Roux.. Through thick and thin

Roux (pronounced Rou) is used as a thickening agent for soups and sauces. Don’t be intimidated by its name, it’s really quite simple.

What you need:

• Butter or lard or other fat (choose one)
• A saucepan
• Flour

Note: The butter and flour should be of equal amounts. Start off with small amounts until you are pleased with the thickness of your soup or sauce.

How To:

  1. Place chosen fat in the saucepan with the equal amount of flour and add heat.
  2. Stir gently and continuously so that you make sure that there are no lumps of flour until it becomes an evenly smooth textured paste (the consistency of a frosting). Read: tip, note, and cooking times below!

Tip: To insure a lump free soup or sauce, make sure to, leave the amount of roux that you want in the saucepan and whisk into it gradually hot stock or sauce you have from the other saucepan. Once it is even add this mixture to the pot of stock or sauce you have been making.

Note: The longer the paste (roux) is cooked the less flour taste it will have and the darker the color it will become.

Cooking times and their uses:

As the roux gradually chances in color each stage is used for different dishes.

  • White Roux: For an even white roux you will only need to cook about 1-2 minutes. This is used for thickening white sauces.
  • Blond or pale Roux: Cook the roux for 3-4 minutes until it becomes a blond or pale color. This stage of roux can be used for thickening sauces in dishes with chicken and fish.
  • Brown Roux: Cook for 5-8 minutes or until it is a dark brown. At this stage the Roux for brown sauces.