What is mirepoix in any language?

Mirepoix is a French word for the combination of onions, celery or celeric, and carrots used as a basis for soup stocks, stews, sautéed meals and a wide variety of other foods. To cooks everywhere this is the basis for the flavor combination of all manner of meals. The word kept coming up here and there in food conversations and on cooking shows. An unfamiliar word is a gateway to new ideas. (Look it up!)

“In French cuisine, a Mirepoix (pronounced /mɪərˈpwɑː/ meer-PWAH, is a combination of onions, carrots, and celery (either common Pascal celery or celeriac). Mirepoix, either raw, roasted or sautéed with butter, is the flavor base for a wide number of dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces. The three ingredients are commonly referred to as aromatics.

Similar combinations of vegetables are known as holy trinity in Creole cooking, refogado in Portuguese, soffritto in Italian, and sofrito in Spanish.

“…combinations, both in and out of the French culinary repertoire, may include leeks, parsnips, garlic, tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms, bell peppers, chilies, and ginger, according to the requirements of the regional cuisine or the instructions of the particular chef or recipe.[7]

That pretty much sums up the way to start out. Here are numbers for readers who appreciate detail – “Traditionally, the weight ratio for mirepoix is 2:1:1 of onions, celery, and carrots; the ratio for bones to mirepoix for stock is 10:1. When making a white stock, or fond blanc, parsnips are used instead of carrots to maintain the pale color.” (Hmm. Now I know when to use parsnips.)

“Italian soffritto is made with olive oil rather than butter, as in France, and may also contain garlic, fennel, leek, and herbs.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirepoix_(cuisine) Retrieved March 25, 2011.

 Years ago, I started out cooking with the butter version of Mirepoix. (Known to me all these years as a soup base.) Having had to reform my wicked ways, I use olive oil from the Italian method and sometimes add garlic. I am working up to using more leeks and fennel. At times, when I am feeling really abstemious, the vegetables are softened in only water. (Mon Dieu!)

Chop, chop, chop and the celery, carrot and onion are ready. Tonight I added some tiny orange lentils with brown rice. Once it is cooked I’ll freeze it and use it for soups.  Just add vegetables or meats to make a bowl of nourishment and keep off the chill. The above-recommended ingredients can be added, at will, to deepen the flavors. (I found the sweetest carrots at the Minneapolis Farmer’s market last weekend.)

Very Nice.

More mirepoix to you.

Your comments are welcome.

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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