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Sunday, February 17, 2013

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All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking from Molly Stevens truly is a "treasury of one-pot meals." A great companion to her other book, All About Roasting, which details cooking with dry heat, All About Braising covers cooking with moist heat.

Done properly, braising is an excellent way to produce delicious and succulent meals with inexpensive cuts of meat and relatively little effort. Stevens explains why braised foods are so remarkably tender and how to achieve impressive results with even the toughest cuts of meat and the least liked vegetables. (Even haters won't be able to resist her recipe for Creamy Braised Brussels Sprouts on page 65.) She discusses the difference between short braising and long braising, the best foods for each technique, and the importance of picking the right pot for the job.

In All About Braising, Stevens' recipes for healthy comfort foods span the basics like short ribs and brisket, classics like coq au vin and osso bucco, special occasion dishes like Cornish game hens and lamb shanks, and even exotic meals like rabbit ragu and quail braised with grapes. I'm looking forward to making Salmon Fillets Braised in Pinot Noir with Bacon and Mushrooms (page 107), Caribbean Pork Shoulder (page 354), and Duck Legs Braised in Port and Dried Cherries (page 199).

This book isn't only for carnivores. Stevens offers plenty of recipes starring vegetables as the main ingredient, from stuffed eggplant and braised cauliflower to cabbage gratin and shallot confit. She also includes often over-looked choices like celery, radishes, and fennel, which lend themselves quite well to braising. For a flavorful and filling vegetarian main course, try her recipe for Escarole Braised with Cannellini Beans (page 53).

Buy this book now, while temperatures are still chilly and slow-cooked meals are what you crave.

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