SAUTEING

Sauteing is a dry-heat method of cooking that requires a very small amount of oil or fat and tossing the food ingredients on a pan at high heat. Sauteing is a versatile and fast cooking technique and produces delicious brown meats and vegetables.

TIPS TO REMEMBER WHILE SAUTEING

RIGHT PAN

To sautee, you need a broad and taller pan that distributes heat evenly without burning your food. Types of pan you can use for staueing: skillet or a frying pan, saute pan, wok, cast iron pan, and a non-stick pan. Use a pan depending on what kind of food you are preparing. The size of the pan is also important. The pan should be wide enough to accommodate all the ingredients and to toss them easily.

PREPARING THE FOOD

Cut the vegetable and the meat into small pieces of the same size so that they cook evenly. The meat should be of room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking. This helps the meet to get brown surface faster. Remove any excess moisture from the meat with a paper towel. Marinade the meat beforehand with spices of your choice. Make sure the pan is hot before adding the meats and the vegetables to the pan.

RIGHT FAT

A good quality natural vegetable oil is perfect for sauteeing. The oil needs to have a high smoke point. Oils like grapeseed oil, canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil can be used. Butter and clarified ghee can also be good for sauteeing purposes. Only a tiny amount of fat is enough to sautee food. Ensure that the pan has a thin coat of oil so that the meat doesn’t stick to the bottom. And make sure that the oil is hot enough before adding the food to the pan.

DON’T OVERCROWD THE PAN

Adding too many food ingredients will reduce the heat, and tossing of flipping can be difficult, which will result in unevenly cooked meat. Work in batches if you have cooking in a large quantity.

BENEFITS OF SAUTEING

  1. Time: This is a fast and easy method of cooking. It prepares food quicker than other cooking methods due to the use of high heat.
  2. Taste: Sauteing food increases flavor as it is done in high heat.
  3. Texture: The high heat cooks food faster without making them mushy or ruining the surface of the food.
  4. Nutrition: This method of cooking involves a small amount of oil or fat, which is why it is healthier than other cooking methods. It cooks faster, which retains the nutrients of the food.

BRAISING

Braising, also known as pot roasting, is a combination cooking method that uses both dry and wet heat to cook the food. Primarily the food is seared or sauteed at a high temperature to give a nice brown crust, then finished in a covered pot with some amount of water at a low temperature to cook for a long time. When the food is sauteed to get a brown crust, the flavor is intensified, and the addition of the liquid gives an incredibly moist and tender dish.

The first part of this cooking method is to brown the food. Sauteing the food provides a rich and intense flavor. Once the pot is heated, add oil, butter, or any kind of fat to the pot and add the seasoned meat or vegetables. When one side is done, flip the meat and let the other side get browned. When the meat is browned on the surface, remove it from the heat and add other ingredients like onion, garlic, and vegetables, adding a complex and delicious flavor to the dish.

STEWING

Stewing is also a combination-cooking method where the small and uniform meats are completed immersed into liquid and cooked in low heat. Stew is a one-pot meal, and people are making it for thousands of years.

Braising and stewing are kind of similar cooking methods with slight differences in them. In braising, whole, large cuts of meats are cooked, while stewing requires small pieces of meats and vegetables. The level of liquid in braising doesn’t rise above the meat, but in stewing, the meats are fully submerged into the liquid. Both of these cooking techniques produce rich and delicious broth or gravy.

Cut the meat into uniform pieces, add seasonings or dredge them into flour and eggs and saute them till brown crust. Browning meat won’t take much time because of the small size. Add them to a pot along with other vegetables, add water and cover the pot. Let it cook on low heat. Add different aromatic spices, onions, garlic, fruits, or anything of your choice. This makes impressive delicious stew that can be served as meals.

DIFFERENT METHODS OF BRAISING AND STEWING

STOVE TOP METHOD

Using one burner for a large pot can be difficult to maintain the temperature, and you need to check the level of liquid frequently to make sure that there’s no burning. You have to be alert because of the quick evaporation of the liquid. But it’s a pretty good way to start with these cooking methods.

OVEN METHOD

All add the ingredients, and you are worry-free for some time. The oven will do all the work. You don’t need to keep checking the temperature or the liquid level. Unless you have a large oven, it is difficult to put large pots inside the oven. An oven is an excellent way to braising and stewing.

SLOW COOKER METHOD

The liquid should be halfway up the pot, and you have the keep the lid on to maintain the heat consistently. Do not open the cover frequently, leading to moisture escape and requiring more time to come up to the temperature. But this method works fine for stewing.

TIPS TO REMEMBER WHILE BRAISING AND STEWING

There are a few tips and tricks which will make you master the braising technique. Some of the mandatory factors to remember while braising are:

  1. AMOUNT OF LIQUID

The amount of liquid to be added depends on how you want to serve the food. If you want your dish to be soupy and stew-like, add more liquid, and if you want it to be sauce and thick the add less water. For braising, the level of the liquid should not rise above the meat. But for stewing, the meat and the vegetables should completely submerge into the water.

  1. BRING TO A BOIL AND THEN SIMMER

You should boil the food before turning back down the heat. This is to visually determine where you are on the spectrum of the moist heat cooking method. The meat will get too tough if the braise or the stew is boiled for too long. You wouldn’t want that, for sure. For both methods, it’s essential to boil first and then simmer.

  1. TEMPERATURE

Use the lowest temperature if braising on the stove. If you are braising or stewing in an oven, set the temperature somewhere between 250 to 325 degrees, depending on the food you are cooking.

  1. FLIP THE MEAT

While staying before braising, you have to flip the meat while sauteing it. Once one side of the meat gets brown colored surface, flip the meat to the other side to get the brown color. You don’t have to flip it after adding liquid. While sauteing the meat before stewing, you have to toss or stir, for even browning, as it involves small pieces of meat.