Mirepoix forms the aromatic backbone of nearly every soup, sauce, braise and roasted dish out there. Although it's difficult to improve on a classic, you can add complexity to its flavor by caramelizing it. Caramelized mirepoix -- one part each chopped carrots and celery to two parts chopped onions -- works best with sauces that accompany roasted meats, tomato-based soups and just about any dish that isn't white or clear. When you have more mirepoix than your skillet will hold, roast it in the oven instead of crowding the pan. Vegetables need to "breathe" to brown, and they'll steam instead of caramelize in an overloaded pan.
Things You'll Need
- Vegetable oil
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut onions, carrots and celery into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces. One large onion, one medium carrot and two celery stalks makes between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of mirepoix.
Coat the mirepoix with vegetable oil and spread it in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven.
Roast the mirepoix until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir the mirepoix after 15 minutes.
Take the mirepoix out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Include the jus when you transfer the mirepoix. Store roasted mirepoix in an airtight container in the refrigerator for as long as two days.
Tips & Warnings
- Substitute other alliums, such as leeks, green onions, spring onions or shallots, for the onions in your mirepoix. Use celeriac for stalk celery and parsnips for carrots if you want to change the flavor a bit.
- Add sliced garlic and flat-leaf parsley to make battuto, an Italian version of mirepoix.
- Photo Credit Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images