what it is, how it is made and what it is used for

what it is, how it is made and what it is used for

The roux is a cooked dough of flour and butter that serves as a base and thickener in the preparation of different sauces. Perhaps its name sounds like Chinese to you, but if you have ever made bechamel sauce, then you have made a roux. It is the start of such a famous sauce.

Its elaboration is very simple. You just have to heat butter (some use oil or a mixture of both) and, when it is melted, add flour in the same proportion. Then it remains to stir well so that both ingredients are integrated, cook for a few minutes and that’s it.

The roux can be use immediately, either adding a small amount to a sauce or other preparation that we want to thicken or incorporating a liquid to form a new sauce with it. If we add milk, we could prepare a bechamel sauce. If we add broth, a velouté.

In any case, you always have to stir to incorporate all the ingredients well while they cook over low heat for a maximum of 30 minutes. In the process the sauce or stew will thicken to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the amount of roux used.

Too can be saved For later use, either in the refrigerator, where it remains in good condition for several days, or in the freezer, for several months. It comes in handy to divide it into small portions, using ice cube trays, which you can throw away when necessary.

How to make a roux

Fat and flour: the only two ingredients in roux

Types of roux

bechamel roux The bechamel sauce is made with white roux

exist three types of roux They differ from each other by color: white, blonde and dark. They all have the same proportion of fat and flour and the same way of preparation. What changes its nature is the cooking time, which influences the color and flavor. Each of them is used in a different sauce.

The white roux it cooks between two and three minutes, taking care that the flour is not toasted so that it maintains its color and a neutral flavor. It is ideal for binding cooking bottoms and serves as a base for making béchamel sauce and other white or derived sauces.

The blond roux it has a pale hazel color. To obtain it, you have to let the flour lightly toast together with the butter. It cooks between four and five minutes. It is the basis for making the velouté sauce, either with vegetable broth, ham, poultry, fish or beef.

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spanish roux sauce

Light sauce for meats

The dark roux (brown or toasted) has a dark color and a very pronounced toasted flavor. Without stopping stirring, you have to cook the flour until it takes on a hazelnut color, between six and eight minutes. It is usually used in the preparation of sauces derived from dark backgrounds, such as Spanish sauce.

How to use the roux

The amount or proportion of roux to be used in sauces depends on the consistency you want to achieve.

  • For a consistency light just add 100 grams of roux per liter of liquid.
  • For a sauce a little more dense, between 140 and 150 grams of roux per liter of liquid.
  • For one Thick sauce, It is convenient to increase the proportion of roux per liter of liquid, between 150 and 200 grams. Ideally, add it little by little until you get the desired consistency.

Some tips for making a roux perfect and without lumps, is to incorporate the flour when the temperature of the butter is around 80º C and stir immediately. Once both ingredients are blended, it is cooked over low heat for the necessary time depending on whether you want a white, blonde or dark roux.

At the time of incorporate the roux in a sauce, it should be noted that the minimum cooking time for the sauce texture to remain optimal is about 12 minutes and it should never be cooked for more than half an hour.

Thick roux for creams or stews already prepared

The roux can also be used to thicken creams or other stews that have been too light. In this case we can do it thicker than normal. You just have to vary the proportion of the ingredients using 40% fat and 60% flour. Or, what is the same, 60 g of flour for 40 g of butter.

It is good to have it ready to use, stored in the fridge or freezer. When the time comes we add a portion and let it dissolve slowly due to the heat, stirring from time to time. The preparation will gradually gain in thickness without leaving an aftertaste of raw flour.

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