OK, let’s have a show of hands. How many of you have ever cooked a fantastic, expensive cut of meat to perfection, then watched helplessly as it overcooked when you reheated it? You splurged on a beauty – probably for Shabbos or Yom Tov – and now you have a leathery, unappetizing chunk.
I’ll be the first to admit it has happened to me, and more than once. And that’s why I love to braise.
If you’ve never braised, here’s the scoop. The principles of braising are moist heat, lengthy cooking in a closed, tightly sealed vessel, and low, low temperatures. Essentially, the meat is constantly basting itself, browning slowly, and taking on deep, rich flavors; it becomes so tender it could fall off your fork.
Of course, for this process to work, you have to give it loads of time to cook. But that’s a plus, because the aroma will fill your home, enticing everyone – your kids, your guests, your mailman, your neighbors. (Better be sure to get a big roast.) By the time they sit down to the meal they’ve been sniffing for hours, they’re ready to savor it to the max.
Beer is a wonderful braising liquid. All braises need a good liquid to keep them moist, the most common are wine or broth. Beer gives a unique flavor when used as a braising liquid. It is particularly perfect as the braising liquid for brisket and sausage and just like when cooking with wine, you will want to choose a beer that you enjoy drinking. The flavor of the beer will infuse the meat, so if you like a smokey flavored meat try a smokey beer, if you like it sweeter go sweet and sour go sour, just beware of anything too bitter.
Now that you know why we like to use beer in our braising here are a few recipes for brisket and sausage to make it worth your while to pick up a case of beer.