NEWS FLASH! In addition to all the great braising recipes you’ll find in the Bonne Femme Cookbook, you can also find 22 recipes specifically developed for braising pans in my new e-book: The Braiser Cookbook: 22 Irresistible Recipes for Your Braiser. The recipes will work for Le Creuset, Staub, Tramontina, All Clad, Lodge, and other braisers.
The Braiser Cookbook, which I co-authored with Richard Swearinger (former senior food editor of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine), includes 22 gorgeous finished-food photographs, plus five terrific sides that go beautifully with braised dishes. Check it out on Amazon.com.
Now, on to the post you were looking for:
One search that often leads people to this site is “Recipes for a Le Creuset Braiser.” Here are a few of my favorite recipes. Note that you don’t necessarily have to have a braiser to make these. While I love mine (given to me by my mother-in-law a few Christmases ago), I did fine without it for many years before that.
What is a braiser? It’s similar to a Dutch oven (a heavy round or oval pan with a tight-fitting lid), except it has a wider base and shallower sides. The wide bases allow the meat maximum contact with the heat source, which makes it easy to get the meat nicely browned before you set it to simmer. Because braising requires less liquid than stewing, the sides are more shallow than those of a Dutch oven. (The French, by the way, call Dutch ovens cocottes, and they call braisers cocottes basses (basse means low).
Here are some recipes to that put your braiser to work. (If you don’t have a braiser, substitute either a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid or a Dutch oven. My recipes always give one of those options.)
1. Beef Burgundy (Boeuf Bourguignon). Make it with short ribs, and you’ll see what the fuss is all about.
2. Basque-Style Chicken. A lovely, inexpensive dish with piment d’Espelette (though paprika will do in a pinch).
3. Braised Lamb Blade Chops with Herbes de Provence, Lemon, and Roasted Garlic. Lamb blade chops (also knon as lamb blade steaks) are quicker to braise than shanks, less expensive than regular chops, and divinely flavorful.
4. My French Pot Roast. Make it on a Sunday night; enjoy leftovers during the week.
That should get you started. In the Bonne Femme Cookbook, there are any more recipes that are well suited to the braiser, including:
Vermouth-Braised Chicken with Black Olives and Prosciutto
Chicken and Rice Grand Cassolette
Coq au Vin
Osso Buco-Style Chicken Thighs
Beef Stew with Orange and Balsamic Vinegar
Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Braise Ce Soir
Poulet Bijoutière (the jeweler’s chicken–braised with garlic, wine, pomegranate juice and a touch of currant jelly)
Choucroute Garnie pour le Week-End
Braised Pork Marengo
Choucroute Garrnie Mardi Soir (a quick weeknight version of Choucroute Garnie)
Normandy Pork Chops
Lamb Daube with Mustard, Herbs, and Wine
Tuna Steaks Braised with Tomatoes, Olives, and Fennel
Note that you don’t have to have a braiser to make these recipes, but the pan is very well suited to them. And of course, with its 250-plus recipes, The Bonne Femme Cookbook will show you many ways to complete your true-to-France meal, with appetizers, salads, sides, and beautiful (but simple) desserts.
Enjoy! And if you’re a fan of the Le Creuset Braiser, tell me what you love to make in it.