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I'm well aware of how well rosemary and lamb goes together, but apart from that I'm a bit clueless. Is there a web page or something out there which can tell me what meat goes well with what herb/spice?

If not, today I'm looking for what to use with my slow roasted pork (neck). Any ideas?

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Not a website (and I am not affiliated with Amazon or the authors), but the Flavor Bible can help with herbs and much more. I use if frequently in the kitchen. http://www.amazon.com/The-Flavor-Bible-Creativity-Imaginative/dp/0316118400

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The Flavour Thesaurus is a good alternative too. And it's secular. –  ElendilTheTall Mar 9 '13 at 16:11
    
I have the Flavour Bible and the Flavour Thesaurus, there's no comparison, for ease of reference and frankly more imformation the Flavour Bible is a much better book! –  ferdiesfoodlab Mar 9 '13 at 19:12
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This is totally my opinion and open to revision, but I find herbs & spices to have a number of notes to them, especially based on how they're grown or what part of the plant they're obtained from

  • Woody (Mostly leaves/bark from stemmy shrubs and trees: Rosemary, cinnamon, bayleaf)
  • Leafy aromatic (parsley, tarragon, dill, mint)
  • Leafy piquant (watercress, sorrel, fenugreek leaf)
  • Seedy piquant (Chilis, peppercorns, cardamon, cloves)
  • Bitter/camphorous (saffron, asefetida, turmeric)

Bitter/piquant herbs numb the tongue a bit and have digestive properties

And meat has a number of qualities to it too:

  • gamey (meat with a lot of blood in it: venison, rabbit)
  • fatty (meat with a lot of connective tissue/fat in it: oxtails, lamb shank, tongue)
  • light/lean (meat with a lot of moisture, lean, and little fat: chicken breast, pork loin)

Basically, the less fat the meat has, the more light and subtle the herbs should be. Gamier meats with unpleasant smells (like lamb shank, intestine, and pate) can take on really robust flavors from strong piquant herbs.

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Sage is the classic accompaniment to pork. Thyme is also excellent, as is garlic. Cut small slits all over the joint and stuff them with slithers of garlic and a sage leaf and you're golden. Sage and thyme also go very well with chicken.

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