Cooking On A Budget: How To Make Homemade Gravy

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How To Make Homemade Gravy

I have simple rules for making delicious gravy each and every time. Generally I make plenty of gravy when doing a pot roasted beef so that the left over gravy can be turned into another meal. The photograph shows a large bowl of gravy that will be used up in another meal. The gravy has been chilled down and is ready to go in the freezer or used up during the week.

  1. Start with a good piece of beef that has a good fat cap and good marbling throughout the beef. If the beef does not have a good fat cap (Eye of the Round Roasts are a good example), ask your grocery store butcher if he/she can provide you with some. To secure the fat cap, tie it to the roast with butchers twine.
  2. Always add chunks of onion, celery and carrot to the roasting pan.
  3. Add beef broth at the very end of the cooking time when doing "roasted beef" or at the beginning if making a braised pot roast.
  4. When your roast is fully cooked to your liking, remove from the pan to rest. Make a slurry with cornstarch and water or beef broth (approximately 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup liquid). Set aside.
  5. Set your roasting pan on top of the stove over medium to medium high heat and add water or broth. If you want to make sure you have left-over gravy, be sure and add plenty of water or broth.
  6. Using a whisk, and with a circular motion stir the liquid and pick up all of the pan drippings from the bottom and sides of the pan.
  7. If your liquid has lots of fat, use a fat separator and transfer the liquid to a saucepan.
  8. Bring the mixture up to a boil. At this point I like to add in some Gravy Master.*
  9. Pour in the slurry mixture a little at a time and keep whisking until you have the consistency of the gravy you like. The more slurry, the thicker the gravy. Turn the heat back to low and cook for 1 minute more while still whisking.
Use the above principles for making gravy for poultry or pork. If you are making poultry or pork, substitute chicken or turkey broth in place of beef broth. For lamb roasts I would use beef broth, or a combination of beef and chicken broth.

* Gravy Master is available at your grocery store. I use this in all of my homemade gravy, whether I am making beef, poultry or pork gravy. It adds flavor and gives the gravies a darker color.

Tips: You can substitute flour, Wondra or Arrowroot for thickening agents. You won't know how thick your gravy will be until it comes to a full boil.
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