Braising is not for the impatient. These recipes for tender, slow-simmered meats—brightened with unexpected flavors—are worth the wait.

While some chefs blast food in the searing heat of a brick oven or on a hyperpowered 40,000-BTU grill, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, of Jean Georges in New York City and a dozen other restaurants around the world, uses such low heat that the wine in his chicken stew doesn't so much as break a bubble. Vongerichten's mother, who gave him the recipe, also passed down an appreciation for braising: browning meat and then slowly cooking it, covered, in wine, water, broth, tomatoes, even cream. Although he keeps temperatures low, Vongerichten has his own love for heat—adding Szechwan peppercorns and crushed red pepper to veal shanks, for instance, and Thai chiles to an onion topping for brisket.
—Jane Sigal