Tips, video and photography provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi.
Today I’m going to show you one of my absolute favorite cooking techniques of all time: braising. It is super easy to do and will greatly enhance everything that you cook.
The art of braising is basically the slow cooker before the slow cooker was the slow cooker. You can braise meat, chicken, pork and even vegetables. The concept starts with a quick sauté, the addition of liquid and a low, slow cook it until it’s nice and tender. It’s super simple!
Today, I’m going to braise a pot roast.
How to Braise a Pot Roast
- Select a large piece of meat, like a top round roast. Season it on all sides with salt and pepper. You will season the same way if you choose to use chicken or pork.
- Over the stovetop, add oil to a large pot or Dutch oven with a secure lid. Once the oil reaches a low smoking point, add the roast and cook on all sides until it is golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Once you have reached the perfect sear on all sides, remove the roast from the cooktop and set it aside.
- In the same pot or Dutch oven, add chopped celery, onions, carrots and garlic. Vegetables are almost always used as an aromatic to help season and flavor the pot roast. Yes, you can eat them. They might be a bit soft by the time you’re ready to eat, but that’s okay. You can also use vegetables like turnips parsnips or any other root vegetable.
- Once the vegetables have sautéed for 3-4 minutes to activate the flavors, add some beef stock. If you’re using chicken or pork, feel free to use chicken stock instead. Be sure to season it very well because this liquid is going to further season the roast over the duration of the cooking period, making it extremely flavorful. Feel free to give it a taste to make sure you’ve seasoned it enough.
- Add your pot roast back into the pot or Dutch oven with the vegetables and beef stock and put the lid on. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cook the 4 lb. pot roast for 2.5 to 3 hours.*
- Once the roast is done cooking, take the lid off and remove the pot from the cooktop. Plate the roast and veggies in a cassoulet dish or dish of your choice. Enjoy.
*I like my pot roast to be almost like shredded beef or barbacoa. If you prefer yours to be medium to medium-well, you’re not going to cook it for very long. It can also go in the oven if you want to cook it for long periods of time. I prefer to do it right on the cooktop so that I can control the temperature with my hand.
That’s all there is to it! I promise, once you perfect this technique, it will be your absolute favorite way to cook. No need for a slow cooker because it’s all about the braise.