A common, quick way to cook mirepoix is to brown the onions and carrots together on medium-high heat (sauté) and then add the celery, cooking until soft. This develops a deeper flavor profile, and is especially delicious in soups. The size you cut your vegetables should be relative to the amount of time they’ll spend cooking. The smaller cut your vegetables are, the faster they’ll release their aromas
Classic French Chicken in White Wine Sauce
2 Tbs. butter
4-lb. chicken, cut into 6 pieces (or 3-1/2 to 4 lb. chicken pieces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1/2 rib celery, finely chopped
2 oz. prosciutto or country ham, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock
3 Tbs. heavy cream (at room temperature)
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook it in the skillet on the skin side to brown it and to render the fat from the skin, about 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook on the bone side for about 5 minutes. Remove and reserve the chicken.
Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and prosciutto or ham and sauté until the onion is browned and the vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and chicken stock to the pan and stir to combine with vegetables. Put the chicken back into the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover the skillet with a lid, and simmer the chicken in the sauce until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan, turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the volume of liquid by half, about 5 minutes (or 6 to 7 minutes if you want a thicker sauce). Add the cream, stir to combine, and remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the chicken to wide soup plates; taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper if necessary and spoon it over the chicken. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Bolognese Beef Sauce
1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef
6 oz (170 g) pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1 tsp (5 mL) each salt and pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
1 28 oz can (796 mL can) whole tomatoes
1 28 oz can (796 mL can) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 mL) red wine
1 bay leaf
1 pinch granulated sugar
1/4 cup (45 mL) chopped fresh parsley
In a large Dutch oven, saute beef over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain off any fat.
Add pancetta, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, salt, pepper and fennel seeds; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
Add milk; simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, wine, bay leaf and sugar, breaking up tomatoes with potato container until cold. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to masher. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened and mixture can mound on spoon, about 1 hour. Discard bay leaf. Stir in parsley. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate, uncovered, in airtight 1 month.)
Roast Turkey Soup
2 quarts low sodium store-bought or home-made chicken or turkey stock
1 leftover roast turkey carcass, cut into rough chunks
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2- buy 1/2- by 1/4-inch batons (optional)
1 large onion, finely sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium carrots, diced medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 ribs celery, sliced at a bias (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 pound leftover roast turkey meat, roughly torn into bite-sized pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Combine stock, turkey parts, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook for 1 hour. Strain broth into a medium saucepan and discard solids.
Add bacon, onions, carrots, and celery. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in turkey pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley and serve.
Short Rib and Barley Stew
2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium carrots, split in half and sliced into 1/2-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
2 medium ribs celery, split in half and sliced into 1/2-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups total)
1/2 teaspoon marmite
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 medium cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater (about 2 teaspoons)
1 (14.4) ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup pearl barley
2 bay leaves
4 cups loosely packed kale leaves, roughly torn
Season short ribs with salt and pepper and toss in a large bowl to coat. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over high heat until smoking. Add the beef and cook without moving until well-browned on first side, about 5 minutes. Stir beef and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until browned all over, about 10 minutes total, reducing heat if bottom of pan begins to burn. Return meat to bowl and set aside.
Return pan to medium-high heat and add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring frequently until vegetables begin to brown, about 4 minutes total. Add marmite, soy sace, garlic, and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add broth and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan with wooden spoon. Add tomatoes, barley, and bay leaves. Return beef to pot. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to lowest possible heat and place cover on pot, leaving lid slightly ajar. Cook, stirring occasionally until beef is completely tender and barley is cooked through, about 2 hours. Stir in kale leaves and cook, stirring constantly until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or for best flavor, chill and refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 5 days.