Basic Braising Technique:
Start off by heating a small amount of oil or butter over medium-high. If at the end of cooking you want to reduce the cooking liquid down to a glaze, then use butter as it will work better.
Add your braising mix and saute gently, stirring occasionally.
Now, add your cooking liquid (see my favorite recipe below), just enough to halfway cover the food. Start with ¼ cup and build from there. For the liquid, chicken broth is going to be a safe and flavorful choice always, but here is another opportunity for experimentation. For example, you might try combining some stock with wine or sherry, or use apple cider for a nice seasonal flavor (toss in some apples, too — why not?). Water is also ok. Season with salt, pepper and whatever else you like. If you want to make a glaze at the end, sprinkle in some sugar at this point.
This is my favorite braising mix. I brown cubes of tofu first, add the braising mix, a little more liquid and proceed until the greens are done. Served over quinoa with some sesame seeds and dinner is served!
Now, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and let the vegetables finish cooking until tender.
Remove the lid and raise the heat to high. Let the remaining liquid boil away, tossing the vegetables frequently, until you have a thick sauce or a glaze. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.
My Favorite Braising Liquid:
- 3/4 cup organic shoyu (or favorite type of soy sauce)
- 1/4 cup agave
- 8 or more large cloves of garlic, pressed
- 2 Tbs. fresh ground ginger
- 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbs. filtered water
- Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well.
- Keep refrigerated.
- I use about 3 Tbs.
- While braising, if the liquid starts to dry out too soon, just add small amounts of water, 1-2 Tbs, and continue to braise until most of the liquid is evaporated and the tofu and veggies are nice and golden brown, or for the greens; slightly wilted.