The Simple Hack To Always Have Roux On Hand For Your Recipes

When it comes to cooking, roux is a secret weapon for creating rich, thick sauces, soups, and stews. This simple mixture of flour and fat, usually butter or oil, can elevate your dishes, giving them a delightful texture and depth of flavor. But let's face it, making a roux every time you need it can be time-consuming. That's where this simple hack comes in handy: Making a large batch of roux in advance and storing it for future use.

The idea is to prepare a substantial amount of roux at once and keep it ready in portions in your kitchen. This way, whenever your recipe calls for it, you're all set to go without the extra hassle of starting from scratch. It's particularly useful for those who love to cook but have limited time. Whether you're a busy parent trying to juggle meal prep with other responsibilities or someone who loves to whip up impromptu meals for friends, having pre-made roux can be a game-changer.

Now, how do you go about doing this? The process is straightforward. You start by making a traditional roux, but instead of the small amount you'd typically use for a single dish, you scale up the quantities. Once you've cooked the roux to your desired color, let it cool and store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

How to make and use frozen roux

Making a large batch of roux for future use is simple. To start, you'll need equal parts of flour and fat. Butter is commonly used, but oil works, too. Melt the fat in a large pan over medium heat, and then gradually add the flour while continuously stirring to prevent any lumps from forming.

Cook the roux until it reaches your desired color. For a lighter flavor, cook just until it's a pale or blonde color. For a deeper, nuttier flavor, aim for a rich brown color which can be attained over a longer cooking time. However, all timings will vary depending on your pan and the temperature used. Once done, remove the pan from the heat and let the roux cool down. Next, store the roux. For refrigeration, place the cooled roux in an airtight container. It will stay good in the fridge for several weeks. If you're freezing, use an ice cube tray. Spoon the cooled roux into the compartments, freeze it until solid, and then transfer the cubes to a freezer bag for long-term storage — up to several months.

When you're ready to use the frozen roux, start by heating the base of your soup or sauce — whether it's broth, milk, or another liquid. Next, add the required amount of frozen roux directly into the liquid. The heat will melt the roux, and as you stir, it will blend into the liquid, thickening it. That's it.