Make your own bouquet garni
What is it?
Bouquet garni = garnished bouquet
Think of a tea bag for herbs.
Except don’t make a cup of tea with it, use it in stews and sauces!
It’s a nice simple way to add flavour while your food is simmering away.
Technically, a bouquet garni always has parsley (or parsley stalks, which have lots of flavour) , thyme and bay leaf.
And you can also add exterior leaves of a leek.
But sometimes recipes add in other herbs so just go with the flow.
Why use a bouquet garni?
Fresh herbs can go all soggy and a horrible colour when left in for ages.
And dry herbs often float at the top so don’t look that great either.
A bouquet garni gives all these lovely herb flavourings and then it’s easy to remove.
Bouquet garni. Let’s wrap some herbs
You can buy pre-made bouquets garni’s.
But it’s super simple to make.
There’s the rustic version and the more pro- version.
Simply take your chosen fresh herbs and tie them up with some cooking string nice and tight and pop it in your dish.
You need butcher’s twine, cheesecloth and fresh herbs.
Place parsley, thyme and bay leaves (and some leek leaves) on a square cheesecloth (cut to size) and wrap tightly.
Tie butcher’s twine all around the bundle to keep everything in place.
For dried herbs, simply double layer the cheesecloth.
Is there a difference between bouquet garni & mirepoix?
I think it’s nice to know what a mirepoix is and how to use it in cooking.
A mirepoix is a mixture of aromatic vegetables that (usually) get thrown away at the end of the cooking process.
It’s another way to bring out flavour in a dish such as in stews, casseroles, soups.
Classically, a mirepoix includes onions, carrots, and celery stalks.
But some use onions, leeks, and carrots.
Bouquet garni uses herbs to help flavour a dish.
Mirepoix (usually) is strained out after cooking
But a bouquet garni just gets pulled out at the end.
‘Bouquet garni-schmouquet garni’
So there you go, it’s not complicated.
But sometimes it’s nice to know what these cooking terms mean and how to use them and how to make your own.
Have you got any other French cooking terms you’d like explained? Leave a comment.