5@5 - Chef Josh Thomsen
December 28th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Winter is here - and with a downright vendetta for us New York-based editors. When we're not swathed in our CNN Snuggies, spooning with the radiator and dousing our faces with hot cocoa, we're keeping warm by filling our bellies with steaming stews, soups and braised meats.

Just in case you needed any more reasons - other than sheer blizzard survival - to slowly cook slabs of meat to fall-off-the-bone tenderness, chef Josh Thomsen is here to spread the braising doctrine. Thomsen is a protégé of Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry and Michael Mina’s Nobhill Tavern, is now the executive chef of Meritage at the Claremont, an AAA Four-Diamond hotel in Berkeley, California.

Reasons to Braise This Winter: Josh Thomsen

1. Braising is easy
"Once you sear the meat, everything goes in one pot and it cooks over low heat for hours. There’s a 'set it and forget it' mentality to braising that you can’t get with other methods of cooking. We’re not laboring hours over a loaf of bread or standing over a pot of risotto stirring it and watching it cook - we’re combining all kinds of ingredients into one pot building flavors and allowing it cook."

2. It allows someone to create a great meal with a less expensive cut of protein.
"The transformation that happens to a tough cut of meat as it cooks long and gently is, to me, a fundamental pleasure of cooking. It also reflects the craft and care of the cook. The slow cook process of braising really allows the tendons to break down so it’s easier to eat. We’ve been serving up pork belly and beef short ribs at my restaurant, Meritage at the Claremont, since we opened. We also butter braise lobsters as well as leeks, salsify, artichokes, fennel and onions. With the addition of stock, wine, vegetable and herbs, braising carries so much flavor and doesn’t dry out."

3. Less clean up!
"Braising is done in one pot - no sauté pans, no mixing bowls. Just one pot to cook and clean."

4. Easy for any chef
"The most convenient thing about braising is that you can’t really mess it up. There’s no way to overcook it. You just let it slow cook for hours."

5. Winter = Braising
"If there ever was a season and a reason to braise, it is now. The cold, windy days and dark, chilly nights are perfect for a slow-cooked, warm, hearty and satisfying one-pot meal."

Braised short ribs? Slow-cooked pork shoulder? What's your favorite winter weather dish? Share in the comments below.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. amanda

    Chef Josh's recipe was perfect! My family loved it..

    January 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  2. Andi

    BALTHAZAR'S BRAISED RIB RECIPE. The best. google it.

    December 31, 2010 at 12:04 am | Reply
  3. The Witty One

    I just went back and read the article....I am a horrible cook but I like the "set it and forget it" idea of cooking!

    I am also an infomercial junky and Ron Popeil is my hero.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:39 am | Reply
  4. Claremont IT

    For those who want a direct link his website is http://www.JoshThomsen.com

    December 29, 2010 at 1:01 am | Reply
  5. Claremont IT

    Here's the real link to the short rib recipe mentioned above. http://joshthomsen.com/JT_Recipes/?cat=7
    I started working with this chef a few months ago. I have to say I have never tasted anything better 'foods' than what he creates.
    I highly reccomending visiting his website and taking notes of everything he suggests and his recipes.

    December 29, 2010 at 12:44 am | Reply
    • Nancy B

      Thank you for the link(s) – makes for a much better post read experience to have all the information :-).

      December 29, 2010 at 1:11 am | Reply
  6. oldguy

    I must say that the beginning of this commentary was amazingly dominated by what appears to have been the most complex case of multiplpe personalities I have ever witnessed outside of this particular blog, where these and others of this person's personalities have carried on earlier and equaly skilled conversatioins within itself.

    December 29, 2010 at 12:19 am | Reply
    • oldguy

      – multiple - or to carry the typo further: multipeople...

      December 29, 2010 at 12:25 am | Reply
  7. Joe Blow

    These braised short ribs are very tasty. Serve over some nice buttery mashed potatoes.
    http://food.chatelaine.com/Recipes/View/Country_Cabernet_short_ribs

    December 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  8. woodekc

    Linky:

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Wonderful-Short-Ribs/Detail.aspx

    December 28, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  9. woodekc

    "Wonderful Braised Beef short ribs" recipe on- All Recipes dot com is Phenomenal. Add yellow rice on the side and WOW!!!!

    December 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  10. Sean

    I figured I could atleast send the link to the recipe I mentioned above...
    http://recipes.menshealth.com/Recipe/guinness-braised-short-ribs.aspx

    December 28, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  11. Sean

    I just made guinness braised short ribs the other night...perfect for a cold winter night.

    December 28, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  12. Lisa

    What do any of your comments have to do with cooking?

    December 28, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  13. StlNell

    Ok.....ummmmmm... I actually have a comment on this story so I hope the writers/editors actually read it. It would be nice to have a link to some good braised recipes. I don't even know all of the meats that can/can't be braised, now that I am inspired to try it!

    December 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Reply
    • Kat Kinsman

      Braising recipes? Your wish - our command. We'll get some up!

      December 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Reply
      • jillmarie

        Please include some braised vegetable dishes- I'd love some new ideas on veggie side dishes!

        December 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  14. Tazer@Guitar Hero, TLANG

    Please, join us at the Klatsch tomorrow! The more the merrier!

    I say tomorrow as I believe I am the last (wo)man standing tonight!

    December 28, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  15. TLANG

    Every day I log on here just to read all of your comments, better stuff than the article most of the time!

    December 28, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Reply
    • Dover

      It is the same stuff, word for word, every day.

      December 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  16. guitar hero

    i just spent half my day reading all of this stuff and all i can say is, YOUR ALL CRAZY. Can i play?

    December 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • Dover

      You need to have your IQ removed first.

      December 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  17. The Witty One@QOE

    Cause I have to carry you on my shoulder! I'm not good at multi-tasking

    December 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  18. Queen of Everything@All

    And now I would like everyone to join me in the singing the chorus from "We Are The Champions". I would also like Rich, Truth, Dave and TWO to carry me around the lounge on their shoulders while we sing. Ready...
    We are the champions, my friends
    And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end...

    Why do I feel that not everyone is singing?

    December 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • MicheleG

      I'm PROUD of you but I can't carry a tune in a paper bag!

      December 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Reply
    • RichardHead@Queen

      Ummmm-Queen-What did YOU have for lunch?

      December 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Reply
      • Queen of Everything@RH

        Richard, I chose all 4 of you as a Queen can not be carried by just any man. She must be carried by only the best. I didn't want to make the others feel left out by just picking you. BTW, don't think I don't know that's a crack about my weight.

        December 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Reply
      • Dave the 1st@QoE

        Um, I think I'll pass, threw my back out the other day, and, well, you know, wouldn't want to do any more damage and all...
        (Quick, witt, there's the door!!!)

        December 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • Dave the 1st@QoE

        Witt? Witt?
        Damn, He's already out the door...
        Hey, Witt, Wait for meeee....

        December 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
    • Truth@Queen

      Your highness, I will even rub the royal feet later if you should so beckon...

      December 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • Queen of Everything@Truth

        Well, it's nice to know there is one gentlemen in this group of clods. Dave is soooo losing his jester privleges.

        December 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Reply
      • Dave the 1st

        Now wait just a minute, I'm your jester, my job is to make you laugh, not cause permenant, dibilitating injuries. that's those other guy's jobs!!!

        December 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  19. Truth

    NOT hitting that...

    December 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  20. RichardHead

    Ohhhh Hell NOOOOOO!

    December 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  21. Dave the 1st

    Thought I had that one....

    December 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  22. Queen of Everything@All

    I WON!!!!!!! Take that suckers!!!!!!!

    December 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • MicheleG

      You GO Girl!

      December 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • The Witty One@QOE

      Well played!

      December 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Reply
      • Dover

        Well played.

        December 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Reply
    • MicheleG

      I am honored to come in second to you!

      December 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • Queen of Everything@MG

        Thanks much! I'll have to remember your "ping" for next time. I wouldn't really 'hit it' if given the opportunity. Michael Psilakis on the other hand...

        December 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Reply
      • MicheleG

        My Ping is your Ping! ANYtiime!

        December 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  23. Dave the 1st

    Not hittin that

    December 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • Dover

      There's an original comment.....oh, wait a minute, no it isn't.

      December 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  24. MicheleG

    Ping

    December 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  25. Queen of Everything@RH

    I'd hit it!!

    December 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • Truth@Queen

      Well played your highness...!

      December 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Reply
      • Queen of Everything@Truth

        Thank you! I screeched a little when I did it and one of my co-workers came to check on me. I told her I thought I saw a mouse.

        December 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Reply
      • Truth@Queen

        My admin assistant has heard me on occasion as well. I thought my head was going to explode during our little joke-fest earlier. Hard to keep from laughing at stuff that funny...

        December 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • RichardHead@Queen

      Was there EVER a doubt? Well played my dear!

      December 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Reply
      • Queen of Everything@RH

        I learned from the best and by that I mean JDizz. See there I go again. Bad Queen, bad Queen.

        December 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • Dover

      How original. Same gripping comment every day. I am always at the edge of my seat wondering what you guys are going to come up with next, all the while, masturbating all over each other. I would say at least it was funny once but I'd be lying. You probably all have the comments on a Word doc and just copy and paste the same unimaginative drivel like fucking robots.

      December 28, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Reply

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