a delicious new cooking method.

by Janetha on November 2, 2011

in how to,recipes

have you ever braised anything?

i hadn’t.. until last night.

experimenting with new cooking techniques is fun!

in case you have no idea what “braising” actually is, here’s a definition from good old wikipedia:

Braising (from the French “braiser”), is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour. Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting, though some authors make a distinction between the two methods based on whether additional liquid is added.[1][2]

we usually eat red meat once a week in our house, but it’s typically in the form of ground beef. this week, however, i sprung for a couple of local, grass fed organic top sirloin steaks. since it’s pretty cold and wet outside these days, i wanted to find a different way to cook the steaks rather than simply using the grill.  i recently read an article in the latest issue of cooking light that talked about braising. it seemed simple enough, so i decided to give it a go.

braised beef with roasted squash & potatoes.

serves four janetha-sized servings or two marshall-sized servings

ingredients:

  • 1 lb top sirloin steak, sliced into 1.5” strips
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 400 grams of butternut squash, peeled & cubed (this was 1/2 a squash for me)
  • 250 grams of baby red potatoes, quartered (this was 5 potatoes for me)
  • 1 TB olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz) can low sodium beef broth
  • 3 TB tomato paste
  • 2 tsp all purpose seasoning like trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute or costco’s no salt seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 10 baby carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • salt & pepper to season & for finishing

directions:

  1. marinate the steak in the worcestershire sauce in a covered tupperware container for as long as you want.. at least 1 hour.
  2. bring the steaks to room temperature before working with them. if you have left them to marinate overnight, pull the container out of the fridge about an hour prior to working with them. if you are only marinating for an hour, just leave the container out from the beginning.
  3. place squash and potatoes in a roasting dish (i have a clay pot), spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. pop the dish into a 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes.
  4. meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. cut the steak into strips and season each side of the steak strips with salt and pepper.
  6. sear each side of the steak strips—about 1 minute each side. you want each side to be browned, but do not want the meat to cook through.
  7. remove the steak strips from the skillet and set aside (make sure you don’t cover them or they will continue to cook!)
  8. add the onion and garlic to the skillet and sauté until the onions begin to caramelize.
  9. add the beef broth, tomato paste, carrots, celery, all purpose seasoning, basil and oregano. bring to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. add the water to the skillet and bring to a boil once again until the sauce thickens up, then immediately turn the heat to low.
  11. return the steak strips to the skillet, coat with the sauce and cover with a lid.
  12. let the mixture cook until the steak is warmed through and cooked to desired doneness. season with salt and pepper to taste.
  13. remove the potatoes and squash from the oven—they should be fork-tender.
  14. serve a portion of the steak with a portion of the starch and top with the sauce. enjoy!

photo tutorial:

marinate the steak  in the worcestershire sauce in a covered tupperware container for as long as you want.. at least 1 hour.

IMG_6490

bring the steaks to room temperature before working with them. if you have left them to marinate overnight, pull the container out of the fridge about an hour prior to working with them. if you are only marinating for an hour, just leave the container out from the beginning.

place squash and potatoes in a roasting dish (i have a clay pot), spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. pop the dish into a 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

IMG_6510

meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat.

cut the steak into strips and season each side of the steak strips with salt and pepper.

IMG_6493

sear each side of the steak strips—about 1 minute each side. you want each side to be browned, but do not want the meat to cook through.

IMG_6494 IMG_6495

remove the steak strips from the skillet and set aside (make sure you don’t cover them or they will continue to cook!)

add the onion and garlic to the skillet and sauté until the onions begin to caramelize.

IMG_6498 IMG_6511

add the beef broth, tomato paste, carrots, celery, all purpose seasoning, basil and oregano. bring to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

IMG_6512 IMG_6519

add the water to the skillet and bring to a boil once again until the sauce thickens up, then immediately turn the heat to low.

return the steak strips to the skillet, coat with the sauce and cover with a lid.

IMG_6525

let the mixture cook until the steak is warmed through and cooked to desired doneness. we like ours medium but they ended up medium-well. season with salt and pepper to taste.

remove the potatoes and squash from the oven—they should be fork-tender.

IMG_6526

serve a portion of the steak with a portion of the starch and top with the sauce. enjoy!
IMG_6528

this is a great recipe for the colder months and it also happens to be super healthy!

IMG_6530 IMG_6531 IMG_6533

nutritional information per serving, based on four servings (calculated on thedailyplate.com):

  • 275 calories
  • 34g carbs
  • 22g protein
  • 6g fat
  • 5g fiber

this is a protein/carb/fat ratio of 31/49/20.. close enough to be body for life friendly!

side note.. i ate this for lunch today and it was even better the next day! i heated up a serving and then topped it all with about 2 TB of plain greek yogurt—it was phenomenal. if you make this, try topping it with greek yogurt for sure!

i love braising. i am officially a fan. although it took some time, it definitely was worth the extra steps. the meat was tender, juicy and flavorful.  i look forward to braising again soon! maybe i will try the method with pork next time.

Q~

what was the last new-to-you cooking method you tried? was it a success?

xo. janetha g.

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lynn @ the actor's diet November 2, 2011 at 8:33 pm

how funny – i just heard a whole podcast about braising! still haven’t tried it yet…wish my hubby ate meat (i know you can braise veggies, but it seems like something i’d want to do with a rump roast)

lindsay November 2, 2011 at 8:44 pm

hot dang thats good stuff! we braise lamb here. Its so much juicier! I have not done it a while though. About time I do!

Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs November 2, 2011 at 8:56 pm

This recipe looks amazing!! I love braising, it makes everything so flavorful :)

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) November 2, 2011 at 9:02 pm

OHHH! TONIGHT I just used a slow cooker (crock pot) for like the second time. In fact, I had given mine away only to go out about 9 yrs later and buy another one! I made some mish mosh with parsnips, tofu that went wrong during a “pressing” incident, tomato juice and a bunch of other random veggies from the fridge and freezer. But you’ve given me an idea: Sear some meat then stick it in the crock with a bunch of random stuff!! YUM can’t wait, thanks!

BroccoliHut November 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I recently discovered the wonders of poaching–I used to be afraid of it for some reason, but it’s such a great way to prepare eggs and fish!

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List November 2, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I usually do a roast like that and then cook it in the crockpot. If you braise it, it’s SO SO tender….plus, my sister raises her own beef, so we always get local, grass fed beef (for FREE!)

Emily R. November 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm

This looks DELICIOUS. Will definitely be giving it a try soon…and it’s healthy! Win/win :)

Erica November 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Ive never braised-im intrigued! The final outcome looks amazinggg

Lauren @ What Lauren Likes November 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I fried something alittle while ago…this looks amazing though :)

Krystina (Organically Me) November 2, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Braising is perfect for meat because it makes it so moist and tender. Yum!

kathleen @ the daily crumb November 2, 2011 at 9:27 pm

just realized i did NOT know what braising was! thanks for the cooking lesson… and the delicious recipe.

Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health November 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Oh my gosh that looks absolutely delicious!! I’ve never braised anything, but whenever I’ve eaten it elsewhere I’ve always enjoyed it :)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Braising…I watched too much Food Network and Ina Garten in a former life…I know exactly what it is.

I recently made microwaved tofu. I had no idea if it was going to work but it totally did and it was a hit with the family.

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine November 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I’d never braised until culinary school, and now I love it! Sounds so complicated, but really easy and delicious. I also love poaching, and cooking things en papillote- stuff turns out SO moist and you don’t need oil for it!

Ellen Clifford November 2, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Blending wasn’t new to me, but it has only been in the past year that I realized the wonders of my immersion blender.

Naomi(onefitfoodie) November 2, 2011 at 10:22 pm

i love that you posted about this! I had the MOST amazing braised cabbage dish when I was in maine with my family. It was braised with onion and garlic and it was beyond delicious and sweet! I have been googling how to braise and braising technques..this looks awesome!

Tee @ She Writes, Bites, and Window Shops November 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I’ve never braised anything either. Will definitely try it out – this looks so delicious!

Heather (Heather's Dish) November 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Holy yum…this looks so comforting!

Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats November 3, 2011 at 4:57 am

This sounds like the perfect meal for a cold day! :)

Teri {a foodie stays fit} November 3, 2011 at 7:15 am

When I was eating beef more regularly, I loved braising it! So much flavor! And so tender

Missy November 3, 2011 at 8:23 am

I’ve always done my roasts this way because that’s how my mom did it – she said it made it more juicy and tender. I never knew it had a fancy name! I have heard of braising but never actually knew what it was! I do that with pork cho

Missy November 3, 2011 at 8:26 am

Whoops, gotta love IPhone oopsies! But I do that method with pork chops when I make the mushroom casserole (or any casserole actually) I always brown the meat, or, excuse me, “braise” it!!

melissa@the hungry artist November 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

I love this recipe! Looks delicious, and definitely doable on a weeknight. Thanks for sharing.
I love braising — you can get away with less oil. I sometimes caramelize onions that way — start with some olive oil and medium heat, then add water when it gets dry, and cook slowly on low heat. When they are soft, I crank up the heat again to get some browning on them. The onions are soft and sweet, but not as oily as when I’ve cooked them in just a lot of oil and butter instead of braising with a bit of water (actually chicken or beef stock would make it even more flavorful!)

Cat @Breakfast to Bed November 3, 2011 at 10:47 am

Costco has organic sirloin tips, and I love this for them. I made a traditional stew with them, I love the idea of the sweet potatoes.

Bridget B. November 3, 2011 at 11:13 am

This looks great! I love some meat and potatoes from time to time. I think this would definitely please the men in my life (bf, dad & brother) too! Thanks for the great directions!

Kim @ The Family Practice November 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

That looks delicious! I’ve always “cheated” on recipes that call for braising because it seems a little intimidating. Love that you used squash and not carrots on the side like you so often see with roasts.

Christin@purplebirdblog November 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Oh man, I bet the Greek yogurt made it all stroganoffy… hells yes!

Jen@FoodFamilyFitness November 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Looks dang amazing!!! I’ve never braised anything either. My newest method of cooking is roasting, and I roast anything I can :)

Liz @ Southern Charm November 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I’m too busy drooling over this recipe to think of my favorite way to cook! haha. Love this!

Biz November 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I am looking away from the onions! But other than that, I think its a great looking dish – love braising meat. I’ve braised short ribs before and the meat was so tender – yum!

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun November 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I haven’t done a lot of things in the kitchen. I don’t trust myself. Looks good though!

Christin November 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Wow that looks delicious! Love how you put the serving sizes in terms of Janetha-size or Marshal-size…lol!

The last new cooking method I tried…hmmm…yeah…it’s been awhile, so I’ll just say the last new thing I tried to make was last week, and it was homemade pizza from scratch, and I used my pampered chef cooking stone, and the pizza was incredible! I was so proud of myself! :)

Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Looks delicious! I just made granola…..which I had been scared to do. Wahoo! AND it turned out delicious. SCORE.

The Delicate Place November 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm

but of course! braised lamb is one of my fave winter dishes at our place. it takes forever but it’s so worth it and omg the sauce that reduces down with the root veg is to die for! we have tried a bunch of diff techniques (it’s the scientist in me experimenting in the kitchen). my faves are sous vide & spatchcocking ;)

Kris | iheartwellness.com November 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Hello Braisin’ Beauty!!! I’ve never done this, but it looks delish. When i used to eat meat on a regular I just marinated or cooked the crap out of it by putting it in the oven ;)

xxoo

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli November 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

Oh wow girl, this looks fantastic! I’ve never tried braising before…and I guess I forgot what it was because I was thinking it was where you seared the meat and then put it in the oven to cook. Is that the same thing or am I confused? Back when I had cable, I would park my behind on the couch all day on most Saturday’s and watch the Food Network. I would always jot down new recipes I wanted to try so that I could experiment with new cooking methods, but unfortunately that was just me “pinning” something the old fashioned way! ;) I seriously need to challenge myself a bit more in the kitchen and try some new things. It’s just hard to motivate yourself when you’re only cooking for one…especially when it’s easier to just nuke 1/2 a spaghetti squash in the microwave and dump a whole bunch of stuff on top of it (yeah, I’ve had that THREE times this week! Haha!).

Last new-to-me cooking method I tried was egg poaching…edible, but definitely NOT a success! :-/ Ahh, one day I will master it!

Lisa November 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I’ve only braised something once and I didn’t even know I was braising it! LOL

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