Seven Steps to a Delicious Braise
1. Brown the Meat:
Add enough oil to a Dutch oven or high-sided skillet to coat the bottom. Heat over medium or medium high. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Brown it on all sides in batches; transfer to a plate. Pour off all but a few tablespoons of fat from the pan.
2. Cook the Aromatics:
Reduce the heat to medium and cook the aromatics in the braising pan until the vegetables are tender and perhaps just starting to brown.
3. Add the Flavorings:
Stir in any herbs and other flavorings and cook a minute more. If you're adding vinegar it reduces by about half.
4. Add the Cooking Liquid:
Return the meat to the pot and add enough liquid to barely cover. Bring to a gentle simmer on the stove top before transferring the pot to the oven.
5. Braise the Meat:
Braise covered in a 225°F oven, basting and turning the meat occasionally. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer (barely bubbling). the meat is done when it's tender enough to cut with a fork or easily comes away from the bone, 4 to 12 hours, or more as needed.
6. Reduce the Sauce:
Transfer the meat to a plate, let the liquid cool, and spoon off any fat. (For a smooth, refined sauce, strain the liquid.) Bring the sauce (strained or not) to a simmer and reduce until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Return the meat to the pot.
7. Warm and Garnish:
When ready to serve, warm the meat in the sauce, basting frequently, and stir in any finishing garnishes.
Fine Cooking Magazine