View Full Version : Roux



rhodry69
September 1st, 2006, 05:21 PM
hi all,

hope everyone is enjoying the start of the long weekend.

i have a question about roux (southern) and hoping that i can get some good
feedback.

kw's roux recipe below and one i found somewhere below that, all start with oil or butter, etc. what about using lard for a roux?

a couple of other recipes i've seen have said using lard for the fat to make the roux. a real lard, not the store bought, has a great flavour.

my grandparents used to butcher a couple of pigs in the fall and render their own lard. it was an amazing taste. they would take slabs of fat (still had bits of meat and the skin still attached to it), cut it into 1 inch cubes then render on the top of the stove until desired colour is reached. the darker the cracklings, the darker the lard. cool, strain then put into 10 gallon crocks.
the cracklings were drained, and liberally sprinkle with salt (tepertos) and then made an awesome flacky biscuit (pogacsa) that are to die for. (will post recipe seperately).

i've also made my own lard by going to a farmer's market, butcher store, etc and asking for some slabs of pork fat. ten dollars worth was enough for me for quite awhile. just a tablespoon or less of the lard in any roux will add a nice flavour to any dish. i then cut the lard into small cubes, place in heavy roaster then roast in the oven, stirring frequently, at around 350F until cracklings reach desired colour.

i always used to call my grandmother and say..grandma, i just made such & such a dish and it doesn't taste like your's, how come? the answer was always that i used store bought lard and not homemade. since i've been using homemade lard for my hungarian cooking, it tastes as close to grandma's as i can ever get. nothing will ever taste like her cooking did. everything was from scratch. and i will always remember her saying....first you make a roux. lol.

it wasn't until years later until i started making my own lard that i realized what that delicious aroma was that i always smelled whenever i walked into my grandma's kitchen. delicious homemade hungarian dishes of which 90% started with....first you make a roux, to which paprika was added and simmering away on the stove. she used to get so mad at me because i'd always lift the lids of the pot and ask, what's cooking? lol.

sorry about that long ramble. anyway, what are your thoughts on roux?

thx,

rho

rhodry69
September 1st, 2006, 05:22 PM
this is from a post of kw's (thanks again)....

Roux

First you make a Roux" -- this phrase is repeated in almost all
Creole and Cajun recipes. A Roux is a mixture of fat and flour,
cooked together until the flour has turned an even, nut-brown color.
It is important that the Roux be cooked in a heavy pot, slowly and
evenly. If the flour is burned, it will not thicken the sauce.
It will also impart an unpleasant taste.

Accepted methods of making a Roux call for equal parts of flour
and fat (oil, bacon grease, shortening, butter, or margarine).
For an ordinary sauce (such as gumbo, daube, grillades, etc.) bacon
grease or oil is used. For more delicately flavored dishes (poultry,
fish, and eggs), butter or margarine is usually preferred.

In a heavy sauce pan, melt the butter, or slightly heat the oil,
over low heat. Stir in the flour. Cook over low heat, stirring
constantly, until a rich brown Roux is formed (about 20 to 25
minutes).

Roux may be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen, tightly covered,
for long periods of time.

rhodry69
September 1st, 2006, 05:23 PM
Cajun Roux


White Roux Is Simply Butter Or Margarine And Flour. This Is The Base Of White Sauces, Cream Sauces And White Or Sawmill Gravy. It Is Made By Melting Butter And Adding Flour And Blending Completely. In This Case There Is Usually More Butter Than Flour. For Every Tablespoon Of Butter You Add 1˝ Tablespoons Of Flour.


Tight Roux (light Brown Or Medium) Is Used Primarily To Thicken Although It Is Flavourful As Well. This Is Made With Either Butter Or Oil And Flour (although Butter Is Recommended). Equal Parts Of Butter And Flour Are Used To Achieve This Roux. Melt Butter (or Heat Oil) And Add Flour. Whisk Together And Continue On Medium Heat Until Mixture Thickens And Becomes A Paper Bag Brown Colour.


Dark Roux Is Possibly The Most Used Roux In Cajun Cooking. There Are Several Opinions About The Colour Of A Dark Roux. I Use A Very Dark Coloured Roux (about The Colour Of Dark Chocolate) And Have A Definite Style Of Preparing It. Most Say To Mix Equal Amounts Of Oil (do Not Use Butter, And Use An Oil That Can Stand Up To High Heat, I.e. Peanut Oil Or Canola), And Flour, But As You Become Familiar With The Process I Suggest You Increase The Flour To Oil Proportion By About 20%.

It Is Important That You Understand The Importance Of A Successfully Completed Roux. Since It Is An Integral Part Of A Lot Of Cajun Recipes You Must Not Scorch Or Burn The Roux. When You First Begin To Make Roux You Will Experience A Very Distinctive Smell. In Fact, The Completed Roux Will Have A Slightly Burned Flour Smell. If You Follow The Instructions To The Letter You Will Not Burn The Roux. You Must Use Patience In This Process. If You Are Not Patient You Will Surely Burn The Roux Or Will Not Complete The Desired Colour. Once You Have Mastered The Process This Smell Will Become Pleasant To You And All In Your Household, Because The Smell Means Something Good Is Coming From The Kitchen.

Heat Oil Slightly Hot. Add Flour And Blend With The Utensil Of Your Choice ( Most People Say A Wooden Spoon, Some Use A Metal Spatula, I Use A Wire Whisk). You Must Whisk Or Stir The Mixture, Constantly Scraping The Bottom And Edges Until Roux Is Completed? Keep On High Heat Until Flour Begins To Brown. When The Oil Begins To Smoke You Must Reduce Heat To Medium Or Medium High (depending On Your Skill) And Continue To Whisk Or Stir Until The Roux Gets To A Dark Brown Colour. At This Stage You Can Do A Couple Of Things. You Can Remove The Roux From Heat And Stir Until The Roux Is Cool Enough To Stop Darkening, If You Choose This Process You Must Remove The Roux Before You Reach The Desired Colour. It Will Progress To A Darker Colour Because Of The Heat That Is Retained In The Oil. The Other Option Is To Remove From Heat When The Roux Is Almost The Colour You Want And Add Chopped Fresh Onion To The Hot Roux And Stir Until The Onions Stop Steaming. (caution! The Steam From The Onions Will Burn You If You Are Not Careful). I Use The Latter Method.

Kitchen Witch
September 1st, 2006, 08:15 PM
Of course anything that is made homemade tastes much better than store-bought!!! And that includes lard.

Lard can by used for making roux - most Cajun and Creole recipes from the old south used lard. Just like anything else - it's a matter of taste.

Many people have turned away from a good lard - they don't want to use it in their cooking anymore. My gram used lard until the day she died and she lived a long, long time! Yes - she was healthy and she had no heart trouble, artery trouble or cholestrol trouble. We still use lard in many recipes - they wouldn't taste the same without it!

Here's a clip from my notes:

Butter, lard, peanut oil, bacon fat and even duck fat have been used in combination with flour to produce as many taste and color variations as there are cooks in South Louisiana. In classical cuisine, the brown roux is used for brown sauce, the blonde roux for veloutes and the white roux is used for bechamels. In Creole cuisine, a brown roux is made from butter or bacon fat and is used to thicken gumbos and stews requiring a light touch. The Cajuns, on the other hand, are the originators of the most unique rouxs in modern cookery.

The Cajun dark brown roux is best made with vegetable oil, although in the past, it was thought imperative that only animal fat be used. The flour and oil are cooked together until the roux reaches a caramel color. This roux has less thickening power. Thus, the thickening capabilities of the dark roux are diminished. The dark brown roux is the secret to traditional Cajun food because of the richness and depth it adds to the dish. Butter is used in classical and Creole rouxs, however, the Cajuns use only vegetable oil or lard to produce their lighter colored roux. Tan in appearance, these light rouxs are used primarily with vegetables and light meat dishes.


And before rhodry and I get a lecture on healthy cooking - here's one that is oil-less:

Oil-Less Roux

2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread flour evenly across the bottom of a 15-inch cast iron skillet. Bake, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 hour. Make sure to stir well around the edges of the skillet so flour does not scorch. Cook flour until light or dark color is achieved, depending on use. The roux will become darker when liquid is added. When desired color is reached, cool on a large cookie sheet, stirring occasionally. Store in a sealed jar for future use. 1 cup of oil-less roux will thicken 1 ˝ quarts of stock to a proper gumbo consistency.


THE BROWN ROUX

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour

In a heavy bottom sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Using a wooden roux spoon, add flour, stirring constantly until flour becomes light brown. You must continue stirring during the cooking process, as flour will tend to scorch as browning process proceeds. Should black specks appear in the roux, discard and begin again. This volume of roux will thicken three cups of stock to sauce consistency.

THE BLONDE BUTTER ROUX

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour

In a heavy bottom sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Proceed exactly as in the brown roux recipe, however, only cook to the pale gold state. This roux is popular in Creole cooking and will thicken three cups of stock to a sauce consistency.

THE WHITE BUTTER ROUX

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour

In a heavy bottom sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Proceed exactly as in the blonde roux recipe, however, only cook until the flour and butter are well blended and bubbly. Do not brown. This classical style roux is popular in Creole cooking and will thicken three cups of stock to a sauce consistency.

THE CREOLE ROUX

The Creole roux can be made with lightly salted butter, bacon drippings or lard. As with everything regarding food in Louisiana, whenever someone attempts to reduce this wealth of food lore to written material, an argument breaks out. Let's just say that Creole rouxs vary in color the same as Classical and Cajun ones. The Creoles, however, did have in their pantry, butter for the roux, whereas any butter a Cajun had would be saved for a biscuit or cornbread and never put in the black iron pot for a roux.

If a comparison statement can be made, it would be that generally speaking, Creole roux is darker in color than the classical French brown roux it descended from but not as dark as the Cajun dark roux.

THE LIGHT BROWN CAJUN ROUX

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flour

In a black iron pot or skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat to approximately 300 degrees F. Using a wooden roux spoon, slowly add the flour, stirring constantly until the roux is peanut butter in color, approximately two minutes. This roux is normally used to thicken vegetable dishes such as corn maque choux (shrimp, corn and tomato stew) or butter beans with ham. If
using this roux to thicken an etouffee, it will thicken approximately two quarts of liquid. If used to thicken seafood gumbo, it will thicken approximately two and a half quarts of stock.

THE DARK BROWN CAJUN ROUX

1 cup oil
1/2 cup flour

Proceed as you would in the light brown Cajun roux recipe but continue cooking until the roux is the color of a light caramel. This roux should almost be twice as dark as the light brown roux but not as dark as chocolate. You should remember that the darker the roux gets, the less thickening power it holds and the roux tends to become bitter. This roux is used most often in sauce piquantes, crawfish bisques and gumbos. However, it is perfectly normal to use the dark brown roux in any dish in Cajun cooking.


THE BUTTER BASE ROUXS
(The Classical and Creole Rouxs)

1 cup butter 1 cup flour

This recipe will thicken the following:

* 6 cups stock to a thick white sauce consistency.
* 8 cups stock to a concentrated soup consistency.
* 10 cups stock to a thick soup consistency.
* 12 cups stock to a perfect Louisiana gumbo consistency.
* 14 cups stock to a light gumbo consistency.


THE OIL BASE ROUXS
(The Cajun Rouxs)

1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup flour

Cooked at 300 degrees F. for three to five minutes, this recipe will thicken the following:

* 6 cups stock to a thick brown sauce consistency.
* 8 cups stock to a thick gumbo consistency.
* 10 cups stock to a perfect Louisiana gumbo consistency.
* 12 cups stock to a light gumbo consistency.

It should be noted that the butter or oil base rouxs may be made well in advance, cooled, separated into half cup portions and placed in the refrigerator or freezer. The roux will keep well for months and always be available to you should an emergency arise.