How do you make a bouquet garni and what do you use it for? This little fresh herb packet is all part of the flavor building game for soups, stews, stocks and more.
A bouquet garni is literally a bunch (or bouquet) of fresh herbs and spices wrapped in a piece of cheesecloth and tied with twine to make into a little purse or bag.
Used as a flavoring for soups, stews, stocks, and roasts, bouquet garnis are used for recipe you want to add fresh herbs and/or spices for flavor but don’t want to fish the spent herbs out of the finished dish one by one once the cooking is done. These herb purses keep your spices all in one place and can be added to a recipe whole so no extra work of chopping, mincing, or grating involved.
It’s really as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4 :).
Here’s how to make a bouquet garni.
What You Need to Make a Bouquet Garni
Making a bouquet garni is simple and requires just four things:
- Cheesecloth or muslin. I use a thin gauzey cheesecloth from the grocery store that I’ve actually had in my drawer for over 10 years. A little goes a long way in the kitchen.
- Kitchen twine. I use my twine for tying up chicken legs in my roast chickens so the legs don’t dry out, as part of tying together earthy napkin settings, and for making herb bouquets.
- A pair of kitchen shears. These are my favorite kitchen shears and one of the most useful kitchen gadgets I own. I use them just about every single day.
- Your favorite fresh herbs and spices.
If you aren’t using loose spices like peppercorns, you can skip the cheesecloth and simply tie your herbs together with twine.
Herbs and Spices in Bouquet Garni
There are no strict or hardfast rules of what to put in your own bouquet garni, simply choose whatever you don’t want floating around in your recipe. Typically choose hardier herbs that won’t wilt and melt into the soup or stew after a long braise or cooking time.
Popular herbs and spice choices are:
- bay leaves
- parsley stalks
- peppercorns of any color
- garlic cloves
How to Make a Bouquet Garni
- To assemble, cut a piece of cheesecloth or muslin in a square to make your package. If using loose herbs or spices like peppercorns, you may want to double up the cheesecloth depending on how thick the fabric so they don’t fall out.
- Gather your herbs and group tightly together in the cheesecloth.
- Cut a piece of string and wrap around the top a few times then tie in a bow or knot.
- Add to your recipe and discard after cooking.
Can You Freeze Bouquet Garni?
Fresh herbs taste best fresh, but if you must, you can freeze the assembled bouquets wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in a freezer bag for up to 2 months.
Recipes to Use a Bouquet Garni In
- The Best French Onion Soup
- How to Make the Best Chicken Stock
- Easy Homemade Beef Broth Stock
- Butternut Squash Beef Stew (Instant Pot or Stove Top)
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