Roux, Mama’s Black Roux By Cheryl Sampson

25 09 2008

I didn’t know there were several kinds of roux until I got in my Culinary Skills II class but, I did know about my mama’s famous black roux. My mom makes gumbo every Christmas which is a tradition my family looks forward to and in this gumbo is her brewed up roux to start the gumbo off with. Of course we have other items on the menu that I cook and some of my other family members but, all we want is the gumbo.

My mom starts this gumbo with her famous black roux that she slow cooks for about 30 to 45 minutes. She says the longer you cook it the browner it gets but not burnt and it gives the gumbo a much better flavor. My mom uses bacon grease rather than butter to make this great tasting roux. Starting off with frying a pound of bacon, she then takes the bacon out of the pan and adds flour to the bacon grease. Brewing/stiring the roux for her gumbo, she waits with anticipation for the end result. The black roux also gives the gumbo that pretty carmel color we like to see. After the roux is brown/black mom stirs in diced onions, celery, green pepper and garlic for extra flavor which enhances the roux and makes the gumbo really mouth watering delicious.

Some say that roux’s went out of fashion in the 70’s yet it is the roux that makes for the best soups and sauces for poultry, fish and vegtables. In the French cuisine roux is usually cooked to the white, blond and brown stages whereas in New Orleans where gumbo has it’s origination it’s the famous black or even red roux.

I’m glad I learned about and how to make roux, I will be using roux in more of my cooking for now on. My mom has informed me that she is retiring from making the gumbo and is handing the torch over to me. I can’t wait until Christmas so I can be the one making that authentic roux for the gumbo.

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