1. Large cuts.
Large cuts of meat braised whole, sliced,and served with a sauce or gravy are sometimes called pot roasts.
Meats may be cut into portion sizes before braising instead of afterward.When portion cuts of beef round are braised in a brown sauce, the process is sometimes called swissing, and the product is called Swiss steak.
Other braised portion cut meats include short ribs, lamb shanks, and pork chops.
Stews are made of meats cut into small pieces or cubes. Most stews are made by braising, but some are cooked by simmering only, without first browning or searing the meat.
Stews are usually made with enough liquid or gravy to cover the meat completely while cooking. However, so-called dry stews are braised in their own juices or in a very little added liquid.
Brown stews are made by browning the meat thoroughly before simmering. Fricassées are white stews made by cooking white meat in fat over low heat without letting it brown, then adding liquid. Compare this to blanquettes, which are white stews made by simmering the meat in stock without first cooking it in fat. The cooking method for blanquettes, therefore, is simmering rather than braising.
Note:This use of the term fricassée is its traditional or classical usage.Today the word is often used for many kinds of stews.
Many other dishes can be classified as braised stews,even if we don't normally think of them that way. Chili, for example, is a braised dish made of finely cut or ground beef or pork. Even meat sauce for spaghetti (p. 639) is actually a braised meat or a stew.
Many chefs prefer to use the term braising only for large cuts of meat and use the term stewing for small cuts. However, the basic cooking method—using first dry heat, then moist heat—is the same for both large and small cuts.
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