Several years ago the Island King discovered 'Brown Gold' and from that day forward we've had the best luck making gumbo, gravy and other sauces.
One of the secrets to a good gravy or sauce is the flour. But the flour has to be cooked just right or it will clump or give off a raw taste.
Browned flour is the answer.
We take one cup of flour and sift it into a heavy skillet. For some reason, cast iron skillets won't work for this so don't waste your time with that.
Putting the flour through the sifter gets rid of all the clumps and gives it a soft, powdery texture.
The browning process takes about 30 minutes but you don't need as much brown flour for cooking as you do white flour so this cup of flour will last for quite a while.
It also smokes as it's cooking so we usually brown it outside over the gas cooker. I've done it inside before and it still works out fine but you'll need to open some windows first.
We put the skillet over medium heat
And then, using a whisk, stir constantly.
The key is not to let the flour get too hot or it will burn. If it starts getting really hot just lift the pan off the heat, keep whisking and as it cools a little put it back on the burner.
Continue cooking until the flour turns a nice golden brown color.
Once the flour cools, store in an airtight container and it will keep for several months.
It sounds like a lot of trouble but trust me when I tell you that once you start cooking with brown flour you'll never want to go back.
This stuff is pure magic.