A braising pot is a heavy slow cooker without a plug: In go tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, such as beefy short ribs or bone-in chicken thighs, and out come melt-in-your-mouth treats—after a long simmer. Few other cooking methods achieve this type of total transformation.
For longer braises, add quicker-cooking ingredients like vegetables in stages so they don't turn to mush over time. Serve this deliciously rich beef over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Leftover brisket makes tasty sandwiches.
Serve this East-meets-West pulled pork on hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls with shaved cucumber and carrot ribbons tossed with rice vinegar. Or stuff it into tortillas for Asian-style tacos with matchstick-cut cucumber and carrot.