finishing sauce; when braising, you cover the meat 3/4; you can braise any flavor you want.

The class menu included the following:

Louisiana Chicken
Braised Beef Tri-Tips
Rice Pilaf
Parsnip Puree
Braised Carrots and Parsnips
Chef Todd’s Chicken Fricassee
Smoked Tomato Parmesan Risotto
Ratatouille
Jambalaya
Swiss Steak
Braised Ribs
Garlic Herbed Mashed Potatoes
Braised Botchoy and Brussel Sprouts

The class is much like the show “Chopped.” It can feel like controlled chaos. I wanted to learn all the dishes but we were broken into groups. My team of three was in charge of Braised Beef Tri-Tips, Parsnip Puree and Braised Carrots and Parsnips. After the 8:00pm presentation of our dishes, we tried every dish. Very few times in my life have I consumed that much food.





Braised Parsnips and Carrots





Ratatouille



Here is the Beef Tri-Tip recipe:
Braised Beef Tri-Tips

Chef Todd Leonard CEC

2 each Tri-Tips top sirloin, cleaned, trimmed and cut into 12 portions. (You can use chuck; make sure it has great marbling).
1 1/2 cups a.p. flour, add pit seasoning to it and dredge the meat
2 tablespoons bbq pit seasoning
1 cup red wine, burgandy
1/2 gallon brown veal stock, enriched
1 large yellow onion, small diced
1 large carrot, small diced
2 ribs celery, small diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 sprig rosemary or thyme, broken into small pieces
1 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

After cleaning and trimming the tri-tips, and other parts of the recipe are prepped as specified, pre heat a brazier or Rondou (stove crock pot).

Dredge the tri-tips lightly in the seasoned flour and sear with a little fat in the pre-heated rondou.

After the Tips have been browned on all sides and you are feeling good, remove the tips from the pan and add the mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion) to the pan and sweat down and carmelize.

Add the garlic, shallots and any herbs you wish and stir for a second or 30.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce by half, add the brown stock and bring to a simmer.

Add the tips back into the sauce, season and taste.

Place in a 325 degree overn for about 3 hours; covered.

Stir a couple of times during the cooking process so you can see the love forming.

After the tips are tender and you feel proud of them, remove them from the over and the sauce; keep them in a warm place.

Strain the sauce as needed, season as needed and then reduce to thicken as needed.

Pour the finished sauce back over the tips or serve on the side.

Braised Beef Tri-Tips. I didn’t take a picture while cooking. This is Chef Todd tasting our dish.

Chef Todd is wonderful. He says that recipes are guidelines. I love this idea and discussed it here in a previous blog post. He said that the best recipes come from your brain and your tongue. “Bakers follow recipes” he said.

Happy Eating

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