All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking

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W. W. Norton & Company
  • From the perfect pot roast to the fragrant complexity of braised endive, there's no food more satisfying than a well-braised dish. The art of braising comes down to us from the earliest days of cooking, when ingredients were enclosed in a heavy pot and buried in the hot embers of a dying fire until tender and bathed in a deliciously concentrated sauce. Today, braising remains as popular and as uncomplicated as ever. Molly Stevens's All About Braising is a comprehensive guide to this versatile way of cooking, written to instruct a cook at any level. Everything you need to know is here, including: a thorough explanation of the principles of good braising with helpful advice on the best cuts of meat, the right choice of fish and vegetables, and the right pots 125 reliable, easy-to-follow recipes for meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables, ranging from quick-braised weeknight dishes to slow-cooked weekend braises planning tips to highlight the fact that braised foods taste just as good, if not even better, as leftovers a variety of enlightened wine suggestions for any size pocketbook with each recipe 16 color photographs, 50 line drawings
  • Author:
    Molly Stevens
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    First edition first printing.
    W. W. Norton & Company
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    W. W. Norton & Company
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    W. W. Norton & Company
    W. W. Norton & Company
    All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
    Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Recent User Reviews

  1. schmoozer
    "All About Braising"
    Purchase Date:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Purchase Price:
    Pros - Great understanding of braising techniques
    Cons - More and better photos would be appreciated
    Based on comments here and elsewhere, I ordered the book and received it a few days ago.  It's an excellent volume, one that I will surely read and reference frequently over time.  The book is filled with great recipes, but, more than that, it fosters an understanding of the techniques used and provides alternatives.  I rate this book very highly - it's on the level of Judy Rodgers' Zuni Cafe Cookbook and some of Paula Wolfert's work.  If you haven't done so already, shake a few shekels loose from your pocket, hie thee to Amazon (or, better yet, your favorite local book store), and get a copy.  You will not be disappointed.
      1 person likes this.
  2. nicko
    "All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking"
     For most people,  the idea of reading an entire book devoted to one simple cooking technique, braising, is probably reminiscent of going to detention and being forced to read some lengthy book on world history. Yet I think you will find, as I did, that Molly Stevens' book on braising is a surprisingly excellent read.  

     Braising tends to be one of the cooking techniques that you just don't hear people talking about all that often. Now a days it seems the more popular techniques such as grilling and sautéing tend to over-shadow the slow method of braising. I suspect that braising is also not as popular in today's world simply because it is a cooking method that does not lend itself well to the busy lifestyle so many of us have. However, spend a few minutes reading through the beginning pages of Steven's book and you will find braising is a wonderful cooking technique and is every bit as exciting as grilling or sautéing. You will also find that it is a cooking method that can actually take less time in that you put everything in the pot, let it simmer and you can help the kids with their homework. 

     From the beginning of this book, Stevens leaves no stone unturned as she lovingly describes literally every aspect a new cook or experienced cook would need to know(or be reminded of) in regards to braising. In fact, the whole first chapter (all 35 pages) discusses in great detail the process, technique, and tools required for braising. Stevens actually breaks the braising process down into ten detailed stages: 

     1.) The main ingredient

    2.) Choosing the right pot

    3.) Browning properly

    4.) The role of adding fat to a braise

    5.) Adding aromatics (the foundation of a braise)

    6.) Choosing the braising liquid

    7.) Deglazing and reducing

    8.) Choosing between braising on top of the stove and in the oven

    9.) Individualizing a braise (adding a final layer of flavor)

    10.) Finishing the braise 

     What I truly like about this first chapter is that it is focuses so much on the technique of braising. So often cookbooks are nothing but a large volume of recipes and little if any time is spent on technique. Recipes are a dime a dozen, but good technique is really what makes a great cook and this book spends a lot of time on technique. I found myself reading and re-reading this section simply because the information was so comprehensive. 

     After the first chapter, it dives straight into the recipes which are broken down into the following sections vegetables, seafood, poultry & game, beef, veal, pork, and lamb. After testing several of the recipes I found that they were spot on and delivered excellent tasting dishes in each case. I was a bit confused by the length of each recipe some going on for 3-4 pages. This seemed to undermine the tag line of the title a bit "The Art Of Uncomplicated Cooking". However, as you delve into the recipes, you will find that Stevens is really walking the reader through the techniques that you will need to produce the dish exactly as she would. No guess work here-not even when it comes to picking the right piece of meat or wine to serve - she covers it all. 

     In conclusion, I have to say there are few if any cookbooks I actually read as opposed to leafing through the recipes and reading bits and pieces. "All About Braising" is a book I found myself reading over and over, pouring through the rich wisdom that only comes from an experienced cook. This is a book that I think a cook of any level will enjoy and I give it my highest recommendation.   


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  1. magpie2711
  2. nicko
    Thanks Terry. This book in my opinion is a timeless classic. Steven's teaches you everything you need to become a great cook. While I like the roasting book she just put out I was a little turned off by how big it was compared to the braising book. Maybe I need to spend more time in it is all.
  3. chicagoterry
    I know this review is ancient but I have to say I love this cookbook, too. Her book on roasting is just as excellent. I'n fairly new to cooking meat and both books have been like bibles for me.