Gravy – Technique

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Dear Home Ec 101:

How do you make gravy? Does it all come from a jar?

~Dry in Dover

Heather says:

There is a knack to gravy, but it’s simple to make once you understand the secret.

Simple Homemade Gravy/ Gravy Technique

When the meat (roast, chicken etc.) has finished cooking, pour all of the drippings* into a fat separator. These are one of the few kitchen gadgets I highly recommend. You’ll need to have 2 cups of liquid for this recipe. If there wasn’t enough in the pan, you might add stock, canned broth, or bouillon and water.

*Be sure to scrape all the browned bits from the bottom. These are packed with flavor!

Heat 2 1/2 TBSPs of fat (skimmed from the drippings) in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in 1/4 cup flour, constantly stirring with a wooden spatula*. If you don’t have 2 1/2 TBSPs of fat, butter or bacon grease can be used in addition to or instead of skimmed drippings.

*You can use a rubber one, but I find it easier to break up any lumps with a wooden one.

The fat and flour will make a thick paste, keep stirring it over medium heat until the roux (that’s what it’s called) darkens several shades. This step eliminates a pasty, floury taste. Your arm may get tired, but keep stirring. Call in a stunt double if you have to.

Now, very slowly add 2 cups of the broth/pan drippings to your roux. Start with just a few tablespoons and stir them in completely. Add a little more and stir that in. Each time you add broth, you may add a slightly larger amount. If you add the liquid too quickly, you’ll end up with lumpy gravy, so be patient, Daniel-san.

Once all of your broth has been stirred into the roux, bring the gravy to a simmer and season to taste. I like to add a little extra of the herbs used to flavor the main course.

Remove from the heat and serve.

Congratulations, gravy, just like Grandma used to make.

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8 thoughts on “Gravy – Technique”

  1. Lumpy gravy can be saved–that’s what a blender is for. 😉 Just blend and return to the pan and cook until it thickens. Works great.

    This is pretty much how I make mine, too, and it’s yummy. Canned gravy tastes like plastic to me. Ick. Nothing beats homemade pork chop gravy made with milk instead of broth. Yum!

  2. Great way to explain gravy making. I grew up as my grandmother’s “stunt double” and my earliest memories of her are in the kitchen with me standing on a stool at the stove stirring. As a mom, I’ve figured out that this was her way of including me while keeping me out of the way while she finished cooking everything else. 🙂

    •  @lmccollum I love your Grandmother all ready!    MUST remember!  MUST remember!  I may have grandchildren one day…. maybe!

  3.  @HeatherSolos Just found your reply by mistake!  LOL … Well, I definitely am not using it correctly if I am supposed to put the plug in the spout first!  I will look for a video on youtube or something…. I just don’t know how to use it.  My Dad bought it for me and it is one of those little gadgets that gets used a couple of times a year.  I don’t know if I will even choose to keep it.


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