Here, in the almost perpetual land of summer dresses and outdoor activities, light and refreshing dishes reign supreme, don’t they?
Think of salads, ceviches and grilled fish. Beef stews and the like are meant for those gathered this winter around the fireplaces as the freezing wind howls outside.
So why do simmered cuts of meat come out of island restaurant kitchens as quickly as burrata with slices of heirloom tomatoes? Because these fork-tender meat and poultry dishes are also popular here.
With that in mind, city chefs point out dishes that have one thing in common: braising, an age-old cooking method that turns tougher pieces of meat into a savory, velvety delight.
In a nutshell, meat or poultry (or even vegetables) are browned and then cooked, often for hours, in a saucepan or other sealed container while partially submerged in liquid.
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Liquid, such as broth and / or wine enhanced with aromatics and herbs, thickens and intensifies in the process, coaxing the flavor of whatever is in the pot.
If you need a quick reference point, consider Grandma’s Roast – or Palm Beach, maybe Braised Prime Rib at Trevini, 223 Sunset Ave.
“We’ve always made at least a few braised meat dishes on the menu because so many people order them,” said Gianni Minervini, co-owner of Trevini, where the ribs are served with a parmesan risotto. “These dishes have so much flavor and tenderness. They take time to prepare, but you can taste the love.
Café L’Europe, 331 S. County Road, offers a popular specialty in Executive Chef Alain Krauss’s Braised Lamb Shank, which is served with mashed potatoes and green beans.
“We sear the shank until it is good and caramelized, then we add white wine, mirepoix (diced onions, carrots and celery), bouquet garni – fresh thyme, bay leaf – and poultry broth. , then roast for three hours. The meat is so tender, and the taste and aroma is amazing.
Bice, 313 Worth Ave., offers a braised dish that manager Antonello Bux calls a “tuxedo” among northern Italian classics: osso buco. Bice serves the dish, featuring a braised veal shank, accompanied by saffron risotto.
At Henry’s, 229 Royal Poinciana Way, braised pork is featured in one of the pasta dishes of the day. Between Tuesday bucatini with white clam sauce and Thursday five cheese tortellini with pomodoro sauce, Wednesdays at Henry’s Highlight, strozzapreti pasta and braised pork pork stew.
The pork butt is slowly braised in cream, milk, mirepoix and herbs until the meat is super tender; then the braising liquid becomes the basis of the stew sauce.
“There is something comforting about slowly cooked food,” said Breakers Executive Chef Anthony Sicignano. “These dishes are generally rich in texture and flavor, reminding us of the stews and other braised dishes we enjoyed as kids.”
Meanwhile, at La Goulue, 288 S. County Road, a braised French classic is served: duck leg confit. Duck leg is prepared by braising it in duck fat.
The dish is served with crispy potatoes, also cooked in duck fat, and fried lightly drizzled with vinaigrette.
“These types of dishes not only remind us of home – and for the lucky ones of mom’s cooking – but the flavors get so much more complex in a braised dish,” said Luke Bjoin, Managing Director of La Goulue.
“Braised meats are like hearty soups. These things look like cold weather food, but everyone loves them here, ”said Krauss, of Café L’Europe.
Maybe they remind us of home, yes. Or maybe the folks who cook at home now don’t want to take the time to make a braised dish. For some people, it’s (a braised dish) almost like the perfect dish to have when dining out.