French Thickening, or Brown Roux

Method

For ordinary purposes this may be made as it is wanted for use; but when it is required for various dishes at the same time or for cookery upon a large scale, it can be prepared at once in sufficient quantity to last for several days, and it will remain good for some time. Dissolve, with a very gentle degree of heat, half a pound of good butter, then draw it from the fire, skim it well, give time for it to settle, pour it gently from the sediment into a very clean frying-pan, and place it over a slow but clear fire. Put into a dredging box about seven ounces of fine dry flour; add it gradually to the butter, shake the pan often as it is thrown in, and Keep the thickening constantly stirred until it has acquired a clear light brown colour. It should be very slowly and equally done, or its flavour will be unpleasant. Pour it into a jar, and stir a spoonful or two as it is needed into boiling soup or gravy. When the butter is not clarified it will absorb an additional ounce of flour, the whole of which ought to be fine and dry. This thickening may be made in a well-tinned stewpan even better than in a frying-pan, and if simmered over a coal fire it should be placed high above it, and well guarded from smoke.

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