Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman



My book Ruhlman’s How to Braise: Foolproof Techniques and Recipes for the Home Cook is published today, February 10. To celebrate its arrival I am giving away five signed copies.

How to Braise is the second in a series of technique-based books (the first was How to Roast). Like its predecessor, this book is short on recipes (25 or so, including the Orange-Braised Duck Leg, pictured below) and long on nuance. It includes finished shots by my wife, Donna, of every dish and many process shots of how dishes, such as a Lamb Tagine, come together, how the Braised Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps should look, or just a beautiful image of braised fennel and baby radishes.

When you know technique, you need to rely less on recipes. When you know technique, cooking is easier and more efficient and more fun. (What exactly is braise, anyway? Exactly.)

To enter this giveaway, please name your favorite braised dish in the Comments section below (I can ship only to U.S. addresses, alas).

Entries close at midnight Eastern Time Wednesday and winners will be announced Thursday.

Good luck, and happy cooking!


If you don’t want to rely on mischievous fate, you can buy How to Braise on these sites:


Barnes & Noble



© 2015 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2015 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


368 Wonderful responses to “Define Braise:
The New Book and Giveaway”

  • Michael

    Started out with Braising ribs in dr pepper as my favorite now I would say it has to be braised short ribs adopted from Ruhlman’s 20.

  • stephen fox

    braised chuck roast with various vegetables -can be as fancy or as simple as desired but always perfect for the winter!

  • Jeannie Z

    Rabo de toro (oxtail) braised in red wine, sherry, stock, and soffrito. Served with whipped Yukon gold potatoes and sauteed spinach and pinenuts!

  • Renee

    Hands down, beef bourguignon. Unless maybe pork roast & sauerkraut, and then there’s paprikash … or, no, wait – beef bourguignon, for sure.

  • Wes

    Carne Adovado!!! In a taco with queso, lime, and pickled onion it can’t be beaten!

  • Tom Abella

    My favorite braise is Cheating Pulled Pork Shoulder, which is what I call it when I combine an hour of heavy smoking over a grill at night with putting the shoulder in a covered Dutch oven at 225 overnight. What emerges in the morning is a glorious fall-apart piece of meat complete with drippings for sauce or other applications. Best of all is the effort of it–effectively none, but still allowing you to get a good night’s sleep and have fresh homemade pulled pork for your lunch guests. Also, since it’s pork shoulder, it’s super easy on the wallet.

  • Joe

    Short ribs…. bone in w/ deboned…bone flavor, more meat, less fatty tissue tangling

  • Amy

    Definitely braised short ribs in a simple teriyaki marinade served with steamed rice and lightly pickled vegetables – yum!

  • Matt

    Braised lamb shanks from Twenty. I’ve purchased countless copies for friends and family.

  • Beth L

    A triple pork ragu made with pork shoulder, Italian sausage and bacon – served over polenta. Yum!!

  • Mitch

    Korean style pork shoulder with aromatics, doenjang bean paste, kochujang chili paste, and Sprite for pulled pork sliders with Asian slaw.

  • John H

    Sarma, my mother-in-law’s wintery dish from Serbia: fermented cabbage leaves stuffed with ground veal, pork and rice; braised for three hours in chicken stock. A peasant dish that captures all the winter techniques of preserving greens, making gelatinous stocks, and combining flavors through braising. Intense umami, and just down right comforting.

  • Jeff

    Duck legs braised in stock and red wine with root vegetables like carrot and turnip, definitely including onion and garlic … and olives added near the end.

  • Scott

    Lamb shanks braised in red wine, served with ratatouille and polenta. Easily a last meal option.

  • Lindsay

    My favorite braised dish is posole stew with pork. My favorite New Mexican restaurant here in San Francisco serves it in tiny little tasting-size portions alongside other dishes, and it inspired me to learn how to make it at home. So good!

  • James O'Connell

    My favorite braised dish is Coq au Vin. I hope to win this book to Increase my Ruhlman library and knowledge of the culinary arts.

  • Abby Fox

    I love a good beef stew with some hearty root vegetables. I’d love to expand the braising ideals with the influence of this book!

  • Adele K

    I have made a dish for years that is a favorite in our house. It is a pork and artichoke recipe. I really look forward to this book, as my Mother always braised foods and that is what I grew up knowing.

  • Kathy

    My favorite is braised beef brisket cooked in the oven with wine or beer with aromatics and herbs, allowed to rest one day in the fridge and served sliced and warmed with reduced braising liquid and horseradish cream sauce.

  • Gary Shaver

    It may take several hours to make, but nothing other than Julia Child’s beef bourguignon!

  • Janice

    Moroccan tagines of any sort. The aroma of all those wonderful warm spices fill my home with reminders of wonderful people, places and meals far away….

  • Kourtney

    Braised lamb shanks with gremolata. Add some duck fat roasted potatoes because we only live once 🙂

  • Lisa

    Chicken, cut up and braised in reisling or gewurtz with celery, onion, carrots and potatoes. Maybe a shot of cream at the end. Velvety. 🙂

  • Chris

    It used to be short ribs before the Sous vide machine.

    Now the best braise is beef cheeks in red wine.

  • John K

    Braised pork shoulder….fresh herbs, apples, carrots, celery and onions, braised in my homemade pork stock, with some red wine.

  • Anastasia Keyes

    I love to braise pork in a combination of veggie stock, jalapeños, serranos, poblanos, onions, garlic and Shiner Bock for a very spicy pork chili verde.

  • Paul Rovers

    I have to go with braised lamb shanks. It’s my favourite meal when I buy 1/2 a lamb. Congratulations on the book!

  • Tags

    You’re the osmosist with the mostest.

    Put me down for my wife’s secret recipe for Chinese braised pork belly. I know there’s some star anise and rock sugar, but she’s very evasive when I try to wheedle the other ingredients out of her.

  • Anna

    I definitely haven’t mastered the art of braising, but I’ve eaten some delicious braised root veggies (I particularly liked the carrots and turnips)!

  • Tom Flint

    Pot Roast! Not very exciting but delicious. I need the book to expand my horizons!

  • Todd

    Lamb necks done osso buco style, reheated slowly a few days after the initial braise, over some Porcini risotto Milanese. If I am lucky a Brunello that has been breathing for an hour is there as well.

  • Teresa Speer

    Braising requires one to brown or sear meats and vegetables in a small amount of fat and then slowly cook them in a small amount of liquid in a covered pan. I want to learn more so I can perfect this technique.

  • David Love

    Chili. Beef with onion and peppers, seasoned with cumin and paprika. Other ingredients as you feel like it.

  • Jared

    Chuck roast with porcini mushrooms and onions. Puree the veg after cooking slice meat and ad it back in. That on mashed potatoes maybe some truffle salt depending on the mood is just good eating.

  • Chris Willett

    Braised lamb neck tacos. Lamb neck seasoned with salt, a little sugar, and warm eastern spices like star anise, clove, cinnamon. Braise in a small amount of sake, water, whatever, for 4 hours or so. Cool and save the lamb fat for later. Shred, then crisp up in a pan of hot oil with some cumin, coriander, and paprika/chili. Make a quick pico and serve the lamb in a corn tortilla with pico and hot sauce. Salted radish on the side.

  • Barb

    Braised pulled pork shoulder, I would love to expand my abilities such a great way to cook in the winter

  • James Nelson

    Braised Beef short ribs. Just thinking about it now makes me want to make again very soon.

  • Tony

    pork shoulder, shredded when done, then buns, the pork and some pickled veggies.

  • Jalees

    Braised goat or beef shank. It’s a Pakistani breakfast dish called Nihari. You eat it with buttered naans. Delicious way to start a day!

  • Tim Mess

    My favorite braised dish is Roast Beef Po Boys!

    Brown a chuck roast in oil.

    Add water or stock with aromatics celery, carrots and onions thyme a bay. Put in 250 Oven for 8-10 hours.

    Let cool in liquid in fridge.

    When ready to eat. Slice the beef and strain the stock. Thicken the stock with roux to make a gravy add two chopped garlic cloves to gravy.

    On French bread add mayo and lettuce and tomato.

    Add slices of beef reheated in the gravy. The gravy should be thick so it sticks to the meat in the sandwich but don’t have so much gravy so the bread is wet like an Italian beef.

  • Ouida Lampert

    Shanks. Every type that I have tried (no, I haven’t tried anything rare – just the run-of-the-farm varieties). It doesn’t seem to matter what the meat is, as long as it is braised well. Drool.

  • Karen

    Beef braised in Barbera….My Italian nonna’s best dish. But for the sake of family diplomacy I’ll say a very close second is beer-braised kielbasa and sauerkraut from the Polish side of the clan.

  • Matt Hardman

    Braised short ribs have become a monthly (some times more) staple in our house thanks to “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.

  • Matt Daniel

    One of my favorite dishes has to be elk roast. I have a little cooking experience, so I can make the beast great, but braised with baby carrots, shallots, thyme, and maybe a purple potato, or maybe change it up with some berries and ademi glas, then pan gravy over that meat & potatoes!! Homerun.

  • Duncan

    It’s nearly impossible for me to pick a braised dish, so I’ll go with braised dish I made most recently: Cassoulet.

    I made the garlic sausages myself with pork from a half-pig I bought from a local farmer. Also used whole slab bacon from that same pig, cut into lardons and rendered. I quartered and salted a duck and used that seared in the pot rather than pre-confiting it. The carcass of the duck was used to make stock for the braising liquid.

    This was my first cassoulet and it far exceeded not only my expectations, but my hopes for what a good dish it would be.

    • Duncan

      Can’t edit my post, but what I meant to say was “It’s nearly impossible for me to pick a FAVORITE braised dish” etc.

  • Sonya Cabacungan

    There are two types of braising 1) browning a product first then cooking the browned (caramelized) product in in liquid which comes to only 50% or less the depth of the product; covered and cooked in an oven or over a stove; and 2) without browning or caramelizing by using a medium heat or less, and adding liquid to cover 50% the depth of the product. In the latter case where a chicken is braised with out browning is known as chicken friccassé. So in conclusion braised is best describe as a slow cooking with lesser volume of volume of liquids. “A perfect method for fall off the bone flavor and delicious.”

  • Sonya Cabacungan

    There are two types of braising 1) browning a product first then cooking the browned (caramelized) product in in liquid which comes to only 50% or less the depth of the product; covered and cooked in an oven or over a stove; and 2) without browning or caramelizing by using a medium heat or less, and adding liquid to cover 50% the depth of the product. In the latter case where a chicken is braised with out browning is known as chicken friccassé. So in conclusion braised is best describe as a slow cooking with lesser volume of volume of liquids. Deliously Disciplined.

  • EmanG

    Puerco Pibil, if you can find sour orange. If not, substitute grapefruit! (but banana leaves are a must…)

  • Bruce Waltuck

    Boneless pork shoulder in chicken stock infused with roasted poblano peppers, and caramelized onions. Served over buttery blue corn polenta, with grilled corn tossed with a bit of New Mexican green chile powder and roasted garlic.

    Ahh.. Braising… Typically referring to chunks of meat simmered in a comparatively small amount of liquid. Infusing the meat with deep flavor. Inducing browning not through a sear, but through the Maillard reaction. Slowly melting connective tissue and yielding tender, succulent results. Yummmmm.