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Making and Freezing Mirepoix is simple, easy, and delicious! Using fresh vegetables, you can easily elevate your cooking.
Until recently, I thought Mirepoix was simply food preparation. It turns out I was wrong!
I was watching a Binging with Babish episode, and my world was rocked! Besides the fact that the episode is awesome and that they were actually talking about the holy trinity, I was excited to start experimenting with food more!
What is Mirepoix?
Mirepoix is a French word that is a mixture of aromatic vegetables that are sauteed to create a very flavorful food base. It creates the flavor base of many delicious recipes such as soups, stews, and sauces.
Mirepoix is a cooking technique from French cuisine and is a staple of French cooking. Though it is French, it adds so many rich flavors that it is used in several recipes throughout the world. Home cooks love the amazing flavor and often use the vegetable combination without even realizing it!
Where does Mirepoix Come from?
Mirepoix has been traced back to the 1700s and is accredited to its namesake, the French aristocrat Charles-Pierre-Gaston François de Lévis, duc de Lévis-Mirepoix (which basically means Charles the Duke of Mirepoix). The Duke’s chef de cuisine created a flavorful base that still influences French cooking today. However, as most things went back then, the aristocrat gets all the credit for the French culinary term. The idea of a mirepoix traces back way farther than the Duke and his chef. However, that is where the name originated.
Are there different Mirepoix variations?
Yes! There are many different Mirepoix variations throughout the world.
Spanish sofrito is made of onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tomato.
There are many versions of sofrito including adding annatto seeds, green onions, and other ingredients.
Latin America has its own versions with hot peppers, garlic, and lots of herbs and seasonings as well.
Cajun Holy Trinity is a mixture of Bell peppers, onions, and celery. Many cajun dishes are made with green bell pepper for a traditional pop of color.
What can you make with Mirepoix?
You can do many things with Mirepoix. It is perfect as a base for many soups, stews, and braises. I like to use it in a lot of my sauces as a base as well.
This steps away from the traditional dishes mirepoix are used in..but there are truly countless ways to cook with it. The best flavors come from thoughtful preparation and lots of flavors.
For example, just the other night, I used a mirepoix sauteed with tomato paste and ground beef to make a delicious dinner over riced cauliflower. My husband kept going back for more, and he took it to work…and snacked on it after. It was a delicious combo.
Can you freeze Mirepoix?
You can absolutely freeze Mirepoix! In fact, I think it is the best way to make it. Preparing mirepoix and other ingredients ahead of time decreases cooking time, increases flavor, and saves crying eyes!
You can make single-use portions of mirepoix. But cooking from scratch is so much easier and faster when ingredients are already prepped and ready to go.
How to Make Mirepoix?
There are two options. First is to leave it raw and cook it when you need it. The second is to cook it first (technically, the correct way to make mirepoix) and then freeze it.
However, I prefer to freeze the uncooked mirepoix in a ziploc bag and then cook it when I use it. This way, I am able to fully bring out the aromatic base and get a fond on the bottom of the pan. Fond is truly the rockstar of good food.
When making mirepoix, make sure to have uniform pieces. Whether they are larger pieces or smaller dice doesn’t matter as much as the uniformity. This helps with cooking times and texture.
Traditional mirepoix is made with one part carrot, one part celery, and two parts onion. If you were to translate that into cup portions, that would be one cup of carrot, one cup of celery, and two cups of onion for a total of four cups of vegetables.
Though that is the golden mirepoix ratio, adjust the recipe and ratios to fit your needs and make the most perfect mirepoix for you and your family. Food is only good if you eat it!
-Use a food processor or blender to chop the vegetables into smaller pieces.
-Use a food dicer if you have one. I have a kitchen aid dicer that has changed my food prep world entirely.
-Use freezer bags or vacuum seal bags in increase storage time
-for best results, use the freshest and highest quality ingredients available to you. Carrots from the grocery store vs. the farmer’s market are completely different!
How to Freeze mirepoix?
After you have made your fresh mirepoix, it is very easy to freeze. Simply spread the fresh vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. Then place the frozen vegetables in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Even better, vacuum seal the mirepoix. This will allow you have an even longer storage time!
Another way to freeze mirepoix is to put the basic mirepoix mixture into an ice cube tray, cover in olive oil and freeze it into little cubes. Pop-out those little babies when they are frozen and toss them into a freezer bag for easy storage.
Using your Frozen Mirepoix.
When you are ready to use your mirepoix, simply toss it into a pan on medium-low heat. This will help to thaw out the little veggies. Then keep trucking along at the lower temperature to get a good long caramelization. This really turns up the flavor.
You can also toss your frozen mirepoix into a slow cooker. You can really increase the flavor of your final dish with the addition of this veggie mix.
If you caramelize the mirepoix before freezing, just toss it into the pan you are cooking in. All you have to do is wait until it is thawed.
Also, just get creative and throw it in whatever you are cooking. This will add tons of new flavors and life to your food. This is also a great way to sneak more vegetables into your meals. Another good way to sneak in those veggies is by smoothing out the sauce.
If trying to make a smooth sauce or soup, put the cooked mirepoix into a food processor and give it a whiz. This way, you get all the flavor but the smoothness of a good sauce. I love this for pasta sauces!
What do to with the extras?
Do not toss your onion skins and carrot tops! Keep them to throw in your broths, compost, or to your chickens! I personally think the best use of kitchen scraps is to put them into your next broth as much as possible. I will toss the scraps into an airtight container and put them in the freezer to prevent freezer burn. Then I will wait for my next chicken or extra pot roasts. I will put the meat scraps, bones, and vegetable scraps into my instant pot and let it slow cook for a day or so for a beautiful homemade stock. Then I will can it. I use these broths all the time, and they are so beautifully flavorful and NOT salty!
Then from there, my thoughts are to take those cooked-down scraps and toss them into the compost pile or the chickens. That way, you can get more bang for your buck!
Mirepoix is such an easy way to transform your cooking. At the very least, its worth a try. You will absolutely love the results!
Did you make too much mirepoix for your freezer bags? I did. And guess what I made? Fermented Mirepoix! Check it out!!!!
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