Holding braised meat while reducing braising liquid?

5,606
482
Joined Sep 5, 2008
One contestant on top chef was making a braise. At the end he took the meat out and reduced the braising liquid to make a sauce.

When the jury tasted his dish they all said the meat was dry. Tom Colicchio told the contestant he should never take braised meat out of its braising liquid, which makes the meat dry.

If you  can't take meat out of the braising liquid, and yet the braising liquid needs to be reduced to make a sauce... how do you hold the meat?

So far what I've done is I've kept a little bit of the braising liquid in a pot with the meat while I reduce the rest of the liquid... but there's barely enough liquid in the meat pot to keep the meat truly moist, and that also means I'm left with that much less sauce....
 
Last edited:

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
9,148
834
Joined Mar 29, 2002
You don't have to rest it wet. It was probably just not properly cooked in the first place.
 
5,606
482
Joined Sep 5, 2008
OK so you don't mind reserving the meat without any juices? I thought I remembered Tom Colicchio saying that a braised meat should never be allowed to rest outside of its cooking liquid. Maybe I heard that wrong?

Thanks Phatch.
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
9,148
834
Joined Mar 29, 2002
That might be his opinion. And I've done it both ways, just depends what I'm doing next in the kitchen rather than a hard and fast rule.
 
1,065
28
Joined Dec 8, 1999
According to McGee, letting a braised item rest in the braising liquid will allow it to reabsorb some of the liquid it lost during cooking, but I doubt that it's enough to save an improperly cooked item. In the case of the topchef episode with the inherent time constraints, the chef probably hurried it and let the braise get too hot too fast. Letting a braise go too long can have the same effect as well.

To do a reduction, let the meat rest in the liquid, then take it out while you're doing the reduction. Just before the reduction is done, drop it back in for a little bit to reheat. Take it out, then finish your sauce.
 
Last edited:
5,606
482
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Thanks Greg, that's good info to know. I hadn't thought about first letting the meat rest in its liquid for a bit, so it can reabsorb some of its juices. I'll try that.
 
Last edited:
396
15
Joined Apr 2, 2007
I agree, let the meat rest in the juices before removing it and if time permits, let it cool a little too. Steaming hot meat will dry very quickly out of it's braising liquor.
 
Top Bottom