After placing meat on a bed of veg and braising in a wine/stock mixture for a few hours, the carrots taste great, but they don't have a nice texture.

How do I harden the soft mushy carrots after a slow braise?

I don't think frying them would help, maybe broiling them?

I am not looking to "un-cook" the carrots, just change the texture. Like grilling pineapple would cause it to dry and become more rigid.

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    After braising, the only way I know to change the texture of a carrot would be to dehydrate it, but that would certainly not be the texture you are going for in a braise. Dehydrating would take several hours, and would result in more of a pliable texture. Sure, broiling or grilling might put a char of the exterior, but you are still going to have a mussy carrot interior. – moscafj Aug 2 '19 at 13:18
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    I don't even agree that grilling pineapple make it more rigid. In my experience they get softer and caramelized. – Zak Aug 2 '19 at 22:59
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    Freezing would harden them, but I don't think that is what you are after. – Ross Millikan Aug 3 '19 at 4:07
  • I found the other day if you fry sliced carrots for long enough they stop being (somewhat) mushy and become chewy. – Ross Ridge Aug 3 '19 at 15:19
  • Not an answer to your question, rather a suggestion for future success. Braise your meat on the bed of vegetables as you do now. After a length of time when the vegetables are done to your liking, remove them from the pan and let the meat finish cooking in the braising liquid. At that point you have the added flavor from the vegetables in the braising liquid and don't need to continue cooking them. – Cindy Aug 4 '19 at 19:42

Your only option is to cook them separately from the braise, then add them when plating. That way, you can maintain the consistency that you like. There is no way to firm them up after they've been cooked through. If you like the flavor that braised carrot adds, do both...some carrot in the braise, some carrot cooked as you like for serving.


The carrots can't be 'un-cooked' once they're cooked, so as moscafj says, cook some separately for serving.

Don't waste the cooked carrots, though - blend them into your sauce.
Best of both worlds.

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    I know I cannot "un-cook" them, but I want to change the texture by drying them out – seg Aug 2 '19 at 12:33
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    The cell walls are gone. Drying them out wouldn't restore their original texture. Best you could do would be make them harder & harder until they eventually became like the chunks you find in packet soup. – Tetsujin Aug 2 '19 at 12:41

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