Our 10 most popular recipes for the month delivered right to your inbox!
Hi everyone! I'm a self-taught cook, and I learned through trial and error and experimentation. I don't like to use oil if I can help it, so I developed another method of pan-frying steaks and pork chops that I guess you could describe as "serial braising", but does it have a real name, and why don't I ever see it mentioned in cooking videos or websites?
The way it works is this... Season your meat (I like to use a blend of garlic powder, black pepper, Cajun spices, and Italian seasoning) and melt some butter in a pan on high heat. When the pan is hot and the butter melted, put in the meat and begin to sear it for 30 seconds or so. You should start to see some of the meat's juices beginning to brown on the bottom of the pan. Then add a little bit of water, just a few tablespoons or so, enough to cause the drying juices to bubble up again. Cover and cook for about 30-40 seconds, watching for the point at which the steam escaping from the covered pan dies down indicating the water has evaporated and the meat's juices and seasonings are once again beginning to brown onto the bottom of the pan. You flip the meat, let it sear for a bit, then again add a little water, enough that it'll cook away in under a minute, and you keep repeating this over and over until the meat is cooked. At the end, remove the meat and add a bit more water to reconstitute the juices one last time and pour the pan sauce over the meat. By keeping it covered the convection and steam help cook the meat through, and the juices of the meat and the seasonings soak into the meat during cooking, making it very juicy and tender.
You need to be careful not to add too much water or it'll just boil the meat and not have a chance to brown. And don't let it burn to the pan by waiting too long between additions of water. If you want to alter the flavor you could use a juice or wine instead of water, but I prefer to let the meat and spices natural flavor come through.
So, is there a name for this method of quick alternating between searing and braising/steaming or did I create something new?
sorry but it's not new...I have been doing that for years....with veggies and fruit too....but what it's called, I have no idea...I just know I like it....
I do sauteed apples this way all the time...we love the fried apples at Cracker Barrel...but the calories..YIKES...so I slice the apples, leaving the peel on....place in a sprayed skillet...spray the apples and toss...sprinkle with cinnamon...add abit water...simmer on low, adding small amounts of water...not to much because you don"t want to boil them....about 5 minutes prior to serving sprinkle with abit of brown sugar and more cinnamon...eat and enjoy!!!
It's not how you start, it's how you end....so end strong!!
Walk yourself strong!!
you are searing the food, then sealing in the moisture & steaming it. i do it all the time as well.
I use the same method, but what it's called I don't know. I don't use butter alone, with meat. The high heat required for searing meat, burns the butter, so as most chefs do when pan searing, I use some olive oil, or other compatible oil, with the butter. Care must be used, since olive oil, also does not withstand high heat well, as it alters the flavor. Olive oil, IMO would not enhance apples. In browning casing sausage, I only use water, since the grease in the sausage will release and enable browning.
Really good question, and good answers. You are "searing" the meat, under high heat, but then you are also "rendering" the meats natural fats, which brings out the juices you are seeing. This type of cooking is centuries old, and has endured through the ages because it is does such a good job of making the meats both tender and juicy. But, as the previous posters have pointed out, care is needed to prevent burning.
♥ Life is a song, sing it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a dream, realize it, Life is a sacrifice, offer it. Life is love, enjoy it. And, life is cooking, eat it. (Sai Baba & Judy)♥
♥ Judy Batson, Field Editor, Taste of Home, 2009 ♥ Reader Council, Simple & Delicious, 2011♥ Contest Winner, Country Woman, 2011♥ Meet me at Cooking for Two.
i don't cook a lot of meat on the stove unless its for a stir fry, I'd rather put it in the oven because things always turn out dry on the stove... for me anyway. i can't tell you what it is your doing but i can say i have to try it. it sounds like the end to all those dry pork chops and chicken breast.. the lack of oil would make it healthier too i assume. thanks for sharing.
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait...
But Great Things Come To Those Who Bake!
You're welcome! I posted this question on several cooking sites and never got a definitive answer as to what it's called, which is interesting because if something works well I figured someone somewhere would have given it an official name. I've watched hundreds of cooking videos online for cooking meats and none of them use the technique. I took a few pictures last time I did it, and here they are:
The meat browning:
Seconds later with a bit of water added, you can see it bubbling rapidly (I cover it after adding water each time) :
On the plate:
I'm not sure this technique has a name. It's not a classic cooking method. It's not really pan broiling because you don't cover the pan for that and you pour off accumulated fat and juices so the meat doesn't fry. I gather from reading the responses that this isn't a new method, so it seems I'm one of just a few people who has never heard of it. I guess that's a handicap of a classic culinary education! I'll try it sometime.
I've been asking about this method for some time now, and many people have never heard of it or tried it. Those who had used it didn't have an official name for it either, it was just something they discovered through trial and error (like me), or family secret. I'd be very interested in hearing your results if you try it. I can give more detailed instructions if necessary (for instance, I notice I just said "melt some butter" in my original post... I use 1 teaspoon in a small pan, about 1 tablespoon in a large pan. And I don't necessarily flip the meat every single time I add water, I want to give it a chance to brown, so it might be every other time, or even every 3rd time, depending upon how it's cooking. If I'm cooking thin pieces of meat (I prefer medium thickness, but my dad likes thin-cut pork chops) I often won't even bother covering it much of the time that it's cooking... the convection and trapped steam help to cook thicker pieces of meat all the way through, but aren't needed for thin cuts... the ambient steam is enough. Finally, like I said before, I tend to use a variety of spices on the meat, not just "salt and pepper". I find that the flavors tend to really soak into the meat because of the repeated steaming and browning, and also make a flavorful pan sauce at the end that I pour over the meat. One option is to throw some onions, mushrooms, etc into the pan afterwards and quickly cook them in the same juices.
I wonder how many other cooking methods or styles are out there, being passed around and "discovered" by amateurs at various times, yet don't have an official name or recognition in culinary circles? Wouldn't it be cool if someone put together a book or website of them, if there's enough of them...
The first thing that came to my mind is "basting". When you baste a bird in the oven, the juices tend to flow to the bottom of the roaster which in turns steams, adding juice and flavors to your finished meal.
Hmm, I'd never thought of basting. There are 2 main differences I can think of, though... first, I never pour the water directly on the meat itself, that washes off the spices on it. I always pour the water around it, in order to reconstitute the juices that are browning on the pan. Second, I've only ever basted things in the oven, not the stovetop, though I don't see why you couldn't. But the basic idea, the natural juices of the meat being used to make it juicier, is the same.
I believe it is called hastening.
As in, "You are hastening the demise of that teflon pan if you are trying to sear meat in it."
Back in those days folks cooked their food, not built a shrine to it.
© Reiman Media Group, LLC., 2013