One of the most asked questions I get on my blog is about Cajun cooking. People want to know how to make a roux. They want recipes for gravy, Cajun style. I’m sharing how I make my basic roux, traditional black roux, and dry roux.
First, watch this video to see how to make a traditional black roux. I would have made a video but why bother when this is the perfect example of how we do it. Notice that he uses a wood spoon and constantly stirs. Also, pay attention as he describes the smells. These are the signals we look for when cooking a roux.
A black roux is mostly used for gumbos. It is more flavorful but it looses its ability to thicken the darker it gets.
60% Flour (I prefer King Arthur’s)
40% Fat (tallow, ghee, or other animal fat) – the fat must have a high smoke point
For a basic roux which is used for stews, brown gravies, étouffées, and sauces you need flour (60%) and fat (40%). The difference with the basic roux is that we brown our meat first and use the fat rendered to make the roux. First, you season the meat well. Brown the meat in the pan ( I recommend cast iron, enameled cast iron, or stainless). Once the meat is browned remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon.
Add a small bit of additional fat if you need to in order to get to that 60/40 ratio. For one pot of stew I typically use 1 1/4 cups flour and 1 cup fat. That makes about 8-10 servings.
Add the flour and begin to stir and be attentive just like the video shows.
Once your roux is the color you want, add your water, broth, or stock. Beware of the intense heat that will bellow up. Stir to combine then add the meat back in and any other ingredients you want to add to your stew.
Congratulations! You just made a roux!
It is HOT here in Louisiana. During the summer I don’t want to stand in front of a hot stove stirring a roux so we tend to make lots of dry roux. The best part about a dry roux is that it requires much less fat than a traditional or basic roux.
Ingredients: 3-4 cups of flour
Evenly distribute the flour in the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other dutch oven. Stainless or enameled cast iron work as well. Place the dutch oven in a 400° F oven for an hour to an hour and a half depending on how dark you like your roux. You must stir every 15 minutes so set a timer. Be careful to stir it because you don’t want it to burn. Once it reaches a dark peanut butter color remove it from the oven.
To store it: Place in a canning jar or other container in the freezer. It will keep for up to a year.
To use it: Use the same amount of dry roux as a recipe calls for basic roux. If it says 1 cup then you need 1 cup of dry roux mixed with about 1/2 cup water. Or, you can just put the dry roux in the pot with you meat and seasonings.