The key difference between stewing and braising is that foods are completely submerged in hot liquid while stewing instead of being partially submerged.
Smaller Cuts of Meat are used in a stew, but the method of slow cooking at low heat is the same.
As the stew cooks, fibrous Vegetables break down and fat and collagen from the Meats melt away.
The result is a thick, flavourful gravy filled with tender bites of Meat and soft Vegetables.
Best foods for stewing:
Meats: Meats that are rich in collagen and fat do well in a stew pot. Avoid lean Cuts and choose Brisket, Oxtail, Ox Cheeks, Pigs Cheeks
Poaching is a gentle method of cooking in which foods are submerged in hot liquid between 60°c and 85°c.
The low heat works especially well for delicate items, and moisture and flavours are preserved without the need for fat or oil.
Best foods for poaching:
Poultry: Stocks, Broths, Wine, or Aromatics can be used for poaching liquid, which adds flavour to boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts. The result is tender Chicken that can be cubed, sliced, or shredded and added to Salads, Pasta, or Sandwiches.
Simmering is also a gentle method of cooking foods but uses higher temperatures than poaching, usually between 80°c and 95°c.
This temperature range lies below the boiling point and produces tiny bubbles. To achieve a simmer, first bring water to the boiling point and then lower the temperature.
Best foods for simmering:
Meats: Choose tougher Cuts of Meat that will release fat and collagen as they simmer, like Chuck roast.
Soups and Stocks: Because simmering releases the fat and proteins from Meat, it produces a rich flavourful Stock or Broth that can be used in Soups or Stews.
This cooking technique involves submerging food in water that has been heated to the boiling point of 100°c. The boiling water produces large bubbles, which keep foods in motion while they cook.
The expression slow boil means that the water has just started to produce large, slow-moving bubbles but is not quite heated to the boiling temperature.
A full boil occurs at the boiling point and results in fast-moving, rolling bubbles. Steam is also released from the water as it boils.
Best foods for boiling:
In steaming, water is boiled continuously to produce a steady amount of steam.
The steam surrounds foods and cooks evenly while retaining moisture.
Steaming can be performed in a few different ways. Methods of steaming include using a pot and steamer basket, using a microwave, or wrapping foods in foil so they can steam in the oven.
Best foods for steaming:
Meat Puddings with Shredded Beef Suet