Braising: Easier Than You Might Think!

When you see a photo of a delish recipe such as the one shown above, braised short ribs with cauliflower mash, what comes to mind?

Something that looks amazing but too complicated to cook?

Or a dish that you just don’t have time to prepare?

Perhaps too rich and sinful to actually be good for you?

I’m happy to share than all of the above are false.

Even with the busiest of schedules, and not a lot of kitchen experience, if we stick to a few basic principles, we can bank on making meals that are healthy, cost + time efficient and that the entire family with relish with gusto!

STEP ONE:   Source everything as locally + mindfully as you can.   Check out what grass-fed meats and organic produce are available to you from farms or ranches that are as close as possible.  Why?  Closer equates less cost due to transportation (and less cost to the planet due to decreased carbon footprint), a higher degree of freshness and as a result, a better flavor, less in need of heavy sauces to jazz up flavor.

STEP TWO:  Worry less about following recipes to the tee and focus more on creative.   One of my favorite things to share with clients and blog readers is that in cooking, we have so much more wiggle room than in baking and as such, it’s really hard to make a mistake that can’t be fixed (with the exception of burning or over-salting).    Don’t get me wrong; I love recipes and I’m certainly not suggesting not to use them, but rather, to be flexible with them.  If the recipe calls for carrots but you only have parsnips, go for it!   Or maybe you’d prefer not to use wine in a stew; use broth instead.   You get the idea.  Once you start to give yourself some leeway in the kitchen, the experience begins to get a lot more enjoyable.

STEP THREE:   Double or triple what you’re making to create more servings which can then be dolled out as is, or recreated into new dishes.    A parent in a family of four, for example, might chose to make a stew that yields 8-12 servings, so that spouse + kids can both have plenty for at least a couple of days.

STEP FOUR:   Incorporate your veggies and your proteins into one dish; this is easy as we lead into winter, and then have extra veggies on hand to serve the main dish on top of.   A chicken stew stocked up with carrots, celery, mushrooms and cabbage and be served on top of a puree of cauliflower or a bed of leafy greens, both of which are easy and quick to prepare.

STEP FIVE: Most important of all, make it a team effort whenever possible.   Clients from far and wide, with all different goals do have some things in common, once of which is the more the whole family eats together (and possibly even shops and preps together), the easier it is to all be on the same page with making healthy, tasty eating the top priority.

Say goodbye to feeling like you’ve got to make a separate dinner for each member in your family.

Click here for my easy to follow recipe for Braised Short Ribs.   In a word, this dish is amazing!