Written by adam on Mar 23, 2006
Food Dictionary: Braise, Roast, and Sear
Recently, I got on the subject of braising when it comes to barbeque. But that isn't the only place that braising can come in handy. In the kitchen, vegetables get braised all the time. And I love to do a pan braise on steaks. It makes for wonderful pan gravy afterwards. So let's look at a couple of heat-application words for the kitchen, courtesy of Epicurious.com.
Braise:A process by which food is cooked at a lower temperature for a longer period of time with a small amount of liquid. Usually the food is covered in a container. In BBQ, the low, slow moist cooking method is tenderizes the meat by slowly breaking down the tougher tendon and fibers.
Roast: To oven-cook food in an uncovered pan, a method that usually produces a well-browned exterior and ideally a moist interior. Roasting requires reasonably tender pieces of meat or poultry.
Sear: To brown meat quickly by subjecting it to very high heat either in a skillet, under a broiler or in a very hot oven. The object of searing is to seal in the meat's juices, which is why British cooks often use the word "seal" to mean the same thing.
Good stuff. One of my favorite things to do with steaks when I don't want feel like firing up the grill, is to sear them in a hot, oven-safe pan. I add some liquid, like wine or water then stick it in the oven for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. This braises the steak nicely, and creates a base for a pan sauce. My sexy steaks recipe is a pretty good example of the searing method.