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What is Mirepoix? How to Make, Use & Variations

Mirepoix is the fancy French name for the aromatic combination of vegetables used to give a pleasing background flavor for many dishes such as soups and stews.

Here is all what you need to know about Mirepoix, how to make, freeze and recipes using Mirepoix.

Mirpoix ingredients on a skillet.
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What is Mirepoix

Mirpoix culinary definition is an aromatic combination of vegetables, usually the famous trinity of French cuisine, onions, celery and carrots. These simple vegetables are chopped and sauteed in fat which makes a significant contribution to many dishes.

How to pronounce Mirepoix

Mirpoix pronunciation is Mihr-PWAH, you will definitely feel like a skilled French cook pronouncing that!

How to make Mirepoix

Start by cooking onions in fat that is enough to cover the bottom of the skillet you are using. Then add carrots and finally the celery, cook over low heat until vegetables give off their moisture. This technique is called sweating.

Mirepoix Ratio

The standard Mirpoix ration is 2:1:1 onion: carrot: celery.Meaning two parts onion to one part celery and one part carrots.

Expert Tips

  • Peeling onions is recommended as onion skin will give the mixture a yellow or orange tint. So peel unless otherwise stated in the recipe.
  • Carefully washing and scrubbing carrots and not peeling them cuts back on prep time.
  • Some people like to peel all the vegetables used as this might make extracting flavors easier.
  • Try cutting the vegetables to relatively equal and uniform size so they cook evenly.
  • Cut vegetables large for long simmering dishes such as pot roast, cut them medium for uncooked marinades, or dishes that simmer less than 3 hours. Slice them thin for dishes that will cook for less than an hour.

Variations

The basic Mirepoix recipe is made as stated before with onions, celery and carrots but here are some common variations:

Asian Mirepoix

Used in many Asian dishes such as stir fries, sauces and such. Asian aromatics are used, use two parts garlic, one part green onion and two parts ginger. Cook until just fragrant as these ingredients can burn easily.

White Mirepoix

Used to mildly flavor white stocks and soups usually made with equal parts of onion, celery, leek and parsnip.

Cajun Trinity

Varies by region and traditional dishes, usually used in Cajun dishes such as gumbo. Made with two parts onion, one part celery and one part bell pepper.

Matignon

Used to garnish and flavor different dishes, this type of Mirepoix is made with diced ham, onion, celery and carrots then some herbs and spices are added such as thyme and bay leaves. Can also include mushrooms.

Recipes Using Mirepoix

Mirepoix can be used in a variety of ways, use it as a flavor base for rice, ground beef, soups, stocks, sauces, stews, Mirepoix pasta sauce or as a marinade.

Can You Freeze Mirepoix

Yes you can. Either chop the vegetables and freeze them raw or cook the Mirepoix and freeze. But take care as onions and celery usually do not freeze well, so it is better to use thawed Mirepoix in soups and gravy or dishes where you will eventually blend the ingredients or strain the Mirepoix out of the finished dish.

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A brown bowl with Mirepoix.

Mirepoix Recipe

Mirepoix is used in many dishes like soups, stews and sauces. This simple and humble aromatic ingredient provides a subtle flavor and enhances many dishes.

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Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: French

Diet: Halal

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 1 serving

Calories: 156kcal

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat pour oil and saute onions until translucent.

  • Sdd diced carrots and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

  • Add celery and cook until softened.

Notes

  • Mirepoix can cook until it caramelized and turns deep brown color.
  • You can add tomato paste after the celery is cooked, turning the heat to medium low and carefully cook the Mirepoix until the paste turns rusty brown.
  • Mirepoix with tomato paste is usually used for brown stock and gravy to add deep color and flavor.
  • This amount is enough to flavor one gallon of stock or soup.

Nutrition

Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 44070mg | Potassium: 744mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 18998IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 1mg

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