Cooking meats and vegetables by braising—cooking slowly with a minimal amount of liquid—requires both the right pan and the proper amount of moisture, kaleokahu says. You don't want so much liquid that your braise turns into a soup, its flavors diluted, but you also want to make sure the cut of meat you're cooking doesn't dry out. What kind of pan is ideal?
A traditional French brasière (braising pan) is a high-sided, rectangular pan, perfect for cooking tall cuts of meat without excessive liquid, kaleokahu says. Ideally, you want a pan that closely matches the size of the item you're braising; some cooks go so far as to purchase a turbotière (perfectly shaped to cook a whole turbot, or flounder) or jambonière (a pan matched to a whole ham). Different pots are appropriate for different foods, VitalForce says.
Dutch or French ovens are great for braising whole chickens, kaleokahu says. A shallow pan like a rondeau (a wide, shallow pan with two looped handles) could work well for vegetables and meats that aren't very tall—like Brussels sprouts or chicken thighs.
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