Mirepoix (cuisine)

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Mirepoix (pronounced /mɪər ˈpwɑː/) is the French name for a combination of onions, carrots, and celery (either common Pascal celery or celeriac). Mirepoix, either raw, roasted or sautéed with butter, is the flavor base for a wide number of dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces.

These three ingredients are commonly referred to as aromatics. Similar such combinations, both in and out of the French culinary repertoire, may include leeks, parsnips, garlic, tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms, bell peppers, chilies, and ginger. For the combination mirepoix au gras, or a Matignon, ham or pork belly are used as additional ingredients. In Cajun cuisine, a mirepoix or trinity is a combination of onions, celery and bell peppers.

They may be used in various combinations, as dictated by the cuisine and the dish itself.

Traditionally, the ratio for mirepoix is 2:1:1 of onions, celery, and carrots. The ratio for bones to mirepoix for stock is 10:1.[citation needed] Note that these ratios are for the weight of the ingredients, not the volume. When making a white stock, or fond blanc, parsnips are used instead of carrots to maintain the pale color.

Mirepoix derives its name as many other elements of French cuisine[1] from the patron of the chef who established it - in this case one of the house of Lévis, seigneurs of Mirepoix since the eleventh century and a famous name in Languedoc.[2] The particular member of the house of Lévis whose chef is credited by the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française with giving a name to an old technique is Charles-Pierre-Gaston François de Lévis, duc de Lévis-Mirepoix (1699-1757), maréchal de France and ambassador of Louis XV.[3]

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ "Au 18e siècle, à l’exception de Bechameil, inventeur de la béchamel dont il écrivit la recette en vers, les noms utilisés pour nommer les plats sont ceux des "employeurs" des cuisiniers : tels sont la Purée Soubise, les pommes Pompadour, la Mirepoix..." (In the 18th century, with the exception of Bechameil, inventor of béchamel sauce, who wrote the recipe in verse, names of culinary dishes were the names of the employers of cooks. Examples are Soubise purée, Pompadour apples, Mirepoix...) Jean Vitaux, "Peut-on écrire l’histoire de la gastronomie ?"
  2. ^ French Wikipedia: Maison de Lévis.
  3. ^ Mirepoix: "Créée au XVIII ème siècle par le cuisinier du duc de Lévis-Mirepoix, Maréchal de France et ambassadeur de Louis XV." (Created in the 18th century by the Duke of Lévis-Mirepoix's cook. The Duke was Marshal of France and Ambassador of Louis XV.) Petit lexique culinaire

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