By Nikki Willhite
There are some people who
just won't eat meat and potatoes
without gravy. Others do not eat it because of health issues.
This article is not to debate the issue. For those who want to
make gravy, here are some tips to make it better.
You can buy a gravy mix and just add water, or you can make it
from scratch. Homemade gravy will always taste better than gravy
made from a package. However, if you do want to start with a mix,
try using canned bouillon instead of water.
The rich flavor in gravy comes from the fat, which comes out of
meat while it is slowly cooking. The best tasting gravy,
therefore, starts with the quality of the meat you are cooking.
Gravy can be made from the drippings of beef, chicken, or turkey.
For every cup of gravy, you are going to need approximately
2 Tablespoons of
2 Tablespoons of flour
1 Cup of liquid
There are several ways to make gravy, but here is the easiest.
After the meat is cooked, remove the needed amount of fat or
drippings from the bottom of the pan in which the meat was
Run it through a strainer or sieve to remove any particles in the
fat. Then place the strained liquid in a pan which you can put on
Next you add the flour to the gravy. When making gravy, you
always use equal amounts of fat and flour. This is very
important, so always measure carefully. If you use too much
flour, you will drown out the taste of the fat, which is where
the flavor comes from.
Add the flour to the fat, and mix well. Then turn on the heat.
Start with very low heat. You must stir constantly. You need to
cook this mixture long enough so that the flour is cooked.
The mixture will turn brown and begin to bubble. If you donít
cook the flour long enough, it will have a raw taste, and ruin
the flavor of your gravy.
The next step, adding the liquid to the fat/flour mixture, is
where most people get into trouble. If you just pour the water
into the mixture, you may get lumps.
To be safe, bring the water temperature up before combining the
two. To do this, first add some of the very hot fat/flour mixture
to the water to bring up the temperature of the water. Stir well
to distribute the heat.
Take the pan off the burner, and then add the water, SLOWLY,
After the two are well blended, return to the burner, and bring
to a boil for about a minute. Be sure and keep stirring, so that
the fat does not separate from the liquid.
The flour is what is going to thicken the liquid mixture. You
want to stir and cook until you get the consistency you like.
When you make gravy, you cannot leave the pan unattended. Have
your seasonings nearby so you can put them in at the end while
you are stirring. Even after you take the pan off the stove, it
will still keep cooking for a while and will become thicker.
Continue to stir your gravy right up to the time you put it on
the table. This is why the gravy is always done last. It is not
hard, but it takes you constant attention.
A few other things to consider:
The more spices you add to the meat before cooking, the more
flavorful the fat and the less spices you will need to add for
Here are some of the ingredients to add with the meat to make a
rich, tasty gravy:
If you want to make your gravy thicker, increase the amount of
fat and flour that you put into each Cup of liquid. Very thick
gravy has as much as 3 Tablespoons of each. Thin gravy only one.
If you donít have enough fat, you can add some melted butter or
For a rich, flavorful gravy, avoid using plain water as your
liquid. Use bouillon or soup stock.
If you are making gravy for poultry, you can add some milk or
cream, but be careful that you donít burn it.
If your gravy still comes out with lumps try beating it harder
with a wire whisk, blender or Cuisinart. If lumps remain, run the
gravy through a colander or strainer. Reheat over low heat,
Sauces are what differentiate a good cook from a great cook.
Find a combination of spices and flavorings that you like, and
perfect that homemade gravy.