How to keep braised meat moist

Question: 

After I braise my lamb shoulder, how do I keep it moist for service?

braised lamb shank
Answer: 

By using shoulder rather than a leaner, more delicate cut, you are definitely on the right track to moist, succulent lamb.

Some suggestions:

  • Braised meats are often tastier the next day after they’ve had time to rest and flavors can meld. If your setup allows, braise meats the day before service and properly chill using the two-stage method—140 F (60 C) to 70 F (21 C) within two hours and to 41 F (5 C) within four hours—keeping in mind local regulations may be more stringent.
  • Always allow braised meats to rest and chill in the liquid. Studies show that as the cooked meat cools, it will absorb more of the flavorful braising liquid. A common mistake is to remove the meat from the liquid for chilling—while it will cool things more efficiently (the liquid and fat of the liquid retain heat), it will result in a loss of moistness.
  • A lot of dryness may result from improper holding over long periods. For example, if you hot hold your shoulder in an open steam table, the surface of the meat will dry out, especially if you are not rotating it frequently and don’t have adequate liquid. If your volume for this item is modest, consider portioning the lamb cold, in some sauce, and heating it to order.
  • If your volume is higher, make sure you are hot holding in a cabinet that allows for moist heat. I like the CVap from Winston, but as long as your equipment has the functionality you need, brand doesn’t much matter.
  • Finally, if it works better, you can heat and hold smaller portions more frequently.

More on keeping large cuts moist here

Want to ask advice guy a question?

Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.

Today's top stories

1
The Tijuana Flats fast-casual Tex-Mex chain is adding a family meal kit as a delivery option available from all 130 of its branches starting Monday. The $31.99 kit consists of a taco bar in portable...
2
The Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and The Brass Tap casual-dining chains have been sold by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners to another private-equity firm, CapitalSpring. Terms were not disclosed. The buyer,...
3
As operators look for more ways to diversify revenue streams, getting into packaged goods via in-store merchandise or licensing can be an appealing option. Because restaurants are not necessarily set...
4
Providing exclusive consumer trends and insights to enhance your marketing strategy. Powered by Technomic . “Technomic is a Chicago-based consulting and research firm providing a 360° view of the...
5
Sometime in the past, the editor of Drive-In Theater Business probably stared at a blank sheet in the typewriter and wondered what he’d say about the industry in his next column. Possible topics...
6
In my late 20s, there was a wedding boom. It felt like every other weekend, my friends and I were going out to a bar to toast another newly engaged couple over fancy margaritas, smoky Manhattans or...
7
Chipotle has closed its restaurant in Sterling, Va., after at least a dozen people say they were stricken with flu-like symptoms after eating there. The chain is aware of “a small number of reported...
8
Chef Bobby Flay’s 17-unit fast-casual chain is using a little-known securities option for small-to-midsized businesses to sell an undisclosed stake to the public for $15 million. The so-called mini-...
9
Chick-fil-A began testing packaged takeout meals yesterday in the chicken chain’s latest effort to bolster both off-premise and family traffic. The brand is calling the four-meal packages “meal kits...
10
In a food-obsessed city such as Portland, Ore., chef Gabriel Pascuzzi saw a niche he could fill. He wasn’t overly impressed by the sandwich scene, and he observed the crowds lined up at other chef-...