Braised vegetables are a great way to enjoy delicious vegetable side dishes. By cooking the vegetables in just a bit of stock, wine, or juice, you end up with delicious veggies, and you can even make a tasty sauce full of complex flavors.
And it's really hard to go wrong making braised vegetables. A quick sauté over high heat will help get a nicely caramelized exterior, and once that's done, it's as easy as adding a bit of liquid, and letting the vegetables cook slowly.
Braising is all about the great blend of flavors. The caramelization is awesome, but you also get to add a lot of flavors in the sauce. That makes braised vegetables different from any other type of cooked vegetable.
In this article, I'll go over everything you know about braising vegetables. First, I'll go over what braising is. Then, I'll talk about what ingredients to pick and how to prepare them. Then, I'll show how to braise the vegetables. Finally, I'll go over how to make a delicious sauce from the cooking liquid.
Here we go!
Braising is a cooking technique where you cook food by partially submerging it in simmering water, in a tightly covered pot. You can also sauté or sear the food beforehand. It's not necessary, but browning the exterior quickly over high heat can add an extra dimension of flavor to your braised dish.
Braising is especially useful for tough cuts of meat, because the long, slow cooking time helps break down tough fibers so that you end up with a nice tender meal. But it's also a great cooking technique for vegetables, because of the wonderful flavors you can add, and because it can really help soften tough, starchy veggies.
It might sound very similar to boiling, but there's a key difference: the amount of liquid used. When you boil vegetables, they're completely submerged in the water: the water is what cooks them. When you braise, only part of the vegetable is in the water: both the liquid and the steam contribute to cooking the vegetable.
Because you use less liquid, you get less nutrient and flavor loss, so that your veggies taste better. But using less liquid also allows you to use something other than water, without being wasteful. Vegetable or chicken stock can add a lot more flavor to vegetables than water!
And the best part is, once you're done cooking the vegetables, you have the perfect amount of liquid to make an amazing sauce with. A bit of wine, stock, and citrus can turn ordinary vegetables into amazing ones!
There are lots of different vegetables that are great braised. Tough roots, like carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips and beets are wonderful, but you can also braise asparagus, green beans, squashes, leeks, cabbage, onions, broccoli, or any other vegetable you like. You can even braise fruit, too. Pineapple, pears and apples can add a sweet touch to your meal.
Once you've decided which vegetable to braise, you need to prepare it properly. That means washing it and trimming it first, and then cutting it up. And how you cut the vegetable is pretty important. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Once your vegetables are all cut up, you can think about seasoning them.
Braised vegetables are even better with a little bit of seasoning. You can use herbs, spices or aromatics to add a ton of extra flavor and make outstanding dishes.
The cooking broth is one of the things that sets braised vegetables apart from other types of cooked vegetable side dishes.
Because you need so little liquid – just enough to reach about halfway up the vegetables – you can use something a bit more interesting than just water. It'll add extra nutrition and flavor to your braised vegetables, without being wasteful.
Here are a few liquids you can use when you're making braised vegetables.
Those are just a few examples. If you think a liquid will taste great with your vegetables, don't be afraid to try it! And you can also combine different liquids and make a delicious blend of flavors.
Another neat thing about the cooking liquid is that you can use it to make a tasty sauce to go with your veggies. And that means there's absolutely no waste. You get to keep the liquid you used, and any nutrients that were leeched out of the vegetables as they cooked. Different cooking liquids will give you a different tasting sauce.
There are so many possibilities, you'll never get tired of braised vegetables!
Once you've picked and prepped your vegetables, seasonings and cooking liquid, you're ready to make braised vegetables! It's so easy. Just follow these instructions and you'll have a tasty vegetable side dish you'll love!
Here's how you do it.
That's really all there is to braised vegetables. The real magic comes in when you pick different vegetables, seasonings and cooking liquids. And experimentation is the best way to find a meal you'll love!
Once you're done braising the vegetables, you'll notice you have some cooking liquid left over. And although you could throw it out, you'd be throwing out delicious flavors from the broth, and all the nutrients it leeched from the vegetables.
If you like, you can save the broth, and use it in a soup later. But you can also make a delicious sauce to accompany your braised vegetables. It's really easy to do.
Here how to make a sauce to go with your braised vegetables.
And that's how you make braised vegetables, and a delicious sauce to go along with them. It's so easy, you can do it every night!