While I’m happy to eat braised foods any time of year, there’s something especially appealing about them in winter — the way they help warm your house, the aromas, the melt-in-your-mouth textures and the flavorful cooking liquid that is the perfect accompaniment to bread.
Cider-Braised Turkey Thighs With Potatoes and Apple, above. Turkey doesn’t have to be limited to Thanksgiving meals, and it’s worth inquiring with your butcher to find some thighs. (In the Washington area, I got mine from Wegmans.) This braise is enticingly aromatic thanks to hard cider, garlic and herbs, all of which play well with the rich dark meat. My colleague Olga Massov uses cider in Instant Pot Pork Shoulder With Apple Cider, Rosemary and Sage, where the popular multicooker turns what could have been a weekend project into a weeknight meal.
Vegan Braised Collard Greens With Miso and Smoked Paprika. In his Thanksgiving menu, Aaron Hutcherson offered this umami-loaded side that also should be enjoyed outside of the holiday season. You can adjust the braising time depending on whether you prefer your greens completely tender or with a little bite.
Porcini Beef Pot Roast. Aaron uses umami to his advantage in this braised beef recipe, too, with dried mushrooms, tomato paste and red wine contributing to that savory goodness.
Red Wine-Braised Chicken Thighs With Root Vegetables. For another red wine braise, check out Ellie Krieger’s French-inspired dish that might make it hard for you to pick a favorite between the meat or vegetables.
Wine-Braised Chicken With Mushrooms. If your wine preferences skew white, then head right over to my take on a recipe that’s been a family favorite for generations. Come for the perfectly cooked chicken thighs and mushrooms, stay for the outstanding braising liquid you’ll want every last drop of.
Braised Red Cabbage Wedges. Firm vegetables are no match for braising, either. This side is a trifecta of colorful, flavorful and economical.
Butter-Braised Radishes and Radish Greens With Farro. Transform radishes from crisp to silken in less than 20 minutes on the stovetop. Farro and feta turn this into a full meal.
Braised Celery With Olives, Pine Nuts and Breadcrumbs. You may never again let celery wither away in your crisper drawer with this recipe in hand. Appreciate how odds and ends can turn celery into a showpiece.