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To brown or not to brown?

(13 Posts)
PMDiddy Tue 26-Jul-11 15:23:00

Can someone explain to me what the point of browning meat is? To me, if you brown the meat before hand, you're tightening all the fibres, thereby not allowing any flavours from the rest of the stew/casserole etc. to get into the meat?

mrsSonic Tue 26-Jul-11 15:24:14

<lurks> I've always wondered this too. Whenever I brown, the meat is always tougher than when I hadn't bothered.

Xiaoxiong Tue 26-Jul-11 15:44:39

I always brown meat to get the Maillard reaction going, which makes the meat taste meatier and more flavourful.

www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/meat/INT-what-makes-flavor.html

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Tue 26-Jul-11 20:14:16

Jamie Oliver says he cant taste any difference between browned/non-browned meat in his stews, so I dont bother.

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Tue 26-Jul-11 20:15:44

From the lispy one himself ...

"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."

valiumredhead Tue 26-Jul-11 20:49:51

I don;t brown meat - it's meant to seal in the flavour but bollock to that!

valiumredhead Tue 26-Jul-11 20:50:14

bollockS obviously grin

storminabuttercup Wed 27-Jul-11 09:48:26

I don't brown mince either, I got lots of hmm faces on here when i asked about it, Jamie says not to, so i don't! I found the mince goes lovely and soft (cook it for ages though)

hocuspontas Wed 27-Jul-11 09:52:27

I always brown mince because however lean it is there's still fat that needs pouring off. (In my house anyway)

valiumredhead Wed 27-Jul-11 11:39:15

I never brown mince for the slow cooker - I bung it in!

LordOfTheFlies Wed 27-Jul-11 17:37:49

One of the deciding factors in me becoming vegetarian was the way my mother cooked mince or stew.

She never browned it.She saw on a TV programme that it didn't make any difference to the taste.
Mince/stewing steak, water, a whole onion and Oxo cube in the pressure cooker.Bleurgh.
Onion was soft and slimy in huge bits, not fried and golden. Meat was grey.

She didn't peel potatoes either. ( I don't peel new spuds) so we had to remove the skins.

Unfortunately she didn't like cooking and was very apathetic about it. Which was why I got landed with the cooking when I was about 14,
But that's another thread hmm

bacon Thu 28-Jul-11 17:32:06

Its for asthetics not taste. You cook sauasages in the casserole without browning them then they dont look good. crisping the skin also gives a nice texture.

If cooking in a dark sauce then most meats dont matter but a lighter sauce then the meat can stay pink looking in say beef cubes.

I would brown chicken pieces with skin on but not without - pointless.

Really its more for show and better on joints than casserole/stewy dishes.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 29-Jul-11 11:54:17

I like browning meat before adding to casseroles because, after removing the meat, I think the caramelised juices and fats left behind make the onions/veggies I cook next taste particularly nice before being added to the pot. Sorry Jamie.....

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