I have simple rules for making delicious gravy each and every time. Generally I make plenty of gravy when doing a pot roasted beef or roast beef so that the left over gravy can be used into another meal. At the bottom of this post I address how you would make a beef gravy if you haven't made either a roast beef or pot roast dinner.
- 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.
- Always add chunks of onion, celery and carrot to the roasting pan.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If your liquid has lots of fat, use a fat separator and transfer the liquid to a saucepan.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil. At this point I like to add in some Gravy Master.*
- 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.
* 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.
Question: What happens if I did not make a roast beef or pot roast and I want beef gravy for say a meat loaf dinner?
Answer: Buy a good beef stock or broth. My go to broth although it is expensive is Campbells® Beef Broth which generally sells for $1.99 for a small can. What I do is cut up half of a smaller sized onion, a large carrot and a stalk of celery into large chunks. I put the beef broth (one can for a smaller amount, two cans for more) in a medium sized sauce pot along with a drop or so of Gravy Master® and the chunks of vegetables. Then I let this simmer covered for about 45 minutes to an hour until the vegetables have softened and released their flavor. After that I remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and taste for pepper or salt. Then I make a slurry with the cornstarch and water - about 2 tbsp. of cornstarch to 1/2 cup or so of water. Whisk the slurry well. Bring the broth up to a boil and slowly add the slurry and whisk until you reach the desired thickness of the gravy.