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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.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


[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.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Also while the morels are braising, form each kataifi strand into a circle and place on a lined baking sheet.
Season lightly with salt and pepper then cover braising dish and return for another hour.
Braising it in something flavoursome means the barley will draw in all the flavour so it is brilliant in casseroles, soups, stews, or cooked in stock, but of course if cooked in plain water would be quite bland.
I used braising steak but the flavourings would work equally well with pork steaks or gigot chops of imported lamb, particularly if it has been frozen.
After broiling the steaks and roasting or braising the other cuts, the researchers trimmed off any remaining external fat.
* Make the turkey breast; while it's cooking, reheat the turkey legs and thighs in their braising liquid on the stove top.
Strain braising liquid into a saucepan (discard solids left in strainer) and skim any rising fat from surface.
Braising transforms the connective tissue into gelatin, which gives short ribs their delicious texture.
As autumn advances and the woolly welcome of winter awaits, there are few better ways to cook meat than by the time-honoured tradition of braising.
Chef and self-confessed 'people person' Tom Kerridge Chef and self-confessed 'people person' Tom Kerridge Add the drained minced beef and the braising liquid and bring to the boil.
Cool trotters to room temperature in braising liquid, then remove skin and meal and shred meal.