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Help: making a roux

im_with_ana | Feb 29, 201212:58 PM

So I know that fat amount=flour amount, I.e when I'm making a roux I have to use equal amounts of fat and flour. I tried making a roux to make a cheese sauce and completely messed it up. First of all I didn't have any butter so I used lard (its fat, isn't it?) And then when I added in my cornflour (i improvised as i had ran out of plain flour) then added my cheese and it just turned intto a lumpy mess.
My first question is, when making a roux I have to use plain flour amd either butter or oil, no alternatives?
And my second question is how do I know when to use a roux when making a sauce?
And lastly are there any alternatives to making cheesey sauces or is making a roux better?

All help is greatly appricated! And hopefully some day when I understand all the "sciencey" bits of cooking, I can maybe help some one aswell :-)

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