pix-2008-creamed-parsnip-pureeShown here pureed and used as a topping for mashed parsnips

Mirepoix (pronounced “meer-pwah”) is one of the most common food preparations in the world. It’s simply a combination of celery, carrot and onion, but in French cooking it is called the “holy trinity,” and is an essential ingredient in dozens, if not hundreds, of traditional French dishes.

Basic Mirepoix Recipe

1 c. diced white onion
1/2 c. diced carrot
1/2 c. diced celery

When dicing the separate ingredients, try to make the dices as small and uniform as possible, both because it is aesthetically more pleasing and because the small pieces will cook more uniformly.

Why mirepoix? Well, these three basic ingredients, in this perfect ratio, provide a deep, earthy flavor that gives so many French dishes the recognizable flavor that sets them apart from, say, Italian or Spanish cooking. You can switch the portions for other effects such as sweetness or tartness, depending on how it is to be used. It can also be served in large chunks, as in a pot roast, or pureed to use as a topping.

Try stewing a chicken in a slow cooker or Crock Pot with just mirepoix and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. You can also use mirepoix to deglaze a pan after cooking pork chops. Stir vigorously to get the frond off the bottom of the pan and pour the mixture over the top of the chops. You can also use your emersion blender to reduce the mirepoix to a puree to use as a topping for any variety of sides with complimentary flavors.