Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cooking 101: Making Gravy

So you've cooked your chicken, roast beast or turkey. Now you really want some gravy to go on those mashed potatoes. Here is a simple recipe for a basic brown gravy to serve with any roasted meat. This was always my job on occasions.

Brown Gravy

  • Drippings from roaster containing chicken, roast, duck, goose, lamb or turkey
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Remove bird or beast from the pan to a serving dish. Strain the drippings from the roaster using a fine sieve or cheesecloth and return clear liquid to the pan. Scrape sides of pan to get the essence (flavorful part of the roasting process) to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Mix cornstarch and water (approximately 2 -4 tbsp cornstarch to 1 c cold water) together in a measuring cup until creamy (yes, this is again a type of roux)
  3. Heat the drippings in the pan and slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. A wooden spoon always works best
  4. Continue adding water or corn starch/water mix until your gravy is smooth and creamy, to your desired thickness. Heat until simmering.

Note: Adding cornstarch gives you a clearer gravy. Using flour is the traditional method but flour tends to clump more and isn't as clear and attractive. If you leave bits of onion in the gravy, it will be a bit lumpy but more flavorful. Always salt and pepper to your preferences. If your meat has been well seasoned, you won't need to add additional spices. Also, please remember to always mix your starch with a bit of water to add it to a hot liquid, or you will get lumps. Some people like to also add some OXO or the equivalent to the drippings to make gravy. This works well if your fat hasn't browned - it gives it more color and taste.

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