- Tough cuts of meat benefit from being cooked for a long time at a low temperature in liquid. This method is called braising.
Why the Meat is Tough
- Tough cuts of meat come from the most used muscles of animals, such as shoulders and legs. These parts of the animal contain large amounts of a protein called collagen, which makes the meat tough and chewy unless it is cooked in a way that breaks it down.
What Braising Does
- Braising meat breaks down the collagen and fat and commingles it with the cooking liquid. The meat becomes tender, rich, and flavorful, and it comes with a ready-made sauce.
- As the collagen breaks down, it infuses the cooking liquid and gives it depth, body, and a certain unctuous mouthfeel. It also causes the sauce to thicken as it cools.
What Meats Benefit from Braising
- Any meat that features a lot of connective tissue can benefit from braising. This includes pork, beef, mutton, poultry or any other tough meat.