Beef Up Your Holidays
Willie Grace | 1/2/2015, 5:31 p.m. | Updated on 1/2/2015, 5:31 p.m.
(Family Features) For many families, gathering around the table is as treasured a holiday tradition as gathering around the tree to exchange gifts with loved ones. With universal appeal, cuts of tender, juicy beef are ideal for a wide range of family-friendly dishes - from appetizers to special occasion holiday entrees.
If your seasonal celebrations and commitments have you pinched for time, opt for the convenience of home delivery. Starting with premium products, such as those available from Omaha Steaks, lets you create the perfect meal every time. Each cut of beef is perfectly aged and flash-frozen at its peak of flavor and tenderness, and delivered right to your door with a 100 percent quality guarantee.
There are as many ways to prepare beef as there are cuts to choose from. The best approach depends on the type of flavor you want to achieve, and how you'll ultimately serve the dish. One popular option that creates robust, hearty flavors perfect for holiday feasts is braising. This celebrated technique is featured in this Omaha Steaks family recipe for Braised Beef Brisket. Or, add some pre-dinner bites to your holiday spread with Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin Tip Appetizers, a savory recipe that is sure to be a hit among guests.
Find these and more beef preparation tips and recipes at www.omahasteaks.com.
Braising (from the French word "braiser") is a combination cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats. Typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot or pan at a lower temperature while sitting in some amount of liquid, which may also add flavor.
The purpose of braising is to break down the connecting tissues, enhancing the meat's tenderness.
Some examples of cuts that are typically braised include:
o Chuck (Chuck Eye Roast, Chuck Arm Roast, Chuck Shoulder Roast, Short Ribs)
o Brisket (Whole Brisket, Brisket Flat Roast, Brisket Point Roast)
o Shank (Cross Cut Shanks, Whole Beef Shanks)
o Round (Top Round Roast, Bottom Round Roast, Eye Round Roast, Boneless Rump Roast)
First brown your roast using a large pan and some oil over high heat, seasoning the protein first.
Once the roast is browned, "deglaze" the pan using wine or some of the liquid that will be used in the braising process, to capture drippings from the pan that are loaded with flavor.
Once the roast is browned you will want to place it, along with all the liquid including the pan drippings, in a Dutch oven or deep roasting pan. It is very important to cover the top of the pan as tightly as possible so steam and pressure will build up during the oven cooking process.
The liquid for the braising process can vary depending on the dish you're trying to make. For example, barbecue sauce would be used for a barbecue brisket, and beef broth would be used for a pot roast. Usually if using a thick liquid such as barbecue sauce you will want to thin it down with wine, broth or water. It will thicken as it cooks, and if it gets too thick it will burn.
You can also experiment with putting root vegetables in the braising pan along with your roast to create a complete meal and enhance the flavor.
The oven part of the process is usually done at 250∞F and can vary in time from 3 to 8 hours, depending on what cut is being braised and how big it is. A general rule of thumb is that the protein will shred easily with a fork when it is properly braised.