How to Make a Roux for Everything

 In Teach Me to Cook

What is a roux anyways? It is a thickening technique for sauces, soups, and stews and it is made of equal parts fat and flour. You can use any fat such as oil, butter or lard, and typically all-purpose flour is used.

The different types of roux’s are:

  • Blond – Used for Bechamel (White Sauce) and White Soups
  • Peanut Butter – Used for Espagnole (Brown Sauce) and Brown Soups
  • Gumbo Roux – Used for Gumbo.
  • Cajun Gumbo Roux – Used for extra color, difficult to achieve without burning.

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To make a roux heat your fat over medium heat till it’s hot, but not smoking, in a pan. Butter is fine for blond roux’s but you’ll want to use a high smoke point oil such as grapeseed or canola if you want a darker roux.

When the fat is hot, carefully add the flour all at once. Whisk it in thoroughly and cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently. Stop here for a blond Roux.

Switch to a wooden roux spoon for best results and continue cooking until the color visibly changes. Stop here for a peanut butter roux.

Lower the heat if it’s browning too fast or increase the heat if it’s taking a long time.

To make a gumbo roux, pick an object on the counter that is the color you want your roux to be. Use it as a point of reference as you continue cooking the roux.

If you want to make a cajun gumbo roux, keep cooking further but I don’t recommend it, you risk burning the roux and you gain almost no extra flavor for the risk, just a little more color.

When the gumbo roux color is to your liking, immediately take it off the heat and add in your trinity vegetables to cool it down. Set aside till ready to use.

A few good things to know about roux:

  • Sometimes they are lumpy and that is no issue, use the roux anyways.
  • One pound of roux will thicken a gallon of sauce or soup and you can adjust the math according to the volume you need
  • If you burn a roux to the bottom of the pot because you weren’t stirring, it will not thicken your sauce. But as long as your sauce doesn’t taste burnt you can start a roux in a fresh pan and pour the sauce on top and you’re back in business.
  • The longer you cook a roux the less thickening ability it has but the more flavor you gain.
  • To thicken a soup or sauce with a roux, you must bring it to boil or the roux will not act as a thickener.
  • To get rid of the “flour taste” in a soup or sauce, simmer for twenty minutes, stirring frequently.
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