I have a recipe for long, slow, braised pork chops. I make them the same way every time. I buy 1 inch chops on the bone. Sometimes they come out incredibly tender and sometimes dry and stringy. I know it has to do with fat content as the dry ones have very little fat to skim from the sauce. But I can not discern from the raw meat, which is fattier. I buy center cut chops. The recipe calls for blade chops, but stores don't always have that. Help?
The resulting quality of a braise has to do with the connective tissue rather than the fat. Your recipe calls for the blade chop because it is close to the shoulder, which is tougher and contains more connective tissue. This tissue is tough to start, but braising breaks it down into a gelatin and makes the meat tender (and juicy). When you pick your chops, look for thin lines white connective tissue throughout. Or, just use a pork shoulder.
Also, remember to let the meat cool in the braising liquid. (Not to room temperature, but to an edible temperature). As the meat cools, it draws in some of the liquid and prevents it from drying out.
I find that the texture of meat is often stringier and tougher if it's cooked straight from the fridge. It's always better if you give it a good few hours out of the fridge to come up to room temperature.
I have a recipe for braised lamb shanks that I'd like to convert to use lamb loin chops instead. The original recipe calls for the shanks to be browned and then braised in a 350° oven for 2 - 2½ hours. Since the loin chops are a lot more tender than the shanks, I'd rather not cook them to death. So, leaving aside the question of how to get good flavor development and consistency in the braising liquid (which I think I can work around), is there a good braising method for tender cuts of meat? In particular, should I still use the oven or stick to the stove top? And what
I have really been wanting to trying this recipe Braised Pork Shanks with Mushroom Dumplings, but I have not been able to obtain pork shanks. Can another cut of pork meat be used instead? I was considering using pork shoulder.
After reading through the cookbook thread from front to back, I bought a couple of the recommended works, including How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I went straight to the index to look up what it says about rabbit which came as a surprise to me (p. 653 in the 2008 print): But you can substitute rabbit---which really does taste like chicken---for virtually any recipe for braised chicken... rabbit once every other month, or more often; definitely more frequently than chicken. That said, I don’t recall rabbit to taste anything like chicken up to the point that apart from soup I don’t value
Buttermilk is one of those pantry items that I buy for a specific recipe, then don't know what to do with the leftovers (and I think this is not uncommon). In my question about buttermilk in soda bread, the topic of alternate uses came up in the comments. I'd like to make a list of these uses. Here's what I have so far: pancakes (instead of milk or yogourt) quick breads, scones (instead of milk) cakes mashed potatoes (instead of milk) low-fat muffins (replacement for oil) (Note: This should be a community wiki item, rather than a question, but I'm not sure how to flag that.)
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I've been testing brines (something I didn't know about until I read it here :). So I brined (sugar, salt, and some herbs) a handful of pork loins (chops without bones, more or less) and then put it on a pan at medium heat. Thing is, after it was done, the pork had a bit of a sour taste which I could not attribute to any seasoning I put in it. The meat was relatively fresh (bought on Saturday and kept in the fridge). This has happened to me before, so I guess the brining's unrelated. Also, it doesn't always happen; sometimes the loins have that bit of a sour taste, and sometimes they don't