Thursday, 23 July 2009

Tarragon Vinegar

If you have Tarragon growing in the garden now is the time to preserve it for the winter months.

Tarragon is a lovely green herb with the most wonderful aniseed flavour that goes wonderfully with fish and chicken. It is very simple to make, most of the work goes into gathering your items together and there are not many of them.

Ever since I discovered this wonderful herb I have loved it and started growing my own and every summer without fail I make a batch of this vinegar for use in the winter months.

I always use a Kilner type preserving jar of sorts to steep the tarragon in the vinegar and only bottle some off every so often. If you find a pretty bottle it can be decanted into this to present to a friend as part of a goodie hamper for Christmas.  Makes a useful filler for a Christmas hamper that does not cost the earth but the vinegar certainly lifts whatever it is added to.

There are two types of Tarragon. I only use the French Tarragon not the Russian which does not impart as deep a flavour and is rather insipid by comparison.


A good bunch of Fresh Tarragon
2 pints of white wine vinegar

Wash the tarragon and leave to drain in a colander for a few minutes. To help release the flavour from the herb run the blade of a knife down the stem to help bruise the leaves and release the lovely aromatic smell.

Pop into your glass preserving jar and pour over the wine vinegar. Put on the lid and allow to macerate for at least a couple of months. You can actually put a fresh sprig of herb into individual bottles and then top up with vinegar, however I tend to use the preserving jar method for maceration and then if bottling I drain everything off and put a fresh sprig of the herb in individual bottles but this is more for decorative/presentation purposes.

A splash of Tarragon vinegar can be added to gravy to lift it and add a bit more flavour, you can use in Tartare sauce, any chicken dishes, as a dressing for salad in its own right, as the basis for a salad dressing and home made Mayonnaise. I use it in home-made Prawn Cocktail/Marie Rose sauce as just a dash of this always helps lift the sauce that bit more. I also use the occasional splash in gravy for chicken and for Pork.  The flavour goes well with both.

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