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Roux in the Oven


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#1 Chris Hennes

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 04:27 PM

I just read this post at Skillet Doux and realized I have never heard of this before: he made a roux for his gumbo in the oven. Not the deal where you just toast the flour in the oven: the real kind, with oil. This is the first I've heard of it: any other experiences with the technique?

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#2 heidih

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 04:57 PM

I have seen microwave roux like this discussed a number of times so in the oven seems similarly logical.

#3 ShaneH

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 05:12 PM

Never heard of this but it looks and sounds delicious, thanks for the information!
Science tastes yummy!

#4 Pierogi

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 06:11 PM

I just read this post at Skillet Doux and realized I have never heard of this before: he made a roux for his gumbo in the oven. Not the deal where you just toast the flour in the oven: the real kind, with oil. This is the first I've heard of it: any other experiences with the technique?

Yes ! I do it all the time, although not for the gumbo I made yesterday. I learned about it from Alton Brown on "Good Eats". He's got a gumbo recipe on the FN website that's pretty good. It works FANTASTICALLY.
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#5 emannths

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 06:18 PM

Yep. AB sticks the nascent roux in an uncovered dutch oven and then into a 350F oven for an hour and a half. [Link]

#6 minas6907

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:02 PM

I remember when I was a line cook at a local french restaurant, when we had an excess of duck fat from making the confit, we would combine a whole bunch of the fat with a whole bunch of flour, and stick it in the oven and forget about it for a few hours, it would turn this beautiful nutty brown, smelled wonderful.

#7 robirdstx

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:14 PM

Yes, I used the oven method the last time I made gumbo. The tip came from this recipe. No need to stir at all! Great color!

#8 Kerry Beal

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:36 PM

The one catching my eye is from Ideas in Food - where they make roux in a pressure cooker.

#9 Chris Hennes

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:50 PM

OK, that is just plain awesome. Their roux is a bit light IMO, but obviously one can simply cook longer. And once you've got the timing down, it's just a science... thanks for that link, Kerry.

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#10 emannths

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:09 AM

Why use a pressure cooker? Isn't a pressure cooker just used to raise the temperature of wet food to 120C? Roux is pretty dry, at least by the time it start to take on any color, so the extra pressure shouldn't have any effect on the temperature. I'd think you'd get the same results by putting it in the oven at 120C for 90min.

Of course, doing it in a mason jar that you can just lid up and stick in the fridge is a great idea.

#11 HungryC

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:40 AM

Try an oil-less roux in the oven...yes, it's just browned flour. But it will provide nutty thickening to a gumbo or stew, without the fat. (Hey, it's the second day of Lent, I'm still thinking of ways to do without.)

#12 syoung68

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 08:05 AM

Growing up in south Louisiana, I have made roux for years. Then I was at a friend's house and had some of the best gumbo I had ever had. He used roux in a jar. Since then, for a dark roux, I am a convert. I still make my own blond, but I usually do not have the patience to get that dark color I am looking for in gumbo. I use Kary's, but here are others that work fine (Richard's Savoie's). I am not sure what the general availability is outside of my area. When I lived in Massachusetts, I did not usually bother to look for it.

That being said, I have not tried the oven method. It would actually be useful to make a big batch and then save some... in a jar.

#13 Chris Hennes

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 05:38 PM

Yeah, the folks in the gumbo topic have had good things to say about jarred roux, but it's hard to find in much of the country. And it's one more thing I'd have to keep in the pantry: if this oven method is foolproof and easy, that would be awesome.

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#14 pyrguy

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:07 PM

My Godmother owned a restaurant. Her head chef would make hers in the oven for the next days gumbo.
Been too long don't remember any detains but it sure was good gumbo.
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#15 Pierogi

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:11 AM

Yeah, the folks in the gumbo topic have had good things to say about jarred roux, but it's hard to find in much of the country. And it's one more thing I'd have to keep in the pantry: if this oven method is foolproof and easy, that would be awesome.

Chris, it's foolproof and easy.
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#16 Shalmanese

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:19 AM

I did some experiments around fat-free oven roux a few years ago on eGullet: http://forums.egulle...-fat-free-roux/
PS: I am a guy.

#17 Gregg

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:14 AM

I've done dark roux in the oven my whole life (blonde still gets the stove top since its such a quick process). I do it a little different than Alton Brown; 300* in a La Creuset dutch oven with the lid on. We usually like a combination of oil and a little butter, which is the reason for the slightly lower temperature. Whisk it every 15 minutes or so until it starts to get close to the color you want then take the lid off to make it easier to keep an eye on it at the end. It doesn't get any easier.

Slapping my forehead because I never really thought about making extra and keeping a jar in the fridge! Duh!!! Going to make a batch this morning just to have it on hand. :wub:

#18 Doodad

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:22 AM

Yeah I have done this for years. So much easier and I do my other prep while it is doing its thing. I usually shoot for a brick red roux in my cajun dishes and can get there in less than an hour at 350 so that is plenty of time to shell shrimp, chop trinity, deseed peppers etc. Sweat the vege in the hot roux on stovetop, add the rest and back in the oven while I crack an Abita and wait til done.

#19 syoung68

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:47 AM

That's it. Even though I have a half jar of Kary's in the fridge, I am making roux in the oven this weekend for some gumbo on Sunday. I will make some extra and throw it in a mason jar to see how it compares to store bought after a week or two in the fridge.

#20 MelissaH

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:40 AM

The one catching my eye is from Ideas in Food - where they make roux in a pressure cooker.

Has anyone figured out yet whether it's literally just a jar, oil, and flour in the pressure cooker? Or is there some water in the cooker as well? Someone asked in the comments on that blog post, but there's no answer yet.

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#21 Kerry Beal

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:33 AM


The one catching my eye is from Ideas in Food - where they make roux in a pressure cooker.

Has anyone figured out yet whether it's literally just a jar, oil, and flour in the pressure cooker? Or is there some water in the cooker as well? Someone asked in the comments on that blog post, but there's no answer yet.

MelissaH

I believe from reading other similar things they were doing in the pressure cooker - there is water in there too.

#22 karlos

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:19 AM

I just did this last night and it turned out great. Actually made the roux the night before and kept it in the fridge until I made it. Cup of flour and a cup of oil in a cast iron skillet, 2 hours in a 350F oven. Didn't stir it once other than to incorporate everything. Was darker than I ever got on the stovetop. Delicious. I see a lot more gumbo in my future. How long would this keep in the fridge?

#23 PopsicleToze

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:19 PM

How long would this keep in the fridge?


Jarred roux keeps indefinitely in the fridge. A lot of my cooking sources say it will keep just as well outside of the fridge -- but I've never tried it.

Rhonda

#24 Chris Hennes

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:08 PM


The one catching my eye is from Ideas in Food - where they make roux in a pressure cooker.

Has anyone figured out yet whether it's literally just a jar, oil, and flour in the pressure cooker? Or is there some water in the cooker as well? Someone asked in the comments on that blog post, but there's no answer yet.

MelissaH

I think that in order to accelerate the heat transfer in the pressure cooker you are going to want water: otherwise it's basically just an oven. You want to replace the air with water vapor, so in a sense it's just like pressure canning: you put an inch or two of water in the bottom, I'd think.

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#25 MelissaH

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:48 PM

Chris and Kerry,

That's what I'd thought: you need to get the steam going to get the pressure up with good heat transfer capabilities. I may need to try this myself!

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#26 Cass

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:20 PM

I just did this last night and it turned out great. Actually made the roux the night before and kept it in the fridge until I made it. Cup of flour and a cup of oil in a cast iron skillet, 2 hours in a 350F oven. Didn't stir it once other than to incorporate everything. Was darker than I ever got on the stovetop. Delicious. I see a lot more gumbo in my future. How long would this keep in the fridge?


This is what I did as well.

Excellent results!

#27 Gregg

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 11:03 AM

I also agree that it does make sense that you would need some water to do the pressure cooker method.

#28 BeatriceB

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 12:28 AM

I'm so glad I saw this thread! I had andouille languishing in the freezer for ages, but kept putting off making gumbo, daunted by the lengthy hands-on time between prep and roux.

Today, I finally made chicken and andouille gumbo, using the oven roux method (1/2 cup each oil and flour, in a 5 qt. dutch oven, uncovered, 350 degree oven, 1 1/4 hours, whisking now and then). While the roux was cooking, I prepped veg, meats, seasonings, etc. I pulled the roux from the oven when it was medium-dark brown, and took John Besh's advice to add the onion to the roux before all the other ingredients, and cook it for a few minutes on its own. By the time I'd done that, the roux was gorgeously dark. Briefly turned chicken pieces in the roux, then added the other veg, herbs, stock, etc., and simmered.

Wow. I'd been a little intimidated by the whole thing, but this came out better than the gumbo I fell in love with when I used to visit SW LA frequently -- I wouldn't have thought it possible. I was eating alone and making Mmmmmmm sounds out loud. This oven roux method is amazing -- cuts off half or more of the hands-on cooking time, and the results are more than delicious.

#29 cathyeats

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 07:43 AM

I'm making the oven roux right now, and it's been about 40 minutes and it's already super dark. I wonder if I should keep cooking it or quit while I'm ahead. Don't want it to burn, but I want it to come out the way it's supposed to. Tough call!

#30 Chris Hennes

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 12:48 PM

That's interesting Cathy, I had the opposite problem: mine never got sufficiently dark in the oven, I gave up and pulled it after three hours and finished it on the stovetop.

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