Aromatic Vegetable Mix

Mirepoix

Called an “aromatic condiment,” this mixture of carrot, onion, celery, and bay leaf is cooked with meats, vegetables (such as braised artichokes), and poultry, perfuming and flavoring them all.

Almost every cuisine has its own version: the soffritto in Italy (onions, tomatoes, herbs, and olive oil), the Puerto Rican and Caribbean versions (they add chopped salt pork, ham, and bell peppers), and the sofregit or picada of Catalonia (almonds, pine nuts, garlic, and parsley ground to a paste).

When the aromatic vegetable mix is to be left in the sauce or served with the dish, it should be cut up quite small, a matignon in French classic cooking. Brunoise is the same mix or a mixture of other vegetables like turnip, parsnip, and celery root, cut into -inch dice. Use a small dice if it is to be served with the final dish used in a short cooking phase (15 minutes), or when a new vegetable mix is cooked and added after the first one is sieved out of the cooking juices.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound yellow or white onions, chopped
  • 1 pound celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled

Method

Chop the vegetables as specified below, mix together, and add the bay leaf.

♦ for meat stocks: 2-inch pieces
♦ for poultry stocks: 1-inch pieces
♦ for fish stocks: ½-inch pieces
♦ for braising: 1-inch pieces
♦ for cooking with food in less than 30 minutes: -inch pieces

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