Gravy

Gravy

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

A sauce made in the pan from the browned, coagulated juices left after meat is roasted or pan-fried. It is made by deglazing, that is by adding liquid to the pan and scraping and stirring the flavoursome bits into it as it boils. The liquid used may be vegetable cooking water, stock, wine, cream or a mixture of these.

A good gravy should be well flavoured and light-bodied so that it ‘shows the meat’. It is usually rather scant since the rich meat flavours are lost if too much liquid is added. A thin or clear gravy (in French, jus), achieves its body by reduction and perhaps a little butter swirled in at the end.

Purists frown on the use of flour to thicken a gravy, but since a great many people like gravy made this way, and since it is, after all, simply a roux‑based sauce like many respected classics, it seems unreasonable to decry it. The points to watch are that the flour is browned slowly to give good flavour and colour and that you use just enough to give body, without making the gravy heavy and blanketing.

For a gravy which is lightly thickened but still clear, make jus lié by thickening clear gravy with a little arrowroot, or add body with two or three spoonfuls of vegetable purée.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Clear gravy: Put a few slices of onion or carrot under meat in roasting tin, if desired, to strengthen flavour of the juices. After meat is cooked, transfer it to a heated platter and keep warm. Heat tin gently on top of stove, allowing juices and sediment to colour without burning. Pour fat off slowly without disturbing sediment.
  2. Off the heat, add 250–500 ml hot vegetable water or stock and stir thoroughly, scraping up sediment. Return to heat and boil until reduced by about one-quarter, stirring and scraping several more times. Add any juices that have escaped from meat. Season, strain and serve very hot. If desired, a knob of butter may be swirled into the gravy, off the heat, at the last moment.
  3. Wine gravy: Follow recipe for clear gravy using half vegetable water or stock and half red or white wine as the liquid. Or make clear gravy using all stock and add a glass of dry sherry before reducing gravy.
  4. Cream gravy: Follow recipe for clear gravy using cream or a mixture of cream and stock or vegetable water as the liquid.
  5. Vegetable-thickened gravy: To make a thickened gravy without starch, follow recipe for clear gravy and stir in some vegetable purée at the end. Use 2–3 tablespoons purée per 250 ml of gravy. For the purée, choose a mixture from mushrooms, cauliflower, spinach, onions, carrots, celery and tinned or fresh tomatoes. Simmer in a little stock, or water and a stock cube, with a few fresh herbs or a pinch of dried herbs, and drain well. Purée in a blender or food processor, then sieve. Any leftover purée may be frozen in small portions for future use.
  6. Thickened gravy: Put a few slices of onion or carrot under meat in roasting tin, if desired, to strengthen flavour of the juices. After meat is cooked, tranfer it to a heated platter and keep warm. Off the heat, sprinkle 1 tablespoon plain flour into tin and blend well with fat. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is nut-brown. Slowly pour in 375 ml vegetable water or stock, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir until boiling, then add any juices that have escaped from meat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season, strain to remove lumps and serve very hot.
  7. Thickened wine gravy or cream gravy: Prepare by varying liquid used, in the same way as for the wine and cream variations of clear gravy.
  8. Mushroom gravy: Follow recipe for thickened gravy but pour off all fat from pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and sauté 90 g sliced mushrooms before blending in flour. Use cream or a mixture of cream and stock or vegetable water as the liquid. Use for beef steaks, pork or veal chops, meat loaves or hamburgers.
  9. Jus lié: Follow recipe for clear gravy. Mix a little arrowroot with cold water, using 2 teaspoons arrowroot per 250 ml of gravy. Pour into boiling gravy, stirring until it is clear and lightly thickened. A spoonful of Madeira, port or brandy may be added per each cup gravy to taste; simmer for a few minutes longer before serving.
  10. Onion gravy: After meat is cooked, transfer it to a heated platter and keep warm. Slowly pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from tin, leaving sediment undisturbed. Add 1 onion, finely chopped, and sauté until softened. Add 1 tablespoon plain flour and 1 teaspoon dry mustard; stir over low heat until browned. Stir in 190 ml beef stock; 125 ml flat beer, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried. Stir until boiling, simmer for 5 minutes and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use for sausages or pork chops.
Tags:
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again