A braiser is a wide, heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid. It has shallow sides that are usually sloped. The wider bottom allows you to sear a large cut of meat. The braisers heavy duty material, in this case, cast-iron with large oversized handles, can withstand oven use as well as high stove-top temperatures. Meats and vegetables are first seared (browned) at a high temperature on the stove-top. Once the food is sufficiently browned, a small amount of liquid is added, then the braiser is covered tightly with the lid. The food is then braised (steamed) in the oven at a low temperature. The tight fitting lid keeps the steam in the pan, tenderizing the meat and keeping it from drying out. The cast-iron retains heat so only low temperatures are required.
The beauty of the cast-iron braiser is its versatility. Simply take your meal directly to the table and serve. Your dinner has been gently cooked and a flavorful sauce created in your one pan.