Best Herbs to Season Meat These Holidays!

herbs to season meat Best Herbs to Season Meat These Holidays! janeskitchenmiracles.com

You know it from the first mouthful when meat has not been seasoned correctly. It’s so much easier to tell you’ve gone wrong adding herbs to a dish, than getting it right in the first place. However, there are some simple suggestions of what herbs go best with which type of meat. We’ll give you some suggestions on the herbs that enhance the flavor of regular dishes made with beef, pork or poultry, and also some more exotic meats such as game.

Fresh or Dried

Not everyone has access to a kitchen garden, where fresh herbs can be grown all year around. So most of us have to rely on using dried herbs from the supermarket in our cooking, and supplement them with maybe one or two of our favorites we can buy fresh or grow in our garden or even a window sill. Dried herbs will impart the same flavor as fresh, but should be used differently.

When to use herbs

herbs to season meat

Dried herbs flavor best when added early during the cooking process. The idea is to allow the seasoning to infuse into the meat and enhance its flavor. Adding dried herbs too late into a cook can give a dusty taste to the meal. It’s best to add the dried herbs just before any extra liquid to allow them to simmer in the pot. On the other hand, fresh herbs should be added later to the cooking, as they can give a flavor enhancement to finish a dish. This makes sure the fresh herbs are not overcooked, and they impart the fullest flavor to the meat you are cooking. As a rule of thumb, if you are cooking something quickly it is often better to use fresh herbs rather than dried, as the fresh are able to infuse their flavor into the meat so much quicker.

Keeping herbs

If you don’t use your dried herbs regularly, and even if they are kept in a sealed jar, over time they can lose their fragrance. If you open a jar of dried herbs and cannot smell the aroma, then its time to throw them out and buy some new. It’s also worthwhile remembering that not all herbs store in the same way. Herbs such as rosemary, oregano, and thyme, which grow on a thick stalk, and are sometimes referred to as woody herbs, generally keep better when dried. However, the softer stemmed herbs such as chives or basil do not keep so well in their dried form. It’s often better to buy these fresh from the supermarket rather than get a mediocre flavor from the dried variety.

Quantities

As you will probably realize, the quantities of dried or fresh herbs you need to use are not the same. There is some debate on how different these quantities should be. Some chefs say you need to use one and a half times the amount of fresh herbs compared to dried. Others suggest the ratio should be much larger you should use three times as much fresh as compared to dried. As with all seasonings its a matter of taste, and it is better to put in less so you can always add more than to over power a dish with herbs all in one go.

What Herbs go with what meat?

Chicken & Veal

Bay leaves – With a distinctive flavor and fragrance, bay leaves can be added to casseroles and removed before eating.
Chives – Provides a subtle onion-garlic flavor.
Garlic – Classic flavor of Mediterranean and European cooking.
Oregano – An aromatic herb found in Italian cooking and is often used to season pizzas.
Parsley – Often used as a garnish to enhance the flavor of a dish as it has a strong flavor.
Rosemary – Unmistakable aromatic flavor of Mediterranean cuisine.
Sage – With a savory, peppery flavor it is often used in traditional British dishes
Tarragon – With an aromatic flavor similar to anise, tarragon is used widely around the world.
Thyme – Aromatic herb dating back to Ancient Egypt and Greece, often used as part of a bouquet garni.

Lamb

Basil – Multi-faceted herb best used fresh, and a staple of Middle Eastern cooking.cooked veal
Garlic
Marjoram – Adds sweet pine and citrus flavors.
Mint – Aromatic flavor with a cool aftertaste, often used as to accompany roast lamb.
Oregano
Rosemary
Sage
Tarragon
Thyme

Pork

Basil
Bay Leaves
Dill – Strong aromatic flavor, and popularly mixed with chives and parsley in Eastern European and Eurasian cooking.
Garlic
Lemon Verbena – A South American herb now grown around the world that imparts a lemon flavor to food.
Marjorampork
Oregano
Rosemary
Sage
Tarragon
Thyme

Beef

Basil
Bay Leaves
Chives
Garlic
Marjoram
Oregano
Rosemary
Tarragon
Thyme
Game

Duck

Chervil – Similar to parsley but has a more subtle flavor
Coriander
Majoram
Rosemary
Sage
Tarragon
Thyme

Goose

Bay Leaf
Coriander
Garlic
Sage
Thyme

Pheasant

Bay Leaf
Garlic
Lemon Grass – Widely used in Asian cooking the herb gives a subtle lemon flavor.
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme

Partridge, Quail & Grouse:

Bay Leaf
Coriander
Garlic
Mint
Parsley
Sage
Thyme

Deer/Venison:

Coriandercooked deer
Dill
Garlic
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Thyme

Wild boar:

Coriander
Garlic
Tarragon

Rabbit/Hare:rabbit

Bouquet garni
Garlic
Parsley
Rosemary
Tarragon
Thyme

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