Roux (pronounced “ru”) is a thickening agent made up of wheat flour and fat. The flour and fat are cooked (usually same amount by volume), to eliminate the taste of raw flour in the dish in which its going to be used. There is a broad color spectrum of roux that ranges from white, blond, brown, brick and black depending on the amount of time you allow to cook and which fat you are using. The fat used could be butter (preferably clarified butter), vegetable oil (which has a higher smoke point than butter and is used for darker roux) or lard. I use butter without clarifying it if I don’t have the time. Some sauces just call for a thickening agent without flavor so a light roux should be added. Others call for some flavor and/or color, so a darker roux is prepared and incorporated into de recipe. Béchamel Sauce is one of the “mother sauces” in french cuisine which calls for roux. It can also be used to thicken soups. This is a basic technique everyone who likes to cook should learn.
4 tbsp of butter (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup of all purpose wheat flour
1. In a medium skillet melt the butter over med low heat. Do not brown.
2. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated and desired color has been reached.
3. Follow instructions of the recipe in which you will be adding the roux.