Braising is when you cook meat first with dry heat and then finish by simmering that meat in a sauce. A perfect way of doing this is to sear meat in a pan first to get it nice and brown and then submerge it in a sauce and cook it for several hours at a low heat. This technique is especially well suited to pork but works well with any kind of meat.
A very basic but amazing example of a braising recipe is Mushroom soup pork chops. Sear pork chops ,that have been seasoned with seasoning salt and pepper, preferably in a cast iron frying pan. Set oven to somewhere between 300° and 350° depending on the time you have (3-6 hours at 300° and 1 hour at 350°). Once they are beautifully browned on each side place them into a roaster pan. You’re going to want 1 can of mushroom soup to every 3 or 4 pork chops. You can never have too much braising liquid but you can have too little. Open one can of soup and deglaze the frying pan with it making sure to scrape up all of that nice brown gravy the meat will have left behind. next simply pour the soup over the pork chops in the roaster. It is important the meat is completely or nearly completely covered by the sauce. You can add a few splashes of water but don’t add so much water that the sauce turns into soup. Remember that the meat will also release liquid into the sauce. If it looks like you need one more can of soup you can just stir it into the roaster the best you can. You don’t need to worry about lumps in fact you don’t even really need to stir it because it will melt into the sauce when exposed to heat.
It really is best to cook this at a lower heat for longer if you can. At 325° for 2-3 hours these pork chops will be so tender you will have a hard time picking them up with a fork because they will just fall apart.
This really is just the beginners intro to braising. Once you get comfortable with the basic idea the sky is the limit with the kind of sauces you can create. I love a tomato and orange sauce, a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple and vinegar and just a simple BBQ sauce braise.
This technique is why the slow cooker was invented so by all means use your slow cooker if you have the time. The only difference is that the sauce will brown in the oven but not in the slow cooker!