When it comes to thickening some liquids, you will need specific doughs. Usually, they consist of flour and butter. This is where Beurre Manié and Roux step in. These are so similar that many people think they are the same.
However, they are not the same; they differ in numerous ways. One of the core differences is the preparation method. So, if you are curious about all their differences, this article will give you proper insight.
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What is Beurre Manie?
Beurre Manie is a French word that could be translated as “kneaded butter.” It is a well-known thickener for various soups and sauces. Mixing dairy or non-dairy butter and flour is the secret behind a successful Beurre Manie. This thickener originally came from France but is used in various cuisines. It’s not just for soups; it can also thicken stews.
When making Beurre Manié, you should ensure that the ingredients are at room temperature. So, it is essential to avoid using cool butter for the recipe’s success. Another critical step in making a Beurre Manie is properly kneading flour and butter. For the best results, you can use a fork or spoon.
Also, you can knead with your bare hands. The mashing or kneading can go on for only a few minutes until there is a smooth blend. It would help if you did not leave loose flour in the mixing bowl.
Remember that this paste should only be used on hot soups or other liquids. This is the only way for the butter to melt and the flour to act as a thickener without creating lumps.
What is Roux?
This is another well-known French thickener that consists of flour and liquid fat. Roux gives you some flexibility in the ingredients. You do not have to use butter if it is not available. You can replace it with vegetable oil of any type. Roux is primarily made with oil, giving the blend a darker and more appealing tone.
Like Beurre Manie, Roux is made of equal portions of white flour and oil. However, this blend must be cooked on the stove for some time. This allows the mixture to become thicker in texture and richer in taste.
Keep the stove on low heat when you whisk these ingredients into your pan. Otherwise, you might end up with a burned-out mix.
The method for making roux thickener can be a base for making many other sauces, such as béchamel or Japanese curries. The slow cooking of Roux should prevent the flour from forming clumps. Once the sauce is ready, you can use it on the desired stew or soup.
It is vital to watch out for the appropriate color when making Roux. You can control the color based on the recipe you are making. For instance, keep the Roux blend bright white if you make the béchamel sauce. However, you can wait for it to turn golden when you try to cook the gravy.
What are the Differences between Beurre Manie and Roux?
At first glance, Beurre Manie and Roux can seem identical. Both are made of flour and fat, be it butter or oil. The two ingredients are mixed until they form a smooth and harmonious paste. Still, this does not mean you can use Beurre Manie and Roux interchangeably.
When you hear the ingredients of both Beurre Manie and Roux for the first time, you might think they are all the same. It is partially true but not entirely true.
White flour is used in both recipes, but butter is not always fixed. While butter is a main ingredient in making Beurre Manie, it could be replaced with cooking oil in a roux recipe.
Another vital aspect of ingredients is that Roux requires adding a liquid to become a lump-free sauce. You can either add milk or stock. Some recipes can add a mix of both drinks to the original blend.
At first, you might believe that Beurre Manie and Roux are prepared the same way. It is all about mixing white flour and fat. However, the mixing method is different. To make a Beurre Manie, you should mix the ingredients at room temperature.
On the other hand, making Roux requires blending the ingredients on the stove but on very low heat.
Beurre Manie always looks and tastes the same, unlike Roux, which has many colors. Roux can be white, yellow, or light brown. This depends on how long you leave it on the stove. Each of these roux variations has a specific use and a slightly different flavor.
4. Ease of making
In this case, Beurre Manie is the clear winner. Beurre Manie takes less time to create its smooth paste than whisking Roux on the stove. The darker Roux you want, the more time you will have to wait.
There is no need to mention that melting butter is essential in making Roux. So, generally, you will consume less time and effort making Beurre Manie compared to creating a smooth roux sauce on low heat.
Despite being easier to make, many people do not like the taste of Beurre Manie, especially when compared to Roux. Beurre Manie is prepared without heat, as flour and butter are mixed at room temperature. Such a thing makes the flour taste a bit stronger, and you can’t enjoy the richness of dairy butter simultaneously.
Roux, on the other hand, is richer and creamier as it is cooked on the stove. So, the raw floury flavor is absent, and whole milk and butter richness are present.
6. Nutritional value
While both thickeners are not the best source of nutrition, they can provide you with a few valuable elements. When you make Roux using molten butter and add some milk to create a bright white sauce, you can benefit from the extra fat and protein levels.
In this way, Beurre Manie can give you less nutritional value. Still, it is rich in calories and carbs, just like Roux.
Beurre Manie vs Roux: are they the same?
Beurre Manie and Roux are not the same thickeners. Both of them are made by mixing fat and white flour. Still, they are prepared differently; for instance, Beurre Manie must contain raw flour, while Roux must contain cooked flour. Beurre Manie is made of butter and flour, whereas Roux can be made using butter or oil.
Another significant difference is that you must melt the butter before adding the flour. When making Beurre Manie, use butter that has reached room temperature.
Another important difference is the taste. Cooked flour tastes better than raw flour. Furthermore, the longer you cook your Roux on the stove, the richer the flavor and the darker the color will become.
So, depending on your preferences and the recipe you are cooking, you should decide on either Beurre Manie or Roux. If you do not like the raw, floury taste, Beurre Manie is not for you. Also, if you are looking for a fast and easy thickener, then Beurre Manie is the best option.