What is the difference between braising & stewing? I had to search the net and at the end of the day, what matters is the final result.
Apparently, braising is associated with cheaper cuts of meats, in larger cuts, being cooked in liquids (lid on) in the oven. It is also known as pot-roasting. Whilst stewing (with the lid on) is associated with smaller cuts, namely diced pieces of meat submerged in liquids while cooking. In Chinese cooking, braising of larger cuts of meats are done, lid on, on the stove tops.
A chance conversation about braising radish with beef with an elderly Chinese gentleman lead to an expansion of my go to recipe for brisket. Whenever brisket is on the menu, it has almost always been braised on it’s own in a slow cooker.
Beef Brisket, Asian Fusion
1.5 kg (about 3.5 lbs) beef brisket
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chutney (I used homemade mango chutney)
1 radish (I used the red radish versus daikon or white radish, any type will do)
10-12 small onions
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper
- Skin & dice the radish & carrots. Remove the outer skin off the onions.
- Brown the beef brisket in a pot with some oil.
- Add in the red wine & chicken stock. Ensure that the liquids just cover the brisket.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat with the lid on. It will take about 2-3 hours of simmering for the brisket to soften and reach the tear apart stage.
- Add in the radish, carrots, onions, bay leaves & chutney after simmering for an hour. Flip the brisket to ensure that it is evenly cooked.
- Simmer, simmer, simmer. Check if the brisket has reached the tear apart stage. If not, continue to simmer for another half an hour.
- When it has reached that tear apart stage, taste the stock. Add salt & pepper to taste. Add sugar if it is too acidic.
- Mix about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to some water and add to the braise to thicken it. Add more if it is not to the consistency that you prefer.
- Serve with rice or baguettes or whatever you prefer.