Why, how, when - making mirepoix

I've learned so much about cooking in the past couple years, and there are a few things I've taken on that have really helped me save time and make more delicious food. I didn't learn a whole lot about cooking from my mom, and I had such a limited diet for so long that I didn't expand my horizons much on my own until a couple years ago when we started eating a balanced, nutrient-dense, real food (paleo) diet. Now, I love that I can resurrect classic recipes from family members, literature, wherever and put together delicious foods of high quality ingredients (and I can easily modify things to be grain-free and processed food-free).

So I have a kitchen tip for you! I realized what a benefit this was one weekend when I was cooking a soup, a roast, and a stir fry all on one day (we pack lots of leftovers and I love having things ready to cook). So often for me the barrier to cooking is the chopping. Especially messy things like broccoli and carrots, which fly everywhere if you're not careful. And onions require a special cutting board, so yet another step. But so often I find myself chopping up the same few ingredients! Onions, definitely. Also, for wintery stews and roasts, carrots & celery!

And so have many people, over many years! Since as early as 1757, people have been calling this mix "mirepoix" and using it as a base for many, many recipes.

Seriously, I looked up the definition and origins of "mirepoix." (I love definitions. Especially specific ones like this!) Mirepoix (pronounced "meer-pwah"), is:

a sautéed mixture of diced vegetables (as carrots, celery, and onions), herbs, and sometimes ham or bacon used especially as a basis for soups, stews, and sauces

So simple, right?!

Even more simple if - and I realized this when I put together all those recipes that one day - I make a bunch of mirepoix and spread it out over several recipes!

There are a million different variations (around the world, even--read this post) and a million things you can do with it. Some of my faves are:
  • Roasted chicken
  • Shepherd's Pie
  • Soups
Mmm. Great way to add flavor and set up a base for delicious dishes. (Especially during the season when we get onions, carrots, and the most flavorful celery ever from our CSA!!)

So recently when my photographer friend Aubrie came over to take some photos, we got these as I prepared a mirepoix base for a couple dishes for dinners.


 1. Chop vegetables.

2. Combine.

(My suggestion, optional 3. Prepare several containers, and save one for the next night to save you some chopping time!)

(I always use my designated garlic/onion cutting board for garlic, onion, and spicy peppers... nothing worse than onion-flavored cantaloupe! I swear the taste/smell never really goes away.)
 Image Source: Stocksy
Photos by Aubrie LeGault.
Food & Editorial Business: Aubrie LeGault Photography
Twitter: @aubrielegault
Instagram: @aubrielegault

Try it!

10 comments

  1. Mirepoix is the perfect starter for SO many things. But, you're right the chopping gets a bit boring (although sometimes it can be relaxing) so I also make use of a chopper, especially when it is time for the onion...

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  2. Are you keeping this in the fridge or the freezer for future use?

    JJ
    www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

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  3. I learned about mirapoix years ago at a workshop at the PDX Culinary Institute, where it was used as a bed for roasted chicken. However, I've never considered making a bunch of it just to have on have - what a great idea!

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  4. I just kept it in the fridge and used the rest the next day. Not sure how well it freezes/thaws but good idea to look into!

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  5. I've never heard of mirepoix, but it works perfectly with our slow carb / paleo diet, so I'm going to give it a try.

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  6. Saving time in the kitchen is such a big help. Do you know where the term originated from? Thanks!

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  7. Nice! Yes, I never tried it before we went Paleo either! Yay real food!

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  8. Little bit of info on that in this link! http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mirepoix

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