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Possible to make a roux using flour and something besides butter?

Am making Thanksgiving dinner for a group that includes one person who is lactose intolerant, so I think butter is out. What else have you used as a gravy base? Would something like Smart Balance work? Or does that have a different melting/combining with flour consistency than "real" fat??!! Any help would be appreciated!

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  1. Why don't you use clarified butter? That way, you'll have pure fat, no milk solids.

    1. You cannot use spreads to cook with, but you can use sticks of margarine (I wouldn't.) I think you can use oil (it is the base for cajun roux, right?). Take a look at this gravy. I made it once a long time ago with roasted ducks, and remember it being crazy good.

      http://topchefs.chef2chef.net/recipes...

      1 Reply
      1. re: coconutz

        I cook with Smart Balance or Earth Balance all of the time - including making roux.

      2. Absolutely, oil can indeed be used for a roux instead of butter.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Val

          Peanut oil is fairly 'round' and full in flavour and would probably be closest to butter. Some lard would be fine too. But, as was said above, I haven't met anyone who was lactose intolerant enough to need to worry. Lactose intolerance isn't an allergy, it is an inability to digest the lactose. Hence, the reaction is directly proportional to the amount consumed.

        2. Any kind of oil can be used for a roux, but unless this person is SEVERELY lactose intolerant, butter in a roux isn't going to affect them at all. You should check with the guest.

          1. Turkey fat, separated from your turkey drippings, will make an excellent gravy that is in no way a compromise.

            Oil will also work, as would margarine (my last choice, but if you go that route, use Earth Balance stick margarine, as its consistency is closest to butter).

            3 Replies
            1. re: btnfood

              I was going to say bacon drippings, but I think your notion is choice.

              1. re: btnfood

                I'm hoping to do the gravy ahead and freeze it as I have in years past, but I guess I could brown the turkey wings I have before simmering with the carrots, onions, etc. and probably get enough fat from that process. I had thought of the bacon grease idea that Spencer suggested, but was afraid it might give a weird taste. Maybe I'll combine turkey fat from the wings with some bacon grease. Thanks, everybody, for all the great ideas!

                1. re: btnfood

                  Absolutely! Use those drippings go for the full flavor, but any oil/fat will work. Don't forget when making gumbo you use flour and oil or lard to make your roux.