Delicious gumbo with prawns, sausage and rice macro on a plate on the table. Vertical top view from above
How Cajun Roux Differs From The Classic French Version
By Nicole Rivasi
A roux is a paste made up of equal parts flour and fat that is cooked over heat and used as a thickening and smoothing agent for a variety of liquid-based recipes. The classic French version is the best known, but if you’re asked to work with a Cajun roux, there are going to be some significant differences.
There are four types of roux — white, blond, brown, and dark — with each being cooked for a longer time than the last. A dark roux, which is the most common in Cajun cooking, is the most flavorful, but due to its long cook time, it is not as effective as a thickener.
Because preparing a dark roux can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour, it's important that all that hard work monitoring and stirring the roux doesn't go to waste by using the wrong kind of fat. In French cooking, roux is generally made with white flour and butter, while lard or oil is used as the fat component in Cajun roux.
Since Cajun and Creole classics like étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya are hearty recipes with bold flavor profiles, they require a dark roux to help boost their flavor and amplify the other ingredients in the dish. Typically, lards such as bacon fat can further help add depth.