for a very long time to dissolve all the collagen, but these long cooking times will tend to remove
practically all of the taste from the meat, but the cooking liquid will become very flavoursome. The
meat used to make these stocks is usually not intended to be eaten, so the aim in this situation is to
actually maximise the amount of flavour that leaves the meat and enters the liquid. In this situation
nothing should be added to the cooking liquid like salt, because diffusion of the maximum amount of
aromatic molecules is desired.
This method of cooking meat produces the similar desired textures that boiling does except that it
increases the generation of taste.
During braising, the meat or poultry is first browned in hot fat, sometimes with vegetables. This starts
the tenderisation process (by increasing the activity of the meats own tenderising enzymes), and
favours the Maillard and browning reactions that produce the characteristic aromas of grilled meats.
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An aromatic cooking liquid is added to the pot. The liquid is usually flavoured (ie not water) and
normally contains vegetables and lard. A flavoursome cooking liquid reduces the leak of flavoursome
molecules from the meat by diffusion. The aromatic molecules from the vegetables will move into the
meat (where they are at a lower concentration) by diffusion, whereas the meats own aromas are less
likely to move out of the meat by diffusion, because the meat source (ie the ham and bacon) present in
the cooking liquid release similar types of molecules into the cooking juice, equally their concentration.
The meat cooks in relatively low heat (usually in a low temperature oven) for a very long time. The
long cooking time allows all the collagen to deform and dissolve, and the low temperature prevents the
coagulated protein networks from squeezing out too much water, and prevents heat induced
destruction of the flavour molecules. Covering the pot prevents the aromatic components evaporating
with the water vapour and flavour from being lost.