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Best Mirepoix Recipes

Best Mirepoix Recipes

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Top Rated Mirepoix Recipes

A traditional Provençal dish, this recipe braises artichoke hearts up until the point of perfect tenderness. Garnishes like crunchy radishes and fresh herbs add textured and bright finish.

Grandma’s carcass soup — that says it all. Take your extra turkey meat, simmer it in chicken stock, add diced mirepoix, fresh herbs, and then finish it off with cooked rice. The recipe is hers, but not the Thanksgiving turkey, so keep that to yourself.

Suppengruen - Carrots, Onions and Celery

Americans like to borrow foreign words. We use "pediatrician" instead of saying "children's doctor" or "mirepoix" instead of "recipe starters". The Germans are more down-to-earth. Their mirepoix is called "Suppengrün" (soup greens). It is usually purchased in a bundle and consists of a leek, a carrot and a piece of celery. It may also contain parsley, thyme, celery leaves, rutabaga, parsley root, and onions. The mix depends on the region you live, and the recipe. The vegetables are cold climate roots and bulbs with long shelf lives, good reasons for being chosen for the German kitchen. German "Suppengrün" act as herbs and impart hearty, strong flavors to the soup or sauce, which makes them perfect foils for other strong tasting ingredients such as dried ​peas and beans or pot roast.

This Is Exactly What a Mirepoix Is, According to a Chef

There's a chance you might've seen mirepoix listed on a recipe you were attempting to cook up and your first thought was, well, what is that? Pronounced meer-PWAH, the sauté is not only the name of a small medieval town in the Southwest region of France, but it's also the name of an aromatic flavor base commonly used in French cooking. The word mirepoix is the namesake of—take a deep breath before you say this name aloud—the Duke Charles-Pierre-Gaston François de Lévis, duc de Lévis-Mirepoix, a French aristocrat. The cook for this 18th-century aristocrat is supposedly the person who is credited with creating this staple of French cuisine.

We spoke with chef de cuisine at Fairway Market and Fairway Café and Steakhouse, Vincent Olivieri, to get more insight so you can learn everything you need to know about mirepoix.

What exactly is a mirepoix?

According to Chef Olivieri, mirepoix is known as a foundation or a base. He even describes it as, "a combination of ingredients found in almost every chef's repertoire. It sets the stage for good things to come."

The mixture consists of just three vegetables: carrots, celery, and onion. Does that mix sound familiar? Olivieri says that it's a classic combination found in most stews, soups, and even sauces.

How do you make mirepoix?

"Prepping your mirepoix is easy. Peel your onions and carrots, clean your celery, and pay specific attention to how large or small to cut, depending on the recipe," says Olivieri.

You can then incorporate your mirepoix into a creamy potato curry dish or even jazz up a jarred pasta sauce with it. Another option would be to sauté the diced vegetables as-is, or toss them into a pot of stock.

Any other tips?

Olivieri reiterates that it's important to identify how big or small the recipe calls for you to dice the vegetables.

"For chicken soup, you'll want to go big so that all those veggies stay intact," he says. "For a slow braise like osso bucco or bolognese, I like to go small [with] a Brunoise (small dice), so that the vegetables almost completely disintegrate, becoming one with the sauce."

Olivieri also says that fresh thyme is the herb to add to mirepoix, so if you have any on hand, be sure to sprinkle a pinch or two into whatever dish you decide to add the diced vegetables in. So there you have it: all the facts on what exactly a mirepoix is.

RELATED: Your guide to the anti-inflammatory diet that heals your gut, slows the signs of aging, and helps you lose weight.

This vegan and gluten-free soup is packed with veggies and spices for a savory, filling meal. It gets bonus points because it can be made in an Instant Pot.

This recipe has double the mirepoix for double the fun (because chopped veggies are now what I consider “fun,” thanks quarantine). The first mirepoix is diced and used as a base to thicken the soup, the second is chopped in larger pieces and added in near the end so they’re cooked al dente.

Now, learn seven creative ways to use chickpeas, from dinner to dessert. And these are the two foods you should never buy frozen, according to an RD.

Recipe for minestrone

There isn’t just one recipe for minestrone because, as we said before, the vegetables used change with the seasons. For a winter minestrone, use collard, pumpkin, broccoli and savoy cabbage. Whereas for summer use as much green beans, tomato and basil as you like. The base always consists of a mirepoix of celery, carrots and onions, then everything else is added with water. You can also make a separate mirepoix with pancetta or bacon, to add even more flavor, and this is added partway through cooking. Make sure to add green leafy vegetables like spinach and chard, or even zucchini, potatoes and a little tomato to add some color. Pulses should be soaked for 10-12 hours first, then cooked with everything else, or partly cooked separately and then added at the end.

The minestrone should cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the vegetables have released all their flavor and are tender. If there are also pulses, extend the cooking time to one to two hours. Grains and pasta can also be added to the minestrone just before the end of the cooking time, loosening everything with a bit of water and bringing it to the boil. If you are using a pressure cooker, cooking times are obviously reduced.

Mirepoix 101

Mirepoix is a mix of aromatic vegetables that form the base of a dish. It&rsquos composed of onion, celery, and carrots. You can use other ingredients (as we&rsquoll see in a bit), but that trio is the most well-know combo.

It may seem like a humble mix, but the flavor it can impart to a dish shouldn&rsquot be underestimated!

How Do You Pronounce Mirepoix?

I used to say &ldquomeer-eh-pwah,&rdquo but after doing a little digging, I realized that the proper way to say it is &ldquomeer-PWAH.&rdquo 2 syllables instead of 3, apparently. So now I tend to say it in my best French accent and feel so fancy. I just hope no real French people ever overhear me. *Wink*

How Do You Prepare Mirepoix?

Traditionally, you want a ratio of 2 parts onion and 1 part each of celery and carrots. Or 50% onion, 25% celery, and 25% carrot. But if you prefer a higher amount of any one of these vegetables, don&rsquot feel bad about breaking the rules to fit your personal taste. It&rsquos more important to try to cut each of these vegetables into similar sizes. They all cook at about the same rate, so if they&rsquore the same size they will cook more evenly.

Here&rsquos a quick tip: if you&rsquore making a small mirepoix, you can make several cuts along the length of the celery to get a more similar size to the carrots and onions.

You can cut your vegetables into different sizes, depending on the type of dish you&rsquore making. The thing to consider is how long the dish will take to cook. A fast-cooking dish requires a smaller cut, whereas something that cooks longer can withstand a chunkier cut. Here is an example of a more medium-sized mirepoix. Notice that the onion, celery, and carrots are still similar in size to each other.

For something that will cook a long time, such as a stock, you can cut the vegetables very roughly.

Perfect for making chicken broth!

Can You Use Other Ingredients?

Of course! For example, if you don&rsquot want the mirepoix to color your final dish, you could use parsnips instead of carrots, or even button mushrooms.

You could also add a bouquet garni for some added flavor. A bouquet garni is just a little bundle of herbs that you cook along with the other vegetables. It makes it really handy for removing the herbs before serving.

How Do You Cook Mirepoix?

It&rsquos super simple. Just heat some butter or oil over low heat, add the vegetables, and cook until tender. Usually you want to try to avoid browning the vegetables. But if you&rsquore going for a more caramelized flavor, you can go ahead and char them a bit!

I know it&rsquos probably not proper, but I like to put a lid on my pot so that the veggies cook faster. Just watch out: they can go from almost done to burned really quickly.

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 utilized this trio of vegetables. But here are some more examples to get your creative juices flowing:

Now it&rsquos your turn: What&rsquos your favorite way to use mirepoix? Sound off in the comments!

Mirepoix Ratios

Traditional mirepoix consists of two parts onions, one part carrots, and one part celery, with the proportions determined by weight. Therefore, one pound (16 oz) of mirepoix would be made up of 8 ounces of onions, 4 ounces of carrots, and 4 ounces of celery.

If you're in culinary school or a stickler for the rules, then you'll want to break out the kitchen scale to get the ratio exact. But if you're cooking at home, you can feel free to eyeball it. Mirepoix isn't something that needs to be calibrated to the exact gram. You could even use volume measurements (like two cups onions and one cup each of carrots and celery) instead of weight, and it'll still work fine.

  • Dicing the vegetables: It’s important to dice the vegetables as uniformly as possible to ensure even cooking. The size of the dice can vary slightly according to the overall cooking time of the dish for which it is intended, e.g. the shorter the cooking time the smaller the dice.
  • Add the vegetables in the right order: Add the diced carrot to the pan first and cook until slightly softened before adding the onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften before adding the celery. Depending on the size of your dice, the total cooking time should be 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Be careful not to brown the vegetables: The concept behind preparing mirepoix is to slowly extract the mellow sweetness from the vegetables. Browning can impart bitterness and spoil the flavor.
  • Adding tomato paste: If desired, a small amount of tomato paste can be added when the vegetables are nearly finished cooking. This step is optional, but it’s a nice enhancement if the mirepoix is being used in brown sauces or gravies.
  • Making a white mirepoix: If your mirepoix is being used in a white sauce or light gravy, chopped leeks can be used in place of the carrots.

Just about every cuisine has some variation on the French mirepoix. Here are a few that you might like to try:

  • Cajun: The Cajun trinity substitutes green pepper for the carrot and is used to flavor dishes like gumbos and etouffees.
  • Italian: The Italians have a similar combination called “soffritto.” They substitute olive oil for the butter and often add garlic and some pancetta or prosciutto to the mix.
  • Spanish: A Spanish “sofrito” consists of onions, tomatoes, garlic and parsley cooked in olive oil.
  • Indian: Indian dishes start with a combination of onion, garlic, ginger and some variety of hot pepper.
  • Thai: In Thailand, curry pastes begin with a combination of lemongrass, shallots and chiles.

How to Make Flavor Bases, Mirepoix, Sofrito and More: A Step-by-Step Guide

Flavor bases can provide a world of flavor to your recipes. Different cuisines use slight variations on the idea of chopped aromatics and vegetables to create a foundation for other recipes. Learn about a few of them here.

French Mirepoix
The French flavor base called mirepoix is a combination of onion, carrot and celery generally cut to the same size. It's used in a ratio that's 2 parts onion to 1 part celery and carrot.

Saute in Butter
Mirepoix is the start of many French dishes, such as coq au vin and lamb stew. It's generally gently sauteed in butter so it cooks without browning.

The Holy Trinity
In Cajun cooking, the combination of 3 parts onion, 2 parts celery and 1 part bell pepper is known as the "holy trinity."

Saute the "Holy Trinity"
The vegetables are sauteed in butter, oil or bacon fat, and the results are used in gumbo, etouffee and jambalaya.

In Latin Cuisine: Sofrito
Latin cuisines include sofrito in their repertoires it's a puree of onions, peppers, cilantro and garlic.

Chopping the Sofrito
It can be chopped by hand or in a food processor.

Cooking the Sofrito
This sofrito is cooked in oil until the flavors come together and the mixture is aromatic and a tight paste, about 15 minutes. It's perfect for one-pot chicken stews, sauteed ground meats and soups. Tip: Freeze cooked sofrito in ice cube trays for quicker meal preparation.

In Italian Cooking: Sofrito
In Italy, the sofrito is just like a French mirepoix, except you can also add fennel, garlic and parsley. It can be diced small or pureed in a food processor.

Add Olive Oil to a Pan
Start with olive oil, rendered pancetta or other meat drippings in a pan.

You're only one pulse of the food processor away from silky almond butter sauce.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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