When you make a roast or braise, do you brown the meat first? I’d always thought this was a crucial step in infusing a dish with lots of flavor. But I just read a recipe from Jamie Oliver suggesting that, at least in the case of stew, you get better results if you skip the browning. Check it out:
The great thing about this stew is that it gets put together very quickly, and this is partly to do with the fact that no time is spent browning the meat. Even though this goes against all my training, I experimented with two batches of meat – I browned one and put the other straight into the pot. The latter turned out to be the sweeter and cleaner-tasting, so I’ve stopped browning the meat for most of my stews these days.
What do you think? Can anyone attest to the pros and cons of browning?
My two cents: stews might be different, but for recipes calling for meat with skin on, browning is absolutely essential. There’s nothing worse than pale, flabby, water-logged poultry skin. Yuck!