Make a roux

Yield: 1 Batch

Measure Ingredient
1 \N Part oil (shortening) bacon
\N \N Drippings, olive oil, cook-
\N \N Ing oil, lard or a combina-
\N \N Tion of these
2 \N To 3 parts all purpose flour

If I want a thick roux, I use 3 parts flour to 1 part oil. If I want a thin roux, I use 2 parts flour to 1 part oil.

Mix the flour and oil in a heavy pot. A black iron skillet or a Magnalite skillet works best. Cook on medium heat slowly as the roux changes from a cream color all the way to a dark chocolate color.

After the roux is past a medium brown, you've got to stir the roux constantly to keep it from burning. If you do burn the roux, throw it out, wash the pot and start over. The way I make a roux it takes from 45 minutes to more than one hour before it gets dark as I like it. I use a dark roux for all my gumbos and sauce piquants. For some gravies and sauces it is not as important to make the roux so dark.

Some milk based soups call for a light colored roux. Even so, I usually make my lightest roux about the color of the water in the Mississippi at Baton Rouge.

After my roux is cooked as dark as I want it, I add my chopped vegetables, like onion, bell pepper, and celery. I stir after each addition and love to hear the chopped onions sizzle in the hot roux.

It starts to smell pretty good when the vegetables are added. Bell pepper and celery are taste killers, so don't use too much. You can use as much onion as you like. After the vegetables have cooked awhile and the onions are clear, put in the chopped parsely and green onions. I put in a little cold water or stock and then add fresh minced garlic, and stir all the time. After the garlic has cooked awhile, I stir in the liquids and all the other ingredients to make a gumbo, brown gravy hash or stew.


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