The Braising Method of Cooking

Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About

Larousse Gastronomique defines braising (braisé) as “a method of cooking food in a closed vessel with very little liquid at a low temperature for a very long time.” The word braiser comes from the French word for “ember,” which, in turn, refers to the original open-hearth cooking technique, where the cooking vessel was placed in hot embers in the hearth and then additional hot embers were placed on top of the lid so that the heat came from both the top and bottom. The cooking was often done overnight, at the local bakery after the bread baking was done for the day. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, most serious French dishes were braises. In fact, much of the French reputation for fine cooking was based on these long-simmered dishes. Nowadays, braises are not very popular in the home kitchen, probably because they take a long time to prepare and are somewhat difficult to cook correctly. However, in recent years, they have made a comeback in the restaurant kitchen as chefs look backward for inspiration.