March 30, 2011

Braised Meats and Tater Tots

Two items that revolve around actual cooking -- for a change -- caught my eye.

First, an article in the New York Times by John Willoughby about braising meats and whether searing said meats prior to adding liquid and other bit and pieces to the braising pot is a must for producing "rich flavor."

This searing step, particularly if you're braising a lot of meat, can be time consuming and messy, and I have to admit that often I give that process short shrift or fail to pay attention to certain details that end up short-changing the searing process (as I did recently with my first attempt at osso buco, which was still good, but could have been better).

Mr. Willoughby provides some recipes for exceptions to the sear-before-braising rule. The pork recipe sounds particularly fantastic -- I have had some success with carmelized pork before -- and I will be hoping that I can get a nice pork shoulder at the Farmer's at Firehouse market in the Strip on Saturday morning.

Second is a foray into the production of tater tots. Yes, tater tots. I eat them maybe twice a year, and they are always fan-freakin-tastic. Now, in this case, I am not willing to go as far as Serious Eats' J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, and actually go through what seems like a fairly arduous and prone-to-failure process of making them myself, but I have to give J. Kenji some due for going through the effort and establishing that Ore-Ida is not the only one that can make a decent tot!

No comments: