How-To Tuesday : How to Make a Roux
How roux you do? Okay, you just had to know that there was gonna be a pun in here somehwere! This one in particular has been playing endlessly in my head for DAYS! It makes me giggle every time and felt compelled to subject you to it, too. Sorry, not sorry. And naturally it led to other lame kids jokes. Like, What does a nosey pepper do? Gets jalapeno business! BAM! Insta-funny. You’re welcome. Everything funny and cheesy has been compounded by me being utterly exhausted from last weekend’s trip to Austin for BlogHer Food Conference. I’m running on empty guys. No, past empty. It’s that funny stage of empty where your get-me-gas-now light comes on, but your little meter stick is hanging precariously below the E for Empty mark… Yeah, that’s me right now. But its been worth it. And you know what else is worth it? Roux. And a good roux can take a regular dish from drab to fab and learning how to make a roux is really easy. It can take a little while, but its a totally necessary step in so many great dishes.
Remember when we learned how to brown butter – and you had to keep a close eye on your simmering butter so it toasted and didn’t burn? Making a roux is a similar process. The butter and the flour mixture both have to brown – not burn. The butter solids and flour all get nice and toasty brown, but not black and gunky. Some rouxs can get to be a dark, deep rich chocolate brown and they are complex and utterly amazing. Depending on your dish, you can lightly toast your roux or almost-char it for whatever it is you’re making.
First off – you need two ingredients, butter and flour. Some use oil, again do what suits your dish and preferences. Oil will work just for soups and stews. I prefer butter and use it when I make pasta dishes like mac and cheese. Personal preference is what wins here.
For tools – A whisk and a skillet. Or a saucepan or pot. Whatever.
With your pan over medium heat, melt your butter and bring it to a slight simmer. You will want to whisk it so that it keeps moving constantly and doesn’t sit in one place for too long.
Slowly, start to whisk in the flour making sure that it has a chance to incorporate fully before adding more.
Keep whisking constantly and add the rest of your flour slowly until it becomes almost like a paste. Or at least like a thick soup, depending on your butter/flour ratio.
As you keep whisking it over heat, you will start to smell it and the butter starting to toast and brown. It will have a slightly nutty smell to it.
The longer it sits over the heat being whisked the darker brown it will get. Keep an eye on it for just the right color that will work for your. And when I saw brown – you can get it B.R.O.W.N. For Julie’s Chicken and Andouille Gumbo that stuff got dark, I mean look at it! Gumbo-y perfection.
The one I made today has a bit higher butter content, but it works beautifully for making stuff like drippy mac and cheese. Test out your favorite butter/oil and flour combo to see what works best for your needs.
Now you know how to roux. It’s like doing the Dougie, but better.
Find out other handy how-to’s here:
How to Make Quick Cheater Puff Pastry
How to Make Chocolate Magic Shell
What can roux do for you? Check out these recipes below to see!
Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese – Country Cleaver
Chicken and Andouille Gumbo – Table for Two
Crab Mac n Cheese – Country Cleaver
Roux is one of those things that I just make up as a go along – so useful to have proper instructions!
That’s usually how I do rouxs too. I add butter and flour until it “feels right”. As long as you have the basic premise – you can’t make a bad roux. 🙂
So useful! A good roux is the base to so many delicious foods!!
Right?! Rouxs are amazing. I’m going to have to test out Julie’s super dark rich roux for that gumbo of hers!
Your roux is so brown and beautiful, love it! I agree that BHF was worth the madness…so fun and so exhausting! lol.
Thanks Joanne! I’m so glad I got to spend a little extra time with you over the weekend. And yes, it was definitely worth every ounce of exhaustion.
You know this makes my southern heart happy.. Great how to!!
Woo hoo, I’m so glad I have your approval. I’d hate to be the one person who totally obliterates a roux and brings shame to it. haha
DYING laughing Megan. Bring on the bad (awesome) puns. You know the way to my heart.
PS. Fab tutorial. Roux all the way!
Thanks Erin! I’m so glad SOMEONE appreciates my puns. I always worry I’m totally annoying people iwth them haha
Love this! And now all I can think about is that crab mac and cheese… YUM.
I haven’t made that mac in ages, but it’s sooo good. I can’t wait for crab season again so I can have an excuse to bust the recipe out. Totally worth it.
Seriously drooling over that Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese. Oh man, I need to go get my roux on!
Make the mac! Seriously, I made it and wolfed it down like crazy. So good. Now I have a craving for it again! Thanks CARLA!
My husband pronounces roux like this “ROCKS” which is just…so far from being right. Gotta love him though.
Ben would say the exact same thing just to irk me. He does it all the time to push my buttons. haha Ohhh men.
Roux is one of those things people never think of but when you master it, oh my does it add flavor to your dishes!
Totally!! I’m so glad I figured out how to roux properly. It has to be done!
Mmmm…roux! Yeah, like Julie’s post, we go for Hershey bar brown (talk about an arm work-out!). I can’t ever do that with butter though…it has to be all oil!
Nice how-to! 🙂
Wonderful tutorial 🙂