ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is a Mirepoix? Learn How a Mirepoix Should Be Prepared

Updated on April 13, 2012

Mirepoix: Carrot, Celery and Onion

What is a mirepoix (mear pwa)? It's actually really simple. A mirepoix is the trio of carrots, celery and onions used in french cooking. If you have ever made a soup, stock, sauce or stew you have likely used a variation of a mirepoix. These three ingredients that make up a mirepoix are essentially the building blocks of hundreds of soup and stock recipes. If you want to learn and understand french cooking you must know how to prepare and cook a mirepoix.

Mirepoix: Things to Consider

As I mentioned above a mirepoix is made up of carrots, onion and celery. Its important that you prepare your vegetables correctly to ensure the flavors can be extracted properly. When preparing your mirepoix you need to consider two things:

  1. How long will you be cooking the the vegetables?
  2. Will the mirepoix remain in the final dish?

1. How long will you be cooking the vegetables?

Its important to consider cooking time when you are cutting your vegetables. You want to make sure you are cutting the veggies to an appropriate size for the cooking time. This will help ensure your vegetables won't turn into mush and to ensure that you can extract as much flavor from the vegetables as possible. If you are going to be cooking your mirepoix for several hours you can cut the vegetables into large chunks. If you are only planning on cooking the mirepoix for 20 minutes or so you should dice the veggies into small pieces so that more flavor can be extracted in that short amount of time.

2. Will the mirepoix remain in the final dish?

Many times a mirepoix is only used in the cooking process and is discarded prior to serving the dish. However, some stews are served with the mirepoix in the dish. If you plan to serve a dish with the mirepoix still in the food you will need to think about how you are going to prepare your vegetables. Keep in mind that you still need to consider cooking time, but serving the vegetables makes things a bit more complicated. The largest you should allow your vegetables to be is "bite size". If you plan to cook your dish for a long time, you'll want larger pieces, but try to make the dish easy to eat. You'll also want to make sure that all the vegetables are cooked through. Carrots can sometimes take a surprisingly long time to cook.

Mirepoix: Preparing the Vegetables

Now that you know what you need to consider prior to preparing your vegetables you can now start your vegetable prep. If you are a beginner to cooking, I have explained the basic preparation of carrots, celery and onion below:

  • Carrots: You will need to wash and peel the carrots with a peeler. Then cut the carrots into the appropriate size for your dish.
  • Celery: Pull the leaves off of the celery and wash the stalk. You may want to cut the wide, white portion of the celery off as well. You can also use the carrot peeler on the celery to remove some of the tough skin, but you don't have to. Then dice the celery so that it is a similar size to the carrots. This will help ensure even cooking.
  • Onion: Peal the skin off the outside of the onion and cut the top and bottom off. Then cut the onion into pieces so that they are similar to the carrot and celery pieces.

A traditional mirepoix is made of 1 part carrot, 1 part celery, and 2 parts onion. I like to use a scale and weigh the ingredients, but you can use cups to measure out the mirepoix ratio if you would like.

Mirepoix: Cooking

  1. To begin you'll want to add about 1 tablespoon of butter or oil to a large pan. Then turn your stove to medium heat and wait for the oil to get hot.
  2. Once the oil is hot you can add the onion and carrot.
  3. When the onions begin to brown you can add the celery. If your onions won't brown, its probably because you have too much onion in your pan. You may need to use a larger pan.
  4. The next step is dependent upon the recipe that you are using. Most recipes will ask for seasoning or a liquid to be added. Often times the recipe will call for a bouquet garni or sachet d'espice.

Mirepoix: Variations

  • Leeks can be used if you would rather not use onions.
  • Parsnips are often times used to replace the carrots if you want to create a mirepoix blanc.
  • Often times mushroom stalks are used in addition to the trio. They can also be used to replace the carrots for a mirepoix blanc.
  • Cajun style food will often times use bell peppers instead of carrots.
  • Other common substitutes include garlic, shallots and parsley

Whats your favorite Mirepoix Recipe?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kgala0405 profile image

      Kevin Galarneau 6 years ago from Michigan

      @ Beth100: I'm glad I was able to give a name to what your father taught you. Its fun to try different variations of mirepoix. Try using ginger, garlic and green onion as a mirepoix in your stir fries.

      @ Robin: Thanks for the compliment. I wish I had a Trader Joe's in my area, but the closest one is over an hour away. I'm glad you found my hub informative.

      @ rjsadowski: Hah, funny. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

      I've learned something new tonight: that mixture my father taught me to use is a mirepoix! lol I use it for all my soups, stews, even stir fries. Substituting with alternatives provides a variation in texture and taste, and, extends the diversity of recipes it lends itself to. Thanks!

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 6 years ago

      Thanks for clearing that up. I always thought that Mirepoix was a suburb of Kalamazoo.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Excellent Hub! When I'm feeling lazy, I buy the already prepared mirepoix from Trader Joe's. I always add it to my chili. Thanks for the informative and useful Hub!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)