Mirepoix

Aromatic vegetables are the second most important contributors of flavor to stocks. (In the case of vegetable stocks, they are the most important.)

Mirepoix (meer-pwah) is a combination of onions, carrots, and celery. It is a basic flavoring preparation that is used in all areas of cooking, not only for flavoring stocks but also for sauces, soups, meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables. (The classical mirepoix of decades ago contained a wider variety of ingredients, sometimes including ham or bacon, leeks and other vegetables, and one or more fresh herbs.The modern version is considerably simplified.)

Learn the proportions in Table 8.1 well. Mirepoix is a basic preparation you will need throughout your career.

A white mirepoix, made without carrots, is used when it is necessary to keep the stock as colorless as possible. Mushroom trimmings may be added to white mirepoix. When cost permits, it is a good idea to include leeks in the mirepoix in place of part of the onions in a white mirepoix.They give an excellent flavor.

In vegetable stocks, a variety of vegetables is used in addition to or in place of the traditional mirepoix; see page 153 for a brief discussion.

Cutting Mirepoix

Chop the vegetables coarsely into pieces of relatively uniform size. As mirepoix is rarely served, it is not usually necessary to cut it neatly.

The size depends on how long the mirepoix will cook. If it will cook a long time, as for beef stock,cut the vegetables into large pieces (1 to 2 inches [3 to 5 cm]).Cutting into small pieces is necessary for releasing flavors in a short time, as when used for fish stock.

Table 8.1

Mirepoix

1 1

To Make:

1 Pound

400 Grams

Onions

8 oz

200 g

Celery

4 oz

100 g

Carrots

4 oz

100 g

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