Types Of Cuts

When cooking, it is important that the ingredients are of a standard size. This helps in all pieces being cooked evenly at the same time – besides the visual appeal. I have listed some of the traditional cuts with their accepted generalisations.

BatonnetSlide26

Size: 5 mm * 5 mm * 3 cm

Remarks:     About the thickness of a French fry

Method:

  1. Select your vegetable: Julienne can be done with any firm vegetable, such as carrot, celery, potato, capsicum/bell pepper, turnip, swede/rutabaga, zucchini/courgette, sweet potato, etc. Vegetables such as onion, or soft fruits such as tomato aren’t ideal to julienne.
  2. Peel your vegetable and cut into 3 cms portions with as straight a cut as possible. You will be sitting the vegetable up in the next stage on this cut edge. An uneven cut may make the vegetable slip when you are slicing.
  3. Sit the vegetable upright on the cut edge and cut the rounded edges off. You can rechauffé (reuse) these into anything else such as soups, stocks and sauces or mashed vegetables. The vegetable should now have right angled corners and straight sides.
  4. Slice the vegetable into strips 5 mm wide. Any leftover can also be a retreated in the same way. You should now have a pile of 4 mm x 4 cms slices.
  5. Stack these up again like a stack of cards as high as you feel safe with to slice. Even the edges as that assures an even result. Then slice them in 4 mm slices to make long matchsticks.

MacédoineSlide27

Size: 5 mm * 5 mm * 5 mm

Remarks:     Created by cutting batonnets into cubes. Typical vegetables used are carrot, onion, turnip, beans and celery. They can be upto 1 cm cubes

Method:

  1. Select your vegetable: Julienne can be done with any firm vegetable, such as carrot, celery, potato, capsicum/bell pepper, turnip, swede/rutabaga, zucchini/courgette, sweet potato, etc. Vegetables such as onion, or soft fruits such as tomato aren’t ideal to julienne.
  2. Peel your vegetable and cut into 4 cms portions with as straight a cut as possible. You will be sitting the vegetable up in the next stage on this cut edge. An uneven cut may make the vegetable slip when you are slicing.
  3. Sit the vegetable upright on the cut edge and cut the rounded edges off. You can rechauffé (reuse) these into anything else such as soups, stocks and sauces or mashed vegetables. The vegetable should now have right angled corners and straight sides.
  4. Slice the vegetable into strips 4 mm wide. Any leftover can also be a retreated in the same way. You should now have a pile of 4 mm x 4 cms slices.
  5. Stack these up again like a stack of cards as high as you feel safe with to slice. Even the edges as that assures an even result. Then slice them in 4 mm slices to make long matchsticks.
  6. Macédoine is actually a larger brunoise but the same method. In this case instead of making Julienne thin sticks, you are making them into larger sticks as per the Jardiniere. From this stage, instead of making them into 2, 3 or 4cm batons, proceed as cutting the sticks into 1cm portions. The desired result is 1 x 1 x 1cm cubes.

JardinièreSlide28

Size : 4 mm * 4 mm * 2 cms

Remarks: In more recent times these are often slightly larger, but this depends on end use.

Method:

  1. Select your vegetable: Julienne can be done with any firm vegetable, such as carrot, celery, potato, capsicum/bell pepper, turnip, swede/rutabaga, zucchini/courgette, sweet potato, etc. Vegetables such as onion, or soft fruits such as tomato aren’t ideal to julienne.
  2. Peel your vegetable and cut into 4 cms portions with as straight a cut as possible. You will be sitting the vegetable up in the next stage on this cut edge. An uneven cut may make the vegetable slip when you are slicing.
  3. Sit the vegetable upright on the cut edge and cut the rounded edges off. You can rechauffé (reuse) these into anything else such as soups, stocks and sauces or mashed vegetables. The vegetable should now have right angled corners and straight sides.
  4. Slice the vegetable into strips 4 mm wide. Any leftover can also be a retreated in the same way. You should now have a pile of 4 mm x 4 cms slices.
  5. Stack these up again like a stack of cards as high as you feel safe with to slice. Even the edges as that assures an even result. Then slice them in 4 mm slices to make long matchsticks.

Julienne/AllumetteSlide29

Size: 4 mm * 4 mm * 5 cms

Remarks: Also called matchsticks. Usually used as garnish. Can be as thin as 1 mm

Method:

  1. Select your vegetable: Julienne can be done with any firm vegetable, such as carrot, celery, potato, capsicum/bell pepper, turnip, swede/rutabaga, zucchini/courgette, sweet potato, etc. Vegetables such as onion, or soft fruits such as tomato aren’t ideal to julienne.
  2. Peel your vegetable and cut into 5 cms portions with as straight a cut as possible. You will be sitting the vegetable up in the next stage on this cut edge. An uneven cut may make the vegetable slip when you are slicing.
  3. Sit the vegetable upright on the cut edge and cut the rounded edges off. You can rechauffé (reuse) these into anything else such as soups, stocks and sauces or mashed vegetables. The vegetable should now have right angled corners and straight sides.
  4. Slice the vegetable into strips 4 mms wide. Any leftover can also be a reheated in the same way. You should now have a pile of 4 mms x 5 cms slices.
  5. Stack these up again like a stack of cards as high as you feel safe with to slice. Even the edges as that assures an even result. Then slice them in 4 mms slices to make long matchsticks.
  6. Curved vegetables such as celery or cucumber should be cut into the 5 cms portions, then sliced long ways (or with the grain) to give even slices, then these can be julienned.
  7. You have now achieved your Julienne cut vegetables. These can be used as a garnish or steamed, fried or sautéed as a main vegetable.

BrunoiseSlide30

Size: 4 mm * 4 mm * 4 mm

Remarks: Made by cutting juliennes into cubes. It is often used as a garnish for consommé. Typical vegetables used are carrot, onion, turnip and celery

Method:

  1. Select your vegetable: Julienne can be done with any firm vegetable, such as carrot, celery, potato, capsicum/bell pepper, turnip, swede/rutabaga, zucchini/courgette, sweet potato, etc. Vegetables such as onion, or soft fruits such as tomato aren’t ideal to julienne.
  2. Peel your vegetable and cut into 5 cms portions with as straight a cut as possible. You will be sitting the vegetable up in the next stage on this cut edge. An uneven cut may make the vegetable slip when you are slicing.
  3. Sit the vegetable upright on the cut edge and cut the rounded edges off. You can rechauffé (reuse) these into anything else such as soups, stocks and sauces or mashed vegetables. The vegetable should now have right angled corners and straight sides.
  4. Slice the vegetable into strips 4 mms wide. Any leftover can also be a reheated in the same way. You should now have a pile of 4 mms x 5 cms slices.
  5. Stack these up again like a stack of cards as high as you feel safe with to slice. Even the edges as that assures an even result. Then slice them in 4 mms slices to make long matchsticks.
  6. Curved vegetables such as celery or cucumber should be cut into the 5 cms portions, then sliced long ways (or with the grain) to give even slices, then these can be julienned.
  7. You have now achieved your Julienne cut vegetables. These can be used as a garnish or steamed, fried or sautéed as a main vegetable.
  8. Prepare a stack of julienne cut vegetables. Brunoise is precisely the same method as Julienne, but with an extra final stage. Group the julienne into a neat stack and cut the sticks into small cubes every 4 mm / 1/8th of an inch to make small cubes. This is used for fine diced vegetables such as onion, mushrooms etc. The desired result is 4 x 4 x 4 mm cubes

ChiffonadeSlide31

Size: As thin as 1 mm

Remarks: Finely sliced or shredded green leafy vegetables, usually lettuce or spinach, which is used as a base, garnish or in soups.

Method:

  1. Select your vegetable according to your needs. For things like basil or spinach, gather them into a neat stack (like a pile of cards) then slice lengthwise to make long strips approximately 1mm wide, or roll the stack up and slice them the same width. Rolling them can make it easier, but too big a roll will be harder. Its fine to roll up herbs such as basil, but not ideal for lettuce or anything you will serve raw as it may bruise them and the final result won’t be as crisp. As cabbage and lettuce leaves are already in layers, it’s easier to cut them into wedges and then take smaller portions of that wedge, gently pressing them flat to slice the same way without rolling to maintain crispness.
  2. Aim to remove thick fleshy parts of the cabbage or lettuce to make the slices more even, however this is not essential, but is desirable when catering for a formal event.

Matignon

Size: Rough chunks of not more than 2.5 cms in thickness

Remarks: Roughly cut vegetables, normally including carrot, onion and celery, which are cooked in butter with ham, thyme and bay leaf. Cooking is finished by deglazing the pan with Madeira. Matignon vegetables are used to add flavour when cooking large pieces of meat. Thin even slices of vegetables used as a base to place the meat on when roasting.

PaysanneSlide32

Size: Usually 1-2 mm thick

Remarks: This cut may be either squares, triangles, circles or half rounds. In order to cut economically, the shape of the vegetable will decide which shape to choose.

 

Remember:

  • In traditional formal kitchens however, many chefs possess a small food-safe ruler and will randomly measure to check quality is maintained. It’s a skill that takes years to develop and is highly respected in kitchens
  • In reality ‘micrometer perfection’ is pretty over the top for the home so you don’t have to worry about the ones that are out
  • They don’t have to be perfect, but an even cutting method can hide imperfect width measurements and still impress everyone. Not even Chefs are always perfect and many rely on machines to do it for them
  • Practice cutting on the ends and scraps first to hone your cutting skills.
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