Let’s Talk About Roux

Let’s talk about roux in general. 

The flavor of the sauce actually starts here. The fat is heated in a pot or pan. Flour is added. The mixture is stirred until the flour is incorporated and then cooked until the desired color has been reached. The final roux can range from the nearly white to nearly black depending on the length of time it is cooked. The end product is a thickening and flavoring agent.

The fat used is usually butter but can be made with rendered meat fat, lard, or oil. Roux is most often made with clarified butter. The choice of fat affects the flavor of the base of the sauce. Bacon fat for instance has a very strong flavor and will create sauces that have a deeper and often smokier flavor.  These are most often used in sauces that go well with more flavorful wines. Roux made with vegetable oils tend to be lighter in flavor and more natural to complement lighter style wines. 

File:Thickening.jpgThe lightest roux creates richness to a dish without much additional flavor. Darker roux, which includes “blond”, “peanut-butter”, or “chocolate” roux depending on the color created by length of cooking time, add a distinct nutty flavor to a light toast character to a dish. 

Each of these styles of roux add additional flavors that affect the wine pairing.

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