Advice on bouquet garni?
I'm getting ready to make cassoulet, and am looking for advice on the bouquet garni portion. In the past, I was lazy and just through in Herbs de provence. Should I go to the trouble of using bouquet garni? If so, what ingredients do you normally use? Do you usually use cheese cloth or tie it up with string? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
If I'm using fresh sprigs then I just tie them up. For instance Thyme, Rosemary and Bayleaf. If I don't have fresh herbs or only chopped herbs then I make apouch with cheesecloth and tie it off.
The flavors of fresh are hands down the best,,, Cheesecloth is a good way to get the flavor and avoid the sticks (lol) tie some string on it so its easier to remove when dish is complete
I agree w/chef24 that fresh is better, but if you don't have it on hand, dried works well, since it will be simmering for a while. I have also used a Tea ball strainer (the kind you put loose tea in) when I don't have the actual sprigs or stems.
For cassoulet, I would use thyme, bay leaf, marjoram & a young rosemary sprig - if it's older, it may overpower.
i prefer to use the fresh tie up version. i take the bay leaf and any other 'hard' herb and wrap around it the 'flexible' herbs and then tie it with cotton. i get less breakup that way