Sunday, 19 October 2014

How to make a bouquet garni - Megan trick

I spent years of my life painstakingly stripping tiny thyme leaves off tiny fragile thyme stalks, flimsy wee oregano leaves off flimsy tearable oregano stalks, stripping and chopping rosemary... No. A real bouquet garni is a muslin bag in which you pop all your herbs. I believe there is a world in which people have muslin and sew little muslin bags, but I don't live in that world. I HAVE STRING!

Pick / assemble all your woody herbs. For the record, woody herbs are thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, bay leaves - anything you wouldn't tear off and eat. The other kind of herbs are coriander, basil, tarragon, mint - the soft flimsy kind. Woody herbs cook with a dish; the other kind get added at the end.

Find string.

Tie all the herbs together - wrap the string around several times, to keep all the twiggy bits in order or they might come loose in your dish. It doesn't bother me that I'm also putting in actual wood, because I'll just pull it out again.

This method works for anything with plenty of liquid and a decent cook-time (30 minutes or more) - soup, stew, bolognese, etc. At the end, just take it out.

It has done its work.

This is so easy it barely deserves its own post, but this way I can put the picture on the side, reassure anyone who's not sure how to tie herbs up with string, and change your life, or at least that part of it that previously comprised painstakingly stripping tiny little herb leaves off stalks.

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