As some of you who are closely following may recall, I posted a very excited entry a couple of weeks ago about the arrival of a very treasured UPS delivery: my Professional Chef textbook! My plan was to read a chapter, then post what I learned on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Weeeeelll, after reading the first five chapters and realizing there wasn’t much I could really post on in those intro chapters, I finally stumbled upon something worth posting that I think you, reader, will find useful and interesting! In my first ever post chronicling my tacking of this giant textbook, I present to you: How to make a sachet d’Epices! A sachet d’Epices is just a fancy French name for a pouch made of cheesecloth containing herbs and spices of your choice, intended to infuse flavor into a broth without the “mess” of putting the spices directly into the broth or sauce. The flavor will be more subtle as well. Think of it as a light kiss of flavor rather than a full-blown punch in your taste buds. The following recipe is my recipe that I used to flavor the broth for a beef roast, but you can modify to whatever you are cooking, and get creative with it. You could add ginger, a cinnamon stick, mustard seed, carrot, etc. Play around and see what you can come up with! I tried quite a few sachets after reading this chapter, and I WILL say, some turned out amazing like the following recipe, and others, well, not so great. The trick is to experiment and see what works, and what doesn’t!
For this lesson, you will need:
Cheesecloth, cut into a 6” by 6” square
3 sprigs thyme
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp peppercorn
4 sprigs rosemary
This sachet will flavor up to a gallon of sauce or liquid, However, I used it in a half gallon of tomato sauce, and it infused a gorgeous, perfectly seasoned flavor to the sauce, so play around. You can either add less herbs/spices to your sachet, or add more sauce. Another trick is that once you taste and it is the desired flavor, simply remove the sachet from the sauce or stock so it does not get any stronger or more potent. Cooking is all about experimentation and having fun!
Place the various herbs and spices in a little pile in the center of your cut cheese cloth:
Once all of the herbs are in a neat little pile, pinch the two opposite corners of the cheesecloth together.
Repeat with the remaining two corners:
Now pinch in the excess sides, making a neat little bundle:
Finally tie off the sachet with a piece of kitchen string:
And Voila! You have just successfully made your very own sachet d’Epices! Another great thing about this is you can make one ahead of time, and just store in the fridge for up to 3 days before use. Stay tuned for more lessons (and missteps) as I journey through this giant book of culinary lessons! 🙂