What is Mirepoix?

Mirepoix is a mixture of celery, onion, and carrot.The ratio for a standard mirepoix is 2:1:1, as in 2 parts onion to 1 part celery and 1 part carrot. The ingredients for mirepoix are usually chopped or diced to similar sizes and shapes to promote even cooking. Mirepoix is usually roasted or sauteed, sometimes with tomato paste, before being used. A variation of mirepoix cooked with ham, called "matignon," is very good in sauces, especially tomato sauce. White mirepoix is another common variation used for lighter colored stocks and sauces. White mirepoix is made by substituting parsnip for the carrot and celery root for the celery stalk. Also, sometimes the white part of leek is used in place of the onion. The Trinity is another popular variation from Cajun country. The Trinity is the same as mirepoix, except green pepper is used in place of the carrot. In Italy they have Soffritto, and in Spain they have Sofrito; both are similar to mirepoix. But that's another story. The recipe Veal Cheeks Braised in Wine and Mirepoix is a good example of mirepoix's ability to incite flavor riots in your mouth.

Mirepoix Tools

  • Vegetable Peeler - One of the best ways to peel anything with a skin that isn't too thick. Some may prefer to peel things with a paring knife, but that always seemed so wasteful to me.
  • Chef's Knife and Cutting Board - The most basic and essential tools of any kitchen. I couldn't imagine trying to work without them.
  • Paring Knife - An often under-appreciated tool in the kitchen. There are some jobs that are almost impossible without it.