Slow Cooking & Braising

Meat is a wonderful ingredient for experimentation in the kitchen. The humble pork shoulder, for example, can be roasted, smoked, grilled, baked, barbecued and braised – and sometimes, you can even use different combinations of these techniques on a single cut of meat. When it comes to cozy cold-weather evenings, though, it’s hard to beat the braising, stewing and slow cooking techniques available to you. Williams-Sonoma’s slow cooking & braising sauces let you shortcut all the labor-intensive sauce making steps, leaving you with the ability to focus on creating the finished dish with much less effort than it’d take to work from scratch.

Braising sauces make it simple for you to cook meat until it’s tender, taking your time with the process without worrying about making the meat tough and overcooked. Braising is similar to stewing in that it uses liquid to break down all the fibers and tissues in your meat so it’s fork-tender and deeply, decadently flavorful. These braising sauces let you focus on ingredient prep for the main course, so if you want to make your carrots or potatoes into perfect cubes, you’ll have the time and energy to do it. Your sauce will be ready to go once you crack the jar of braising sauce open.

In this sense, slow cooking & braising sauces are similar in nature to a simmer sauce – your food is tender, juicy and coated with sauce when you’re through. The difference with braising is that you’ll typically fry your meat to get it crusty and delicious on the outside before adding your sauce to the pan. You’ll end up deglazing all that delicious seared-meat goodness from the bottom of the pan, which only adds to the amazing depth of flavor you can get when you use one of these sauces.

Cook’s tools like Dutch ovens and braisers are the perfect pairing for braising sauces, but you can also use an electric slow cooker for these sauces, too. If you are looking for a gift for the home chef who covets a Dutch oven from a renowned brand like Staub or Le Creuset, consider getting them the pot of their dreams along with some of these sauces so they can quickly and easily start using their new cookware without having to wait for a long weekend. With available flavors ranging from pumpkin sauce for short ribs to classic European flavors like port and balsamic vinegar, you’ll have plenty of options to consider as you plan your next meal.