Mirepoix (pronounced meer-pwah) is the classic French combination of aromatic vegetables, but other cuisines around the world have their own slight variations on the idea of chopped aromatics and vegetables to create a foundation for other recipes. All these terms refer to the basis of so many savoury dishes.
Chop the carrot, onion, and celery. In general, the finer you chop the veggies, the quicker the aroma and flavours will be released.
Cook your vegetables
Heat olive oil to medium in a large pan or Dutch oven.
Add onions, carrots and celery to the pan. Reduce heat to low or medium-low heat and Sauteé for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, adjusting heat to keep them from browning until soft and translucent.
Add minced garlic and continue to cook until fragrant.
If you want, stir in wine, your favourite herbs and seasonings, salt, and pepper to taste.
When your Mirepoix is ready, you’ll have a foundation you can build on with the other ingredients that will flavour your stock or sauce, including stock, herbs, other vegetables, and proteins.
What size should I chop my vegetables?
Be sure to cut the vegetables relatively uniform in size. The finer you chop the veggies, the quicker the aroma and flavours will be released. The shorter the cooking time of the ultimate dish, the smaller size the pieces should be. For longer times, they can be cut into larger pieces.As a general guideline:
For sautéed recipes - Use a smaller size - 6-13 mm (¼-inch to ½-inch)
For soups and stews - medium size - 13-25 mm (½-inch to 1-inch)
For stock, broth, or blended soups - large - 25-51 mm (1-2 inches)
Regardless of the size you choose, it is important to chop everything approximately the same size so that your vegetables cook evenly.
What comes first, the meat or the vegetables?
Proper cooking orders can be super confusing. Should I cook the vegetables and meat separately or together? If you are making a meat dish, it is customary to sear the meat first and then use that fat for cooking the onion, carrots, and celery.Searing the meat first is especially important in stew, roasts, or curries that include beef, pork, or chicken thighs as it creates extra flavour.
Can you use other ingredients?
Of course! For example, if you don’t want the Mirepoix to colour your final dish, you could use parsnips instead of carrots or button mushrooms.You could also add a bouquet garni for some added flavour. A bouquet garni is just a little bundle of herbs that you cook along with the other vegetables. It makes it really handy to remove the herbs before serving.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you can freeze uncooked Mirepoix. However, onions and celery do not freeze well. Once thawed, they are mushy and somewhat unappealing. For best results, I recommend using this in soups and stews cooked for a long time or blended, where the texture does not need to be chunky.If you use the trio of vegetables frequently, it might be a smart time-saving move. Just follow a series of simple steps:
Dice your carrots, onions, and celery. Make a big batch to store in individual freezer bags.
Divide the mixture into one cup portions, as this is a good amount for most recipes.
Transfer the frozen veggies to freezer-safe bags labelled with the date.
Freeze up to six months. For best quality, they should be used up within two months.
Thaw the mirepoix overnight in the fridge, or cook from frozen with olive oil or butter.
What types of dishes can you use Mirepoix in?
You can use Mirepoix in lots of different recipes! Usually, it forms the base of soups, stews, sauces, braises, and casseroles. Chicken noodle soup is a classic that utilizes this trio of vegetables.Or you can add tomato paste and prepare this delicious Pinçage.