Many people—including professional chefs—call mirepoix the secret sauce of any good meal. Why? Because it adds a little extra oomph to flavoring homemade soups, stews, casseroles, braised meats, and even marinades.
Made with a few veggies cooked in butter or oil, mirepoix lends an appetizing aroma to your kitchen and a depth of flavor to your dishes. Here’s what makes mirepoix magical and how you can incorporate it into your own meals.
Mirepoix is a combination of diced veggies that are cooked in oil or butter at a low and slow rate. This helps coax out the flavor without browning or caramelizing the veggies, which enhances their sweetness and makes them more aromatic.
Mirepoix has become a silent staple in many dishes around the world. Here are three different takes on the classic French mirepoix.
The Holy Trinity
Used in Cajun and Louisiana Creole cooking, this flavor base combines onion, celery, and bell pepper cooked in butter to produce a flavorful base.
This mirepoix variation uses minced onion, carrots, celery, and parsley cooked in olive oil (not butter) to make a tasty foundation for homemade pasta sauce, lasagna, and even minestrone soup.
Spanish Sofrito enhances the flavor of paella, gazpacho, and more with its unique mixture of onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil.
How to Make Classic Mirepoix
For most recipes, you’ll need one cup of cooked mirepoix for every 3–4 cups of liquid. That’s why mirepoix is a great starter for homemade soups, braises, and stews!
Here’s how you can make your very own French-style mirepoix.
- Rinse, trim, and peel your veggies. You’ll need one onion, one carrot, and one stalk of celery for a classic mirepoix.
- Chop your veggies into uniform pieces. The size of your pieces depends on how long your dish takes to cook. For example, a fast-cooking dish like pasta sauce requires smaller pieces.
- Drizzle olive oil onto a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir the mixture to coat the veggies in olive oil.
- After 10–12 minutes of occasional stirring, your veggies should be soft, tender, and ready to be added to your soup, stock, or sauce.
Recipes You Can Make With Mirepoix
Now that you know how to make your own mirepoix, you can use to enhance the flavor of your favorite recipes. Here are just a few recipes where mirepoix can work wonders.
Now it’s your turn: How will you add mirepoix to your favorite meals? Share in the comments below!