What is a Matignon? Classic Culinary Recipe for Basic Cooking
A matignon is a little-referred to term for an important part of cooking. It is a combination of vegetables and other flavorful ingredients (bacon and ham are two popular additions), and can be used as an ingredient or as a side dish. It similar to a mirepoix, in that the main purpose of the ingredient combination is to bring flavor to the dish. However, unlike a mirepoix, it is served and not discarded after its use. Just like a mirepoix, a matignon is a basic culinary term taught in culinary schools.
Since it will be served, all vegetables must be peeled and cut into pieces that will either cook evenly or be ready for presentation: uniform cuts for everything. The basic ingredients consist of onions, celery, leeks, and or mushrooms. Fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley, or savory, are added for additional flavor. For meaty dishes or dishes wanting a smokey flavor will often add ham or sauté diced bacon before cooking the vegetables.
Matignons can be prepared in two ways: prepare it separately and serve it with the dish to introduce additional flavor at the table, or cook or bake it with the dish to introduce flavor during cooking, and serve with the dish.
Basic Matignon Recipe
- 1/2 cup diced white or yellow onion
- 1/4 cup diced celery
- 1/4 cup diced leeks (stalks cleaned well before dicing)
- 1/4 cup diced white mushrooms
- 1/4 cup diced hickory smoked bacon
- Fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, savory, rosemary, etc.)
- Whole butter to sauté in
- Melt a small amount of butter in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat. Add in the bacon and the rest of the ingredients. Add in desired amount of cut fresh herbs, to match the dish.
- Cook the ingredients until softened.
- Use as a base or ingredient for braised dishes, ingredient for stews or soups, or use as a topping for a baked dish, for color and flavor.