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The preparation of comestibles by heating. In meats, overcooking can result in the production of carcinogenic polycyclic amines; undercooking carries the risk of parasitic (e.g., Taenia solium, T saginatus) or bacterial (e.g., Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Salmonella spp) infections.


[L. coquere, to cook]
The process of heating foods to prepare them for eating. Cooking makes most foods more palatable and easier to chew, improves their digestibility (and sometimes their nutrient bioavailability), and destroys or inactivates harmful organisms, or toxins that may be present. Cooking releases the aromatic substances and extractives that contribute odors and taste to foods. These odors help to stimulate the appetite.


Not all toxic substances are inactivated by heat. Most microorganisms and parasites are destroyed in the ordinary process of cooking when the food is heated to internal temperatures of 160°F to 175°F. Pork must be cooked completely throughout to kill the encysted larvae of Trichinella.


Protein: Soluble proteins become coagulated. Soluble substances: These, including heat-labile vitamins, are often inactivated by boiling, and even mineral substances and starches, although insoluble to a certain extent, may be altered in this process. Starch: The starch granules swell and are changed from insoluble (raw) starch to soluble starch capable of being converted into sugar during digestion and of being assimilated in the system.

References in periodicals archive ?
A great piece of meat for braising at this time of year is shoulder of lamb.
To make the braising sauce, heat the oil in the same frying pan, add the flour and cook for one to two minutes.
5ml/1/2tsp ground mace 1 small egg, beaten For the braising sauce: 15ml/1tbsp olive oil 15ml/1tbsp plain flour 200ml/7fl oz good, hot beef stock 1 x 200g can chopped tomatoes with garlic Dash Tabasco sauce, optional 100ml/3 1/2fl oz red wine 30ml/2tbsp freshly chopped flatleaf parsley METHOD Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180C/350F.
Remove the fat that has risen to the top of the reserved braising liquor (and solidified) and add 15-30ml (1-2tbsp) of the fat to the bean and chorizo mixture at this point.
Stewing or braising are simple but effective ways of cooking meat.
Heat oil in large flameproof casserole and brown braising steak over fairly high heat.
Be sure to save and refrigerate the braising liquid to use in the sauce.
Cut 450g (1lb) lean beef braising steak into small cubes and place into a bowl.
It is served with the braising juices and finished with Gremolata, sometimes named Gremolada.
Braising, like pot-roasting, usually applies to a whole piece of meat that is browned first and then cooked in a little liquid.
Most Americans are in the habit of barely blanching broccoli in boiling water to cook it, but by slowly braising the broccoli its flavors mellow and soften and gently combine with the potatoes and mussels.
1 cup braising liquid, from above 2 cups heavy whipping cream, reduced by half 1/2 ounce butter, chilled, cut into small pieces Salt to taste