Friday, December 12, 2008

How many ways do you cook?

Apparently, there are 9 different methods of cooking; Baking, Boiling, Braising, Frying, Grilling, Roasting, Sautéing, Steaming, Stewing.

Boiling is "generally thought to be the easiest method of cooking", braising "the most delicious", roasting "the favourite British method", whilst steaming is "the most economical".

Grilling is not recommended, because it is not very economical, uses a great deal of fuel and the meat loses weight more than in most ways of cooking.

To be honest, I don't think I've ever considered boiling meat as a pleasing way to cook it. Mrs Beeton comments "Certainly nothing could be less troublesome than the simple process of boiling or stewing meat and yet beef tough and flavourless, or a leg of mutton boiled to rags, it the rule rather than the exception." This suggests that many people struggled with boiling meats (and probably still would apart from it's decline in prevalence). I think I'll just stick to boiling my potatoes then.

I don't think I've ever braised etiher... or at least not like Mrs B suggests in a proper braising pan with hot cinders on the top. From a quick scan on Google there don't seem to be too many pans out there suitable for this, nor too many people braising, like they did in the 'Good Ol' Days'.

Definitely calls for some more investigation, methinks.


Kate said...

So - what is the difference between roasting and baking?

weenie_elise said...

MRs B says "The principles o9f roasting and baking are exactl;y the same, the object being in both processes to preserve the nutritive qualities of the meat by preventing the escape of the juices of the meat"... in conclusion the only difference i can see is that you are most likely to bake breads, pastries and etc., whilst roasting meats...