Mirepoix Pestata Pucks
Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Ten minutes of prep stocks your freezer with instant flavor-builders for weeknight dinners!
To skip to the printable recipe, click here.
There is so much to love about pestata pucks: they’re quick; they’re easy; nothing needs to be measured; and they take up just a tiny bit of freezer space to store. Most importantly, keeping them on hand at all times means you can toss them into your slow-cooker chicken or skillet of cauli rice any weeknight and add big flavor in a matter of seconds!
You’ve probably heard the term "mirepoix" before. It’s the French foundational threesome of carrot, onion, and celery that flavors stocks, sauces, soups, and more. "Pestata" is a term we picked up back in the day when our South Florida PBS station more than made up for our lack of cable and cooking apps, regularly airing such treasures as Mexico one Plate at a Time, Julia and Jacques, and Lidia’s Italy.
Lidia (Bastianich) often sauteed pestatas, or finely minced mixtures of onions and/or other flavorful ingredients, as a first step to everything from bolognese to chicken and rice. We happily added the term to our culinary lexicon, and we’ve been eagerly experimenting with it ever since.
The way we saw it, if we were going to dirty up the food processor with enough pestata ingredients for one recipe, might as well throw as much as we could fit in there and stash some for later.
Pressed into a silicone muffin pan, this stuff freezes into perfect little pucks that can be nestled in a zip-top freezer bag and pulled out whenever the need arises. In most cases, thawing is unnecessary--just toss in the skillet with some fat, and sizzle away.
Also, in case you’re wondering, mirepoix is not the only pestata we’re freezing 'round here. Whatever flavors make up the bulk of your cooking are due for a round in the processor. Think Asian, Cajun, or anything with bacon. Just label your freezer bags clearly so you always know what you’re reaching for!
Here's what you'll need:
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 large ribs celery, coarsely chopped
Here's what you'll do:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process till finely minced and well-mixed, pausing periodically to scrape down the sides for even chopping.
Place the silicone muffin pan on a baking sheet for stability. Spoon the mixture into silicone muffin cups, packing down well with the back of the spoon.
Place the pan in the freezer and freeze till solid, about one hour.
Transfer the frozen pucks to a zip-top freezer bag, and freeze till ready to use.
Special tools needed:
For the printable recipe, click here.