Instead of writing an introduction for this staple recipe, I am copying in the one my grandmother provided in “The Art of Good Cooking”. I found that it explained the recipe quite well and answered any questions I had regarding the technique used.
“In my experience, browning the meat before braising only toughens the meat and creates smoke. Theoretically, browning is supposed to seal the juices in, but why, then, is it possible to have absolutely succulent boiled beef, which is not browned at all? Here is my recipe for braised beef which can also be turned into curry, chili, paprikash, or any kind of stew you would like it to be. It can be kept in the refrigerator as long as a week- even a bit longer if you take the trouble to reheat it to boiling point every few days. To make this properly, you need a heavy pot with a tight-fitting, heavy lid.”
I personally prefer to brown the meat for both flavor and color, but I will discuss the differences between the two methods in a later post.
3 pounds beef chuck roast cut into 1″ cubes or beef stew meat
2 onions chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup stock or broth
salt and pepper
Place beef in a heavy pot. Add onions, garlic, and some salt and pepper. Cover tightly. Place in a 325 degree oven. When meat and other ingredients begin to simmer, add stock or broth.
Continue to braise meat in covered pot for 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is barely tender. Skim off fat from top.