I've been making braises and I'm intrigued by the different methods for thickening the sauce with flour. I've come across five strategies:
- Coating browned meat with flour and cooking the flour before adding browned vegetables and liquids.
- Coating the meat with flour before browning.
- Coating the vegetables with flour after browning and cooking the flour before adding the browned meat and liquids.
- For certain braises, Escoffier recommends mixing in roux before adding the liquids.
- Whisking in beurre manié before reducing the sauce. (I suppose that the flour cooks as the sauce reduces.) Some recipes use a slurry with cornstarch or other starch instead.
What are the relative merits of each approach? Are they interchangeable?