Common knowledge · Food from scratch · soup

Roux

The rubric of Common Culinary Knowledge.

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One of the base recipes in French cuisine is Roux which is the original thickener for many sauces  and gravy; especially, for 3 of 4 mother-sauces: white (bechamel), veloute and brown (espagnole) .

Rule of thumb to cook roux is 1:1 proportion fat and bread flour, for example, 10 gr of flour and 10 gr of butter.

Fat could be used: clarified butter, margarine, animal fats, shortenings.

A good roux is stiff, not runny or pourable. (Gisslen, 2015)

There are three basic types of roux  which is differentiated by color: white, blond and brown.

White roux is used for Bechamel sauce and is cooked just for a few minutes enough to cook flour.

Blond roux is used for Veloute sauces and is cooked during 5-6 minutes when the flour slightly changes the color.

Brown roux is the longest one and is cooked till the flour gets a good brown color, is using for Brown sauce or gravy.

Basic methodic.

  1. Melt and slightly heat the fat.
  2. Stir in right amount of flour making a “slurry” consistency.
  3. Cook till required color is reached.
DSC08942
melted buter and flour
DSC08914
almost ready white roux

For brown roux apply low heat to avoid burnings, for white and pale – medium heat.

Today many chefs tries to avoid using classic “not healthy” roux from fat and flour and substitute one or both elements with “healthy” one like olive/vegetables oil, corn starch etc. You can try to find your own variant of thickener and share your ideas in comments, too!

Good luck!

Hope, the information was helpful!

P.S. upcoming recipes: Hazel-Hen soufflé, traditional way of Rissole in Russian cuisine, Knel, Fish Mayonnaise, French Vanilla Ice Cream (Plombeer), Roast Beef, Brain Pies (Pirogy), Celery Root Puree with Béchamel Sauce.

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