For cooking, which food is NOT in a traditional mirepoix?

And the answer: beets.

Photo credit: Theforkedspoon.com 

A traditional mirepoix—named after the dish's inventor, an 18th-century French aristocrat’s cook—does not contain beets. The mirepoix's combination of carrots, onions, and celery serve as a flavorful base for soups, stews, sauces, and more.

There can only be three things in a traditional mirepoix: carrots, onions, and celery. When combined, these ingredients create what are called “aromatics,” which means that the flavors come together and add aroma and flavor. In some cultures, the mirepoix is prepared with additional ingredients to taste, such as green bell peppers in Cajun mirepoix. Other variations, like the Spanish and Italian sofrito or the German suppengrün, utilize tomatoes, parsnips, leeks, celery root, fennel bulb, shallots, or garlic.

Traditional mirepoix is prepared with two parts onion, one part celery, and one part carrot. The vegetables are cooked slowly in butter or oil until the flavors are released, without browning or caramelizing them. As it is a flavoring ingredient, the vegetables are typically strained out or removed from the final dish before the end of the cooking process. Mirepoix plays an important role in flavoring soups, casseroles, meats, marinades, and (of course) stews.

Learn more about mirepoix and its variations here.


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