Tips for cooking braising steak

June 6, 2024
by HelloFresh Tips & tricks

    Compared to some finer cuts of beef, which typically need very little cooking, braising steak requires a some more expertise to get it right. Find out how to cook braising steak properly and enjoy succulent meal times every time you prepare it.

    What is braising steak?

    Braising steak refers to any cut of beef that is ideally prepared through the method of braising. Basically, this means the more sinuous steak cuts from cattle. Among others, the chuck, skirt, flank and leg cuts of beef tend to be referred to as braising steak. Given its naturally tougher texture, this meat benefits from slow cooking in liquid for optimal tenderness and flavour.

    How to cook braising steak

    There are a number of ways to cook braising steak, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. 

    Braising steak in the oven

    To cook braising steak in the oven, you should:

    • Firstly, sear the meat to seal in its natural juices. Place each braising steak into a pan of hot oil until the very outer layer of meat is browned off on all sides.
    • As soon as the steak is seared, remove it from the heat and allow it to rest (don’t leave the steak in the pan for too long, as this could cause the outer sections to toughen).
    • Heat the oven to 180°C or (160°C for a fan-assisted oven).
    • Pour some water or beef stock into the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish. Add carrots or halved onions in the dish, ensuring they are submerged in the water.
    • Next, place the braising steak on top of the vegetables, ensuring they are only just covered by the fluid.
    • Cover the dish and put it in the middle of the oven.
    • Cook the braising steak, ensuring the water level is maintained until it becomes tender and soft.

    Braising steak in a slow cooker

    Slow cookers are ideal for braising steak as they trap in moisture for the most tender results. Like oven-cooking, sear the steak first then put it into the slow cooker along with any vegetables you want to add. Once cooked, slice the steak and serve.

    Braising steak in an air fryer

    Sear the braising steak and then place it into the air fryer basket. Turn the air fryer up to 160°C and place the steak inside until it is cooked through. Depending on your air fryer, you can simultaneously cook vegetables alongside your steak.

    Recommended cooking times for braising steak 

    Cooking braising steak slowly is the key to success. Usually, it’s best to choose lower heat and a longer cooking time. As a general guideline, this is what each method requires:

    • In the oven: Cook for a minimum of one hour, but consider extending it to 1.5 or even 2 hours if you have the extra time available.
    • In the frying pan: Slow-cook the steak for as long as possible on low heat, ensuring to turn it frequently to avoid overcooking one side.
    • In the slow cooker: Cook for a minimum of four hours, though certain recipes may advise cooking for longer, even overnight in some cases.
    • In the air fryer: Cooking in an air fryer is faster than alternative methods, usually requiring 30 minutes at 160°C. If time permits, you cook for longer at a lower temperature.

    Braising steak recipes

    Any recipe that requires beefsteak can easily be modified to use braising steak instead. Keep in mind that you may need to extend the cooking time to achieve comparable results with braising steak. Specifically, these recipes are ideal for braising or grilling steaks:



    How should braising steak be cooked?

    Season and sear braising steak in hot oil to seal in its juices. Reduce the heat and place the steak in some stock to help prevent it from drying out. Simmer the steak for an hour or more for delightfully tender results.

    Should you fry braising steak?

    Braising steak should only be seared when frying. After that, the steak toughens and becomes dry if you continue to fry it. Avoid this by sticking to one of the tried-and-tested methods outlined above.

    How do you make braising meat tender?

    Slow-cooking braised meat is the key to achieving a tender and succulent texture. You can further tenderise the meat by pounding it or marinating it in acidic flavours before cooking.

    Does braising steak go soft?

    Because braising steak comes from the more sinuous parts of the animal, it is naturally tougher than other cuts. That said, after an hour or more of slow cooking, it will soften into tender beef.

    What cut is braising steak?

    Braising steak is not just one specific cut of meat; rather, it encompasses the chuck, skirt, leg, and flank of cattle. These cuts are slightly tougher than choice beef cuts, such as filet mignon or top sirloin.

    All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.
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