We've been back from the farm for a few days and it recently came to my attention that the four teenage boys I took with me and the farmer's daughter had spent a considerable amount of time in the barn.. um.. ahem.. um.. (the farmer owns guns...) after some investigative work I found out exactly what was going on in that barn...
A great way to add flavor to your stews, soups and braised meals is to add an herb garni (packet). Using this method of packaging your fresh herbs infuses your stocks, gravies and bouillons with flavor while eliminating the need to strain the liquid before using. Try it this holiday season and prepare to be wowed.
Assorted fresh herbs.
In this packet I've used garlic cloves, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme.
Leave the herbs whole - no need to chop, although you should remove the papery covering on garlic if you are using it.
Wrap the herbs in cheese cloth and tie securely. Keep the wrap thin and don't tie too tight.
I dropped the packet in a roasting pan with a mixture of 1/2 beef broth and 1/2 red wine, added a lovely 3 pound leg of lamb, covered the whole thing, popped in the oven at 375 degrees and voila - 2 1/2 hours later had a meal worth remembering. I simply removed the herb packet, boiled down the broth to 1/2 of its volume and thickened with some corn starch mixed in a little more red wine for a rich, fragrant sauce. If you want to add some extra richness, swirl in a tablespoon or two of butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve sauce on the side.
A Cook's Notes: Don't be shy - click on the link and go Elf yourself, family and friends. It's free and great fun!! Let me know if you do Elf yourself AND send me your Elf links - the BEST will receive a special holiday gift courtesy - THE GOOD COOK AND WINDSWEPT FARM
Suggested herb garni combinations:
Sage, rosemary and thyme (Simon and Garfunkel combo - poultry, beef)
Garlic, lemon slices, thyme - poached fish, lamb
Sage, thyme, lemon slices - turkey, chicken
Garlic, rosemary, thyme - pot roast
Thyme, orange slices, cloves - duck, goose