With the weather getting cooler, the stove's warmth becomes more welcome. Long-simmering braises return to the dinner menu rotation, dishes that can be left to burble all day on over low heat, to be served to a ravenous hoard in need of deep comfort at the end of the day. Many recipes for braised dishes make multiple servings, and it often does not make much sense to scale it down too much. There are many benefits to batch cooking, from saving time and money to reducing kitchen waste. With this in mind, you may as well make a large batch of whatever you are braising and store leftovers for another day.
But when it comes time to reheat your carefully prepared braises, the dishes often dry out. Liquids evaporate over time, no matter the temperature. It may surprise you that storing food in the fridge tends to dry it out, and this is because of its low humidity. Further evaporation also happens during the reheating process itself.
So, how do you reheat braised dishes without ruining them? It is a straightforward fix: Just add water.
Just Add Water
Yes, just add water. Transfer the food to be reheated to a small saucepan or skillet, and splash in a little water. One or two ounces is sufficient for any kind of braise, which converts to about two to four tablespoons of water. Stir it up, then turn the heat on to medium or medium-low. It should take no more than five minutes to reheat a portion of leftovers this way, and it will be texturally more appetizing than reheating a braise with water in the microwave. Spoiler alert: Using a microwave can make your food rubbery!
The best way to consider your liquid options here is to think about what liquids were used in the original braise. If you think plain water is a little too ho-hum, add stock instead. Many braises are made with a stock of some kind, so add a splash of the appropriate stock to the pot while reheating. Use low-sodium stocks or liquids with no strong flavorings so that you will not modify the taste of the dish. Remember, all you want to do with this method is restore the braise's juiciness, not turn it into a different dish altogether.
Braises To Make In Bulk
To reheat leftover braises, you need to have cooked some braised dishes in the first place. Fortunately, the internet is a veritable trove of braised dishes from all over the world. A classic example is coq au vin, a French braised chicken dish that will impress guests and make for hearty leftovers. For red meat, braised ribs are a must-try for those looking to perfect their braising technique, as the tough sinews melt and baste the meat to perfection. Braised meat can dry out in the pan, so be careful and properly prepare your braised meats.
Think braising is just for red meat and chicken? Think again! Braising fish is a popular method in Shanghai, China, and this recipe for braised fish with sweet ginger-soy sauce shows us just how delicious braising can be for seafood. You can even braise vegetables — a beloved preparation in the American tradition is braised collard greens, which tenderizes the tougher dark green leaves into smokey, moreish delight.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.