Home > Stocks & Sauces > Roux-Based Sauces: What, How and When

Roux-Based Sauces: What, How and When

By: Margaret Paxton - Updated: 5 May 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Sauces Ingredients Cooking How To Make

Roux-Based Sauces-What, How and When

Pronounced roo, a roux is the usual term given to the method of mixing equal amounts of fat and flour that are cooked and combined with liquid to make a base for sauces. Milk is the most commonly used liquid for a roux-based sauce, but a good stock on its own, or a combination of milk and stock, water, wine or fruit juices can also be used. The liquid that is added varies according to the purpose of the sauce, which is more often than not savoury-and can be served as an accompaniment to vegetables, fish, poultry or meat. The sauce may also be an integral part of pasta dishes (like macaroni cheese.)

Sauces are not difficult to make; yet a good sauce can enhance the flavour of food and transform the simplest dish into something quite sumptuous. Careful regulation of the heat and using the right amount of flour to liquid while blending is crucial to the success of your sauce, which is why the phone usually rings while you’re making it. Try to get this part done without any distractions!

Basic White Roux Ingredients & Method

To make 600ml (approximately 1 pint)

  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 600ml cold milk
  • Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat then add the flour and cook these ingredients gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon the whole time. Remove the pan from the heat and add some of the milk; slowly. Keep stirring to avoid lumps forming. (If you stir the mixture in a figure of eight pattern, and make sure that you touch the bottom and sides of the pan on each figure eight, the sauce is less likely to stick and get lumpy.)

Return the pan to a slightly higher heat then continue to add more milk, stirring the whole time as the sauce begins to bubble slightly and thicken. (You will see the change in texture and be able to feel it as the spoon gets a little ‘heavier’ in your hand.) Add little and often; blend to a smooth sauce as you go along and keep repeating this process until all the milk has been used. If the sauce is lumpy, whisk thoroughly with a hand-held balloon whisk to break down the lumps until the result is as smooth as possible. The sauce should pour without being runny.

Variations of Roux-Based Sauces

A basic brown roux is made in a similar way but hot stock or vegetable water is used instead of milk. This creates a darker coloured roux. To save on preparation time, it’s a good idea to make more brown roux than is needed straight away and keep some in the fridge for a week or two. When you want to make another sauce, simply start at the part of the recipe where the main ingredient, the liquid, is added to the brown roux.

White roux is most often used as a base for sauces like cheese, onion, bread, parsley and other white sauces that go especially well with fish and chicken. A brown roux is used in gravy, Espagnole, which is the basis of many compound sauces such as demi-glace, red wine, Robert and devilled sauce.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
really useful website for any food tech detention
bradders - 5-May-16 @ 3:10 PM
Pardon my previous question . . .the answer was on the same web page - Easy steps to egg-based sauces! Thanks
Christo - 18-Jan-12 @ 11:14 AM
Pardon the confusion created by my surname of "Roux" it always raises comments when I get involved in cookery discussions! How does one add egg to a basic Roux? I am told that it makes a sauce richer, tastier and more silky in texture and tase.If this is so why is egg not a standard ingredient of a roux based sauce? Thanks
Christo - 18-Jan-12 @ 11:08 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Hollie Shager
    Re: Types of Pastry
    Very helpful, it has a very simple and conveniently brief summary of a wide range of pastries in the world. It would have been even more helpful if…
    5 July 2017
  • Simon57
    Re: Types of Pastry
    worth reading i can adapt these to suit a vegetarian diet
    5 July 2017
  • Annie
    Re: Types of Pastry
    This website was very helpful <3
    8 June 2017
  • Mirza
    Re: Types of Pastry
    Provide interview questions in this topic for preparing job interview for best impression..
    1 May 2017
  • Horrible Speller
    Re: Types of Pastry
    Wow, this had been so helpful with my cooking assindgmenys for school. :-) Thankyou so much for posting that, Inhave also learnt alot more about…
    1 May 2017
  • Davinci
    Re: Utensils and Their Uses
    Thanks for ur lessons. You've saved the day
    3 January 2017
  • LearnCooking
    Re: Home Made Cakes
    Ang - Your Question:Why does my pastry taste bitter?Our Response:While you may not notice it whe
    18 October 2016
  • Ang
    Re: Home Made Cakes
    Why does my pastry taste bitter?
    18 October 2016
  • bradders
    Re: Roux-Based Sauces: What, How and When
    really useful website for any food tech detention
    5 May 2016
  • LearnCooking
    Re: Types of Pastry
    Learn How to spell - Your Question:People on this page really need to learn to spell, I'm looking at the comments and most of them have more than…
    22 April 2016
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the LearnCooking website. Please read our Disclaimer.