What Is Mirepoix?

So you probably know that mirepoix sounds French, but that might be all you know about it. So what is it, anyway? Let’s start with the basics – mirepoix is pronounced “meer-pwah” and it does come from France! It’s also been around for a long time, originating all the way back in the 18th century. So obviously it has to be good in order to stick around for this long despite all of the changes and revolutions that have happened in the culinary world since then. It’s definitely delicious and is also something that you should have in your culinary arsenal. So here’s everything you need to know about mirepoix:

What Is Mirepoix?

Starting with the most obvious question, what even is mirepoix? Since it’s not an English word, it can be hard to even tell what kind of thing we are talking about here. The good news is that you definitely don’t have to be French or even a top chef to make a delicious mirepoix. Mirepoix is a vegetable base that can be used to flavor things like soups, stews, and meat dishes. Mirepoix includes basic vegetables that everyone should have in their kitchen like onions, celery, and carrots. However, these vegetable combinations can be customized and often vary by country.

How to Make Mirepoix?

Now that you know what mirepoix is you can start learning how to make it! While mirepoix might sound fancy and confusing, it’s actually super easy to make. Really, anyone can make it and we are going to tell you how!

  • Ingredients: Starting off with mirepoix ingredients, you are going to need onions, celery, and carrots in a 2:1:1 ratio. So you will need to use twice as many onions as you do celery or carrots. You will also need butter and olive oil for cooking purposes.
  • The first step to making mirepoix is chopping up all your veggies. Generally, it’s a good idea to chop vegetables for mirepoix relatively finely so that they can cook better. However, the optimum chopping size will vary depending on what kind of recipe you are using mirepoix in. For example:
    • You should chop your vegetables smaller in ¼-inch to ½ inch cubes for sautéed recipes
    • You should chop your vegetables in a medium size between ½-inch to 1-inch cubes for soups and stews
    • You should chop your vegetables in a larger size between 1-2 inches for recipes like stocks, brothers, or blended soups
  • Once you have everything chopped and generally the same size, it’s time to cook! You should heat a pan to medium-low heat and add the olive oil and/or butter to the pan. Add in all of the vegetables and mix them around to ensure that everything is coated with the oil/butter and to ensure that everything cooks evenly.
  • You should keep stirring for around 10-12 minutes so that all of the vegetables are softened and the onions are translucent.

How to Use Mirepoix?

The best thing about mirepoix is that it is super versatile and can be added into a variety of different recipes to really give a depth of flavor that you probably wouldn’t get without it. Here are just a few different recipes where you can use mirepoix:

  • Braised chicken breasts in mirepoix ragout
  • Slow cooker mirepoix roast beef
  • Traditional homemade chicken noodle soup
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Chicken and dumplings

As you can see, the different things that you can do with mirepoix are really endless. Using mirepoix is a quick and easy way to really take your dish to the next level without having to put in a ton of time and effort.