For juicy, tender beef that really does melt in your mouth, nothing beats a great braised beef recipe.
Dutch oven cooking really comes into its own here and makes preparation simple: you can sear your meat on the stove first, and then cook it nice and slow in the oven, without having to change pans.
If you are looking to really give your beef an even cooking so that it can really soak in all of the juices, we recommend using a cast iron dutch oven. Cast iron is great for slow cooking tougher cuts of meat because it is able to maintain an even temperature.
Don't wait for a special occasion! This recipe is so easy, and yet it tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen. Serve up the most tender braised beef ever, and get ready to impress!
You may have been a little intimidated by the name the first time you heard it. So, let's answer the question "How do I braise beef?" as simply as possible so that even a novice cook, will feel confident enough to whip up this classic.
What is braised beef? Basically, it's meat that has been cooked in high, dry conditions first, followed by low-heat, moist conditions. The meat is seared first over high heat in a bit of oil in a pan and then cooked slowly either on the stove or in the oven, while partially covered in liquid.
For best results, you want the outside of your meat to be caramelized and crisp, and the inside tender and soft, with the whole dish full of flavor.
Just sear your beef in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven first: that will give you the caramelized crust. Then once you add your liquid, the meat is covered and cooked slowly at a lower temperature, which is what makes the meat so tender.
You want the parts of the animal that contain lots of muscle and/or connective tissue. Therefore the best cuts for a nice beef braise are the rump, leg, shoulder, shank, oxtail, brisket, and chuck.
The great thing about all of these cuts is that they are less expensive than other cuts of beef, and when you know how to braise meat successfully, you get wonderfully tender meat for less money.
This label can refer to any of the cuts mentioned above, any of which are suitable for braised beef recipes.
You want to braise your beef from one and a half to three hours, which is quite a wide range of time, so once your beef has been cooking for an hour and a half, test it with a fork. As soon as it's tender, it's done. You don't want to braise your beef for any longer than necessary because otherwise, it will become tough.
The general rule is to allow one hour of braising for each pound of meat.
The flour adds an additional tasty crust to the meat. You don't have to use it, you can just coat the meat in salt and pepper and sear it. Another alternative, if you're gluten-free, is to use gluten-free flour instead, which will work just as well.
Don't cover the meat with liquid, otherwise, it will boil, not braise. You want your liquid to come up to about half the level of the meat in your Dutch oven.
Beef recipes that cover the meat with liquid are more suitable for soups and stews.
If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, cooked meat will last 3-4 days in a refrigerator, or up to 6 months in the freezer. Just be sure to wait until the dish has completely cooled down, and seal portions in airtight containers. When reheating, be sure to simmer the meat for at least 30 minutes. You can do this on the stove, or in your oven at 325°F (you may have to add a bit of extra liquid).
Make sure you leave any leftovers in the braising liquid when storing so that the meat stays as moist as possible.
Lamb, chicken, and pork are also delicious meats when braised.
There you have it! This simple yet classic recipe will give you the confidence you need to keep venturing out and most importantly bring a smile to everyone that sits down at your table! Enjoy this braised beef recipe!