Braising consists of browning a food in hot fat, then simmering it in scant liquid in a covered pan. In most circumstances, the oven is preferable for this operation. First of all, top-of-the-stove braising has an inherent drawback. If the liquid in the pot boils, the food's texture and flavor will likely suffer. If the fluid medium is kept below the boiling point, then the part of the food resting in the liquid will cook significantly faster than the portion projecting above it. This uneven cooking occurs because insufficient steam is generated in the pot.
In contrast, the heat of an oven more uniformly engulfs the pot. And because the need to generate steam is not as crucial, you can cook the food at a slower pace and lower temperature, two conditions that are essential for braising a tough piece of meat. Oven braising has yet another advantage: It requires less pot watching.
** Asian Recipes