A combination of three ingredients that is essential when preparing stocks, stews and sauces: onion, carrot and celery (ratio 2:1:1). It’s intriguing that this combination works so well. All three bring sweetness when cooked, the combination is balanced and it brings depth to the result.
The celery could be a bit confusing: should it be celeriac, the root (knob) or celery, the fibrous stalks? Some suggest using the root in winter and the stalks in summer. We suggest using the stalks in all cases. They are very aromatic and they come with a touch of saltiness, very different from the root.
When for instance you want to make a beef stew, then first sear the beef, remove it from the pan, perhaps add some oil or butter and then add the mirepoix. Leave to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes or so or until soft. It’s all about creating flavours and aromas. Make sure you don’t brown the mirepoix.
Another approach is to add it to (cold) water. This works well when making a white stock. And of course, when you want to make a powerful, tasty vegetable stock.
What You Need
- 1 Large Onion
- 3 Celery Stalks
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Leek
- 1 Small Tomato
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Bouquet Garni (Parsley, Bay Leaf, Thyme)
What You Do
In the Netherlands an extended version of Mirepoix is fairly standard: onion, carrot, celery and leek (ratio 1:1:1:1) , also known as WUPS (Wortel, Ui, Prei en Selder). We prefer this version because the leek seems to bring extra flavours. Or perhaps because we’re Dutch?
Clean and dice the celery, the carrot, the leek and the tomato. Peel and chop the onion and the garlic. Add all ingredients and the bouquet garni to a pan with cold water and allow to simmer for one hour or so. Pass through a sieve and decide if you want to reduce the liquid. It freezes very well, so ideal to make ice cubes for use in sauces.