Cajun food has always been something I have loved since my first bite. I did not realize what all went into Cajun cooking until I tried making some on my own. After years of disappointment I decided to try the low and slow method that BBQ masters use when they are smoking their tasty meat and poultry.
I have always used an electric stove, so I got used to using the numbers on the knob. I found that I could experiment with heating levels by using these numbers on the knobs. I also began to keep a cooking log noting times and temperatures of when and what. The cooking log has been a great help for overcoming bad cooking experiences and to recreate good dishes.
Making a Roux is a learned experience and one has to resolve to be patient during the process. After many less than wonderful attempts, I finally developed a method that serves me well and results in a very good Roux every time I make one. I call it my "99 minute, 6 pack Roux". And like I stated earlier, I discovered cooking a Roux is a lot like smoking meat for BBQ. In other words low and slow.
I prefer a thick, dark Roux, just like Justin Wilson. (Love his cooking shows BTW). My ratio is what I call 16 to 9. That is 1 1/3 cup flour (16/12s) and 3/4 cup of bacon grease (9/12s). 1 1/4 cup flour never gets thick enough (for me) and 1 1/2 cup flour is just way to thick to work with. So the 16:9 has turned out to be my ratio.
I always start with my skillet on heat level 4 and the bacon grease is fairly hot but not too hot to get the flour mixed in. Just as soon as I get the flour all mixed in and oily, I turn the heat level to 2 and begin the stirring and consuming process. I have discovered at this heat level, that I can stir for about 15 seconds then drink a couple of swallows of beer. Then repeat the process. In the 99 minutes it takes to get the Roux to the nice dark chocolate color that I like, I will have consumed 6 beers. Uh, sometimes 7.
I discovered many years ago to turn the heat off then add the 1 tbs of crushed garlic. That one little tablespoon not only thickens the Roux but also makes it darker. After I get the garlic stirred in real good, I cover the skillet for about 5 mins. (Allows time for a biological break) Then I stir in 1 tbs of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. I prefer the white can with no salt. The green can is just too much for my taste buds.
I have been using this method for about 11 years now, I have not had one bad batch and have never had to throw one out and start over. I do have to ask the wife to stir once or twice during the process for biological reasons, but she doesn't mind and she loves the Gumbo resulting from our combined efforts.
I hope readers find this recipe and method to their liking. Thanks for reading.
Edited by Phurgii - 10/30/13 at 12:24pm