Kitchen Basics: Mirepoix

Mirepoix is a fancy French word for a rather humble mixture of carrots, celery and onion. Like chicken stock, it’s a great thing to have on hand as it serves as the foundation for a myriad of soups and stews. I often cut up lots in one go and then freeze it in containers. When I’m ready to make soup, I can pull out a container of mirepoix, one of chicken stock and I’m halfway to dinner with very little on-the-day effort.

There is one issue with freezing it. When you thaw it out it will give off a lot of water (I just drain it) and then when you cook it, the vegetables are a little soft. This may or may not be a problem depending on what you’re using it for. Sometimes if I’m making a simple chicken noodle soup and want my veggies to be a little more al dente, I’ll use fresh chopped mirepoix. I have also cooked it from frozen which will leave a lot of water in the pan. Not the best way to go, but hey, sometimes needs must. Again, I just drain it off and continue on. The mirepoix can also be left in the fridge for a few days.

I generally use more onion than celery and carrot, 1 cup of onion to 1/2 cup each of carrot and celery if you really wanted to measure, although I never do. Just eyeball it. The only rule is to cut all three roughly the same size so it all cooks evenly.

You can of course pick up this charming trio from your local grocery store these days. Trader Joe’s sells containers of mirepoix alongside all the refrigerated veggies and I have used it on many an occasion.

There are a couple of benefits to making your own, though – not only is it a heck of a lot cheaper but you also feel terribly productive and organized for just a few minutes worth of work.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *