Roux making is a fairly fundamental cooking technique that I hope to teach you in this cooking video.  At its most basic, a roux is a very simple thing – the combination of fat & flour.  For most rouxs the fat used is butter, but it doesn’t have to be…using the drippings/fat from cooked meat for example is very common.  The purpose of roux is also very simple – they allow us to thicken liquids into sauces so they have more viscosity and body.  The only "trick" if you can call it that, is that you have to make sure to cook the roux before use, otherwise it tastes pretty raw.  Check out the video, and the tips below, and you'll be making rouxs is no time.

 

What is a Roux?

  • A roux is a combination of fat and flour cooked together
  • Rouxs are typically cooked for at least 5 minutes…so that the raw taste of the flour gets cooked out; by cooking it longer you can end up with different color roux that you'd use for different dishes
  • A blond roux is generally cooked for less than 10 minutes and retains a light tan color
  • A brown roux is cooked for longer, between 30 – 45 minutes, and has a darker brown color to us
  • A chocolate roux may be cooked for an hour or longer, and has a very deep, dark brown to it
  • The different roux are used for different applications; most sauces I make use a blond roux

Making a Roux

  • The first question I always get is how much roux do I need; and that question is tough to answer.  A roux thickens liquids, but there is no standard definition of "Thick"…so what you think of as very thick, I may think of us slightly thick – that’s the problem.
  • My general rule of thumb is to use about 2 tablespoons of roux per cup of liquid.
  • However, in practice I always make more roux than I think I need; then pull some aside, knowing I can add it later – I’m sneaky like that
  • To make the roux, do the following
  • Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium low heat
  • Once melted, add an equal amount of flour and stir to combine
  • The mixture should have the consistency of loose paste or glue; not runny, nor clumped together in a ball.  If it is either, add a bit more butter or flour.
  • Cook the roux over low heat for at least 5 minutes; stirring every 30 seconds or so
  • As you continue to cook the roux will get darker, but its ready to use once you cook that initial rawness out of the flour

A standard roux is the start to some great food.  Two of the five French mother sauces velouté and béchamel both start with a roux.   I’ll also make a quick roux with the pan dripping  after cooking pork, chicken or steak, and add a bit of stock for an instant pan sauce.  Hope you enjoy.