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Seasoning Mignonette Pepper

Ingredients: Black peppercorns, white peppercorns, coriander seed and allspice berries
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We love fresh ground pepper and our peppermill gets plenty of use. We love to experiment with our peppercorns and peppercorn blends (one of the best parts of owning a spice company). Some nights we may go for a smoked peppercorn and the next time we fill up the peppermill it might be a gourmet peppercorn mixer (a blend of black, white, green and pink peppercorns).

We prefer to grind these for a more consistent size while others like to use a mortar and pestle for a coarser grind. We didnt like the often unexpected flavor explosions that the mortar and pestle provided. 

Recently weve been experimenting with a Mignonette Peppercorn blend. Now as we dug into the history of this blend it became quite interesting and it was actually like many seasoning blends where the recipe varies from region to region.

In northern Europe Mignonette Pepper refers to an equal mix of black and white peppercorns. While in Canada the French-Canadians mix their version of Mignonette Pepper with black and white peppercorns and also Coriander seed. This French-Canadian version is also sometimes called "shot pepper".

Our version is still another take on this as it has mixed with black peppercorns, white peppercorns, coriander seed and allspice berries.  We love this flavor profile as the black pepper is pungent, the white pepper has a sharp bite, the coriander is a bit tart and the allspice berries provide a little sweetness.

In addition to the variety of blends that a mignonette may be it also has several other cooking references used throughout the years. At one time a mignonnette referred to a small cloth sachet filled with various peppercorns and cloves. This was used to flavor stews and soups as we use a bouquet garni today. The term "poivre mignonnette" typically refers to white peppercorns that are coarsely ground.

You can use this as a rub on large cuts of beef, chicken or lamb. As a rub we recommend using 1 tsp per pound of meat. This also adds delicious flavor to pasta, pot roast, potatoes, rice, soups and stews.

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