Cowboy roux is a method used by cooks who are cheaters. It involves mixing flour with water as opposed to mixing flour with a fat such as butter. Real roux actually takes a tiny bit of effort to make.
The mixture of flour and water (cowboy roux) can then be added to anything that needs to be thickened. The problem with this shortcut however, is that although the water can achieve a high enough temperature to release the starch from the flour, it will never get hot enough to get rid of the taste of the flour.
Cooking oils and butter on the other hand are capable of reaching a temperature that is high enough to eliminate the floury taste present in the roux.
After looking at the overwhelming evidence, I can come to only one conclusion. The reason it’s called cowboy roux is because cowboys are considered poor cooks. The consequences of using subpar cooking techniques are largely ignored by the majority of cowboys who seem to be fine with eating floury tasting soups and gravies.
Traditional haute cuisine chefs on the other hand would never accept nor serve a dish which has been defiled by the flavor imparted by cowboy roux. It would simply be unacceptable to them.
To all the cowboys out there who might be upset with their cooking skill set, there’s no need to get your Wranglers in a bunch. Take a deep breath, brew a cup or two of that “delicious” cowboy coffee, and take a look at our post here: Roux
It’ll teach you everything you need to know about roux. Soon you’ll be able to whip up some magnificent sausage gravy and thicken it the right way. Then you’ll finely be able to woo that cute little thing – Cheyenne Montana Cassidy who lives just two fields over.
Trust me, girls love sausage gravy. So what are you waiting for? Yeeee-haw!