Help with herbs falling apart in stew

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by riffwraith, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. riffwraith

    riffwraith

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    Hi :)

    I make a stew, which is basically sauté onions, throw in fresh garlic and ginger, spices, water, and then lentils, potatoes (red and sweet), turnip, parsnip and carrot.

    I have tried throwing in some fresh thyme and rosemary, but the sprigs fall apart, and picking out the little pieces is a PITA.

    Any suggestions on what to do? Other than don't use fresh thyme and rosemary!
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Large teaball.
     
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  3. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Tea ball or tie string around the herbs.

    ALWAYS use fresh thyme and rosemary!
     
  4. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    You can do two things here, actually three.....

    1) Create a Bouquet Garni as @phatch and @brianshaw suggested (that's the easiest);
    or
    2) Leaf the thyme and the rosemary from their stalks and gently crush them with a mortar and pestle with a teaspoon or two of olive oil, depending on the amount of herbs. Sometimes, I will do this with a splash or two of white wine. This helps release the oils from the herbs and they will become very aromatic;
    or
    3) If you don't have a mortar and pestle, leaf the thyme and rosemary and crush the leaves in your hands and then add them to the stew.

    Good luck. :)
     
  5. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    You should use sachet. It's bouquet garni wrapped in cheesecloth.
     
  6. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    With thyme, I just strip the leaves off of the stem and toss them in. For rosemary, I strip the leaves off of the steam, give in a quick chop (doesn't need to be fine) and toss them in.
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I do that a lot too. Just the OP struck me as finding that fussy.
     
  8. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I'm a neanderthal about these things. Throw in either/both stripped small thyme sprigs or whole large ones that strip themselves in the stew and are easy to fish out. Rosemary becomes like any other vegetable here, completely soft and edible. So I've never bothered to sachet herbs, the thought just repulses the neanderthal in me. Likewise I don't strain the liquid for a bourguignon either.
     
  9. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    This is a problem? I do tie them together and fish out the stems but that's it. The soft stemmed things like parsley, dill, and cilantro keep their leaves. The leaves of the woody-stemmed herbs fall off into the braise or the released fat. Other than bay leaves, it's never occurred to me that I should pick them out.
     
  10. The Nosey Chef

    The Nosey Chef

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    If you are using the right herbs, this should not be a problem. Fresh thyme, bay and parsley stalks tied in a bundle with string is the classic bouquet garnie. You can wrap it in muslin if worried, but they never fall apart on me. Rosemary will always shed its leaves, so you just need to know that and understand that the best way to handle rosemary is to either go with that (as in a cacciatore) or pick and chop it so it it not an issue (as in a risotto).
     
  11. riffwraith

    riffwraith

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    Always! :cool:

    Thanks for the replies. I tried tying the herbs with string, but leaves still fall off :/

    You mean like this:



    Those are kinda small - I don't see bigger ones. Any suggestions?
     
  12. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    You can get them in 4.5 inch diameter. Chinese grocers often carry these large sizes.

     
  13. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    The leaves are supposed to fall off. :)

    For rosemary you can add in the last 10 minutes and get the flavor without the leaves.
     
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  14. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't understand why you have a problem with the leaves falling off. They are completely edible, and the thyme leaves are so small that they are hardly noticeable. Even the rosemary leaves, if fresh, are completely edible, soft, and are not very noticeable either. Nor, after being cooked for so long, are either herb that powerful in flavor that if you ate its taste would be overpowering.
     
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  15. riffwraith

    riffwraith

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    Well, in my defense, it only takes 10 min to cook. ;)

    I don't understand why you have a problem with the leaves falling off.

    B/c they are not really edible (I know you said they are), and I do not like the taste - just the flavor imparted.

    Not sure why my link didn't show up in my last post :/

    Will check my local Chinese grocer - thanks!
     
  16. Jin

    Jin

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    Some cheese cloth would do you justice:)