Experimenting with herbs is a fun culinary experience. Although which herbs you prefer is a subjective choice, it’s undeniable that certain herbs taste better in certain combinations.
In this post, we have listed 4 herbs that we reckon taste fantastic with beef. Because beef is a rich and substantial meat, it tastes best with strong and savoury herbs that can hold their own in all sorts of beef dishes.
Do you use store-bought dried herbs?
These are more potent than fresh herbs, so you don’t need to use as much. According to Martha Stewart, you typically need three times the amount of fresh herbs as dry. So, for example, if a recipe asks for 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, you will only need 1 teaspoon of dried, since 3 teaspoons is equal to 1 tablespoon. In terms of storage, dried herbs should be kept out of the light and in a cool, dry place.
For the best taste possible, we recommend you start your own herb garden and pick them from there! To store your fresh-cut herbs, all you have to do is wrap them in a paper towel, put them in a resealable plastic bag and then keep them in the fridge. You can also dry the herbs yourself (check out these tips for more info).
Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb that is known for a woody fragrance and piney flavour that pairs beautifully with the (often heavy) flavour of beef dishes. Rosemary tastes great in all sorts of beef dishes, including stews and casseroles. It can also be rubbed into roasts, steaks and cuts of beef for the BBQ.
Rosemary tastes great fresh or dried, but homegrown rosemary always tastes better than what you would purchase from a grocery store.
Sage is an often-overlooked herb that has a fragrant aroma and a warm taste. Sage holds up well against the strong flavours in beef dishes, and tastes great in all sorts of recipes including stroganoff and stew. It also tastes fantastic when paired with garlic and/or other herbs and used as a steak or roast rub.
Both fresh and dried sage tastes great, so you can use either in your recipes!
Fresh basil is known for its aromatic appeal and fresh, bright and powerful flavour that pairs really well with rich beef dishes like stew and pasta. Although dried basil tastes great, we recommend that you use fresh basil when possible, as it adds a real lightness to the heaviness of beef recipes. For best results, add basil towards the end of the cooking time, otherwise the flavour will be dulled.
If you grow your own basil, it can be difficult to dry (as it becomes black and tasteless). So, instead of drying it like you would with other herbs, we recommend that you blend it with enough oil to make a slurry, and then place this mixture in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop them out and put them in a freezer bag.
Hey Presto! (Or, should we say, Hey Pesto!).
When it comes to herbs that pair fantastically with beef, thyme is a classic. Whether used fresh or dry, thyme rounds out the flavours and adds a touch of depth to beef dishes of all sorts, including stews and casseroles. Thyme also tastes great as a rub or herb crust on steak or roast beef.
Thyme comes in many varieties (chefs will often grow several varieties along a window sill) – lemon thyme has a particularly fresh and vibrant flavour.
So, there you have it. Have we missed your favourite herb? Let us know which ones are your favourite on our Facebook page!
The information in this post is adapted from The Spruce and Martha Stewart.
Want more beef flavour ideas? Check out our blog post about how to guarantee a delicious roast using beef rubs!