My First Braise: Traditional Short Rib Braise

My fiancé and I were recently gifted a long time wish list item, a Le Creuset Dutch Oven (in the original Flame color I might add) for our wedding. I was instantly overjoyed by the endless possibilities of braises, stews and soups to come. Not to mention, I was feeling proud to display this new kitchen accessory on my countertop!

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Los Angeles is a mecca for foodies and every few months a few new restaurants appear on the scene. Although we love trying the new “it” places, we also love our local favorites. One of our dining staples is Lemonade, a gourmet cafeteria-style marketplace featuring seasonal salads, sandwiches, mouthwatering braises and of course, fresh lemonade!

We’re big fans of all things Lemonade, but particularly their braises! Instantly, I knew that my first Le Creuset Dutch Oven use would have to be a Lemonade braise. As a leafed through the Lemonade Cookbook, I decided I would attempt the traditional Short Rib Braise.

Having never braised before, I first started out with some research. In a nutshell… the braining process is a cooking method that first involves searing a high temperate and then finishing at a low temperate, all while sitting in liquid to create moisture and flavor. For additional braising basics, I recommend checking out “Four Simple Rules for Braising Anything” by Bon Appetite.

Below you will find my journey on my first braise!

I first prepared all my fresh ingredients—chopped onions, carrots and celery—and made sure all pantry items were accessible on my counter. I find that prepping makes such a difference in the cooking process, particularly when tackling a new recipe!
March24_image2I loved the fresh parsley in this recipe. I’m a sucker for herbs as they add such a fresh, flavor boost!

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Although not the most delectable looking photo, I promise the smells made up for it. Waiting for the 3½ hours to pass was the most difficult part on of this process, particularly as my house began to fill with the aromas of dinner! It was hard not to remove the lid from pot to check on the meat (I think I honestly did it 2-3 times…), but I tried to refrain myself as I didn’t want to release any heat.

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I served the short rib over brown rice because I wanted a starch to soak up the yummy sauce. And because I believe that greens should be on every plate, I served a side of sautéed baby zucchini.

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My fiancé and I both agreed that our home-cooked version wasn’t identical to Lemonade, but definitely worth trying again. The meat was tender and juicy and required no cutting at all. We loved the flavor of the broth and ended up using the braising liquid for a meal later in the week!

Do you have any experience with braises? I am would love to learn tips and tricks and try new recipes!

Signature 3 (Mar 2016)

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