Do You Roux?

I guess the first question is, do you make your own gumbo?  That’s the kind of roux I’m talking about. 

It’s funny, the first gumbo recipe I ever made is the one I still loosely base my current gumbo on.  That original recipe from Epicurious for Gumbo Ya Ya called for a roux made of 2 cups of butter and 4 cups of flour cooked for an hour.  It must not have been bad the first time I made it or I wouldn’t still be using the recipe.  But, doesn’t that seem a bit extreme?  4 cups of flour?  Are we making soup or cake?

These days, I use half a cup of flour and half a cup of butter.   I doesn’t take an hour for me to make a roux anymore either.  I just crank up the heat and go for it.  So far, it’s always turned out fine and I’ve never had a problem with it breaking.  A good friend and fellow gumbo maker has turned to the jarred roux instead of making it herself.  She says it’s foolproof and just as good.

What about you?  Any roux making experience or advice?  Just curious if I’m the only one still out there doing it when the jarred variety is really just as good.

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11 responses to “Do You Roux?

  1. i’m a dedicated roux man. and recipe that “requires” it, i make it from scratch. although i don’t have much experience with the butter variety, i’m told a butter roux takes a bit longer than the oil variety. the butter roux is also supposedly easier to burn, which makes sense due to its lower smoke point. and a burnt roux means starting all over.

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  2. Laissez les bons temps rouler….oops, wrong roux…

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  3. I made gumbo fairly recently and the roux took just under two hours for the dark chocolate stage to really kick in. I use a butter/ oil combo. Constant stirring. Helps to have a few friends lend a hand, and a bottle of wine nearby.

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  4. i tried making Gumbo Z’ herbes from The Gumbo Shop rec ipe…it called for a cup of butter and 2 c flour and i followed the instructions carefully, but it came out tasting like flour. it was disgusting. the instructions weren’t very good though… i did try the real thing in NOLA and it was awesome! i’ll try again at some point.

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  5. Last time I made roux i used duck fat left over from duck confit and lard from pork belly confit. It was F-ing delicious

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  6. wow…some of these stories contain a helluva lot of roux and a helluva lot of time. i use about a cup of oil and a cup flour for a gumbo that will contain about 6-8 cups of stock.

    i also think one way you can drastically reduce the cooking time of a roux is to be aggressive with the heat until it gets to a peanut butter color or so, and then reduce the heat as you progress.

    if my roux took more than a half an hour i’d be twisting the lid off of a jar.

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  7. I use the jarred roux and, it’s just as good as the long stirred kind.

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  8. Margie’s roux is wonderful, and that hasn’t changed since she really cranked up the heat.

    I’ve made the long version, which for me is 45 minutes. I really love good gumbo, so the time is worth it, in my opinion.

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  9. 2 hours for a roux seems absurd to me. I usually use 1 cup oil, 1 cup flour (maybe a tad extra). Haven’t done it with butter. I whisk the flour in slowly instead of all at once. It gets pretty dang dark in 20 minutes at a high heat. My wok works pretty good for this.

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  10. The best advice about roux I know, is that if there is no roux, there is no gumbo!Some people make gumbo without the roux,but most chefs do not consider that as a real gumbo!

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