What is thyme?
A modest-looking shrub with long thin sprigs of sprouting leaves. The sprigs and leaves can be used fresh, ground or dried. Just a teaspoon adds a pungent earthy flavour – but it’s not too overpowering, so it’s great for layering with other seasoning. Thyme is an aromatic herb, which means it’s used as much for its fragrant scent as its taste.
Where is thyme from?
Part of the mint family, thyme grows in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. The ancient Greeks loved it for its fragrant aroma and used it as incense.
How do I use thyme?
If it’s fresh thyme, you can use just the leaves, whole sprigs or chop it up. Dried thyme can be used during cooking so the flavour has time to infuse – think pasta sauces, soups and even baking – or sprinkled on top of dishes to give an instant flavour boost. Generally, 1 tsp dried thyme is equal to 1 tbsp (3 tsp) snipped fresh thyme.
What can I make with thyme?
It’s great for meat marinades and cracking in veggie traybakes. Feeling more adventurous? Use it to liven up grilled fish, homemade pizza, creamy risottos or even cocktails. Plus, it pairs amazingly with lemon and goes great with other Mediterranean herbs like oregano, parsley and rosemary.
How long does thyme keep for?
Fresh thyme lasts for up to a couple of weeks in the fridge, while the dried stuff lasts for two to three years when stored in a cool, dark cupboard. Make sure you keep the lid tightly closed when you’re not using it.
Words above taken from here
1 tbsp plain flour
2 large red onions, cut into wedges
16 shallots, peeled
2 bulbs of garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
15 g fresh thyme
200 g Chantenay carrots, trimmed
A little (sunflower) oil
1. Take the joint out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring it up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 230ºC, fan 210ºC, gas 8.
2. Weigh the beef to calculate the exact cooking time – for medium, cook for 15 minutes per 450g plus an extra 20 minutes; for well-done, cook for 20 minutes per 450g plus an extra 20 minutes.
3. Put the beef in a large roasting tin. Sift the flour and mustard together in a bowl, then use a tea-strainer or sieve to dust it over the fatty side of the joint. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
4. Roast the joint for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200ºC, fan 180ºC, gas 6 and cook for the remaining calculated cooking time. Baste the joint every 30 minutes with the pan juices.
5. An hour before the end of cooking time, put the onions, shallots and garlic in the roasting tin around the meat. Scatter over the sprigs of thyme, reserving a few sprigs for garnish. Toss the vegetables in the pan juices to coat; drizzle them with a little (sunflower) oil if necessary.
6. When the beef is cooked to your liking, transfer it and the roasted vegetables to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil. Let the meat rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the roasted onion, garlic and shallots, plus veggies and trimmings of your choice. Garnish with the reserved thyme.
Original recipe idea here
All the best Jan