Basic Pan Gravy

Basic pan gravy. Because a great gravy that's foolproof and fabulous just doesn't happen by accident. Here's how it does happen.

Basic Pan Gravy Recipe

This basic gravy recipe is a cinch to make and goes spectacularly with any kind of roast. No fuss. No mess. No lumps. Just easy, foolproof gravy. Which isn’t as easy to pull off as you may think. So trust us when we say great gravy doesn’t happen by accident. Here’s how it does happen. With details outlining every last detail of how to make it.  Originally published October 30, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Make Gravy From A Brined Cut Of Meat

Wondering how to make gravy from a brined cut of meat? The short answer is don’t even try. Seriously. It’s a big no-no. The saltiness in the pan drippings will truly overpower everything else in your gravy. Trust us. Don’t even bother.

Basic Pan Gravy Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • Pan and drippings from a roast beef, chicken, turkey, guinea hen, pork loin, or other cut of meat (NOT a brined cut of meat)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade stock, warmed (use a chicken stock for roast chicken, turkey stock for turkey, beef stock for roast beef, and so on)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • 1. After roasting the meat, transfer it to a warmed platter or plate and set aside to rest.
  • 2. Skim the excess fat from the surface of the liquid that collected in the roasting pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons juices mingled with a little fat. Place the roasting pan over 1 or 2 burners on medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the caramelized pan juices, then sprinkle the flour over the top, stirring constantly to blend it well with the fat and juices. Cook, still stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the flour becomes a light golden color.
  • 3. Still stirring, slowly add the warm stock to the roasting pan. Bring to a boil and cook—say it with us, still stirring constantly—until the sauce thickens and the mixture is reduced by about a third and has a gravylike consistency. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Serve immediately.

Gravy Variations

  • Herb and Mustard Gravy
  • Simply add a small handful of your favorite herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or sage, to the gravy as it reduces. Whisk in 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard before straining.
  • Wine Gravy
  • Substitute 1/3 cup red wine, port, or white wine for 1/3 cup stock and add it gradually, as you did with the stock.
  • Beer Gravy
  • Add a 12-ounce bottle dark beer to the gravy in place of 1 1/2 cups stock. Wonderful with roast beef or pork.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

I think this is a great basic pan gravy recipe to keep on hand when you make any roast item that needs a gravy. This would make a super easy Thanksgiving gravy as well as Easter roast gravy or anything else. I didn’t try any of the variations, but I think that each would work great!

This is a great way to make gravy for a roast—even if you don’t have enough drippings. The roast I cooked didn’t surrender enough drippings for gravy, so I improvised by adding some butter. Sure enough, the roux yielded a fantastic sauce for our roast beef. I used the wine variation, adding 1/2 cup port for a well-rounded gravy, and everyone loved it.

My slightly alternative approach to this pan gravy was to substitute the braising liquid from a big pile of short ribs for the roast pan drippings. I chose the herb and mustard variation. The recipe is foolproof, easy, and has demonstrated that it’s really versatile. I added a heaping tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs rather than a small handful of dried herbs. It tasted perfect, and I didn’t have to strain the herbs out.

This recipe is a nice way to end up with pan gravy after making any of a wide variety of roast meats, poultry, or game. It’s pretty straightforward, and open to many variations. I tried a beer gravy to use up the rest of the bottle of beer I had opened when making the Wheat Beer Chicken. I had some beautiful fresh thyme, so I added that to the gravy also. I cooked some vegetables and used the leftover chicken and gravy to make a crustless chicken potpie. There are even leftovers for tomorrow, all after having a nice amount of gravy to begin with.

Comments

  1. Why pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat when you can just make more gravy than the 1 2/3 cups you’ll have with the above formula? My family would kill me if there was not a lake of gravy available not only for that dinner but for use with leftovers (and french fries, if you like).

    1. An excellent question, Soupçon. I guess not everyone appreciates a lake of gravy, and so the recipe developer and cookbook author was simply trying to be modest. But by all means, do as you suggest!

  2. I have to pass on Shirley O. Corridor’s mother’s tip for gravy because once I tried it I never went back. Shirley says her mom used to throw a handful of bread stuffing into the bottom of the roasting pan when the turkey went into the oven. While the turkey roasts the bread is sopping up all those fats and the veggies and herbs are rendering down into the excess juices.

    When the turkey comes out of the oven you put it in your microwave — that big insulated box that will hold the temperature — to rest. Now add a bit of liquid — broth if you’ve got any left but don’t dismiss the tasty seasoned potato cooking water — right into your roasting pan and whirl it all to liquify with a hand blender. Then you can taste and add more liquid to a good ratio with the juices and roasty bits and, if necessary add a bit of flour stirred first into cool liquid to thicken to taste.

    It will be tasty. It will be lump free. You won’t go back to plain flour.

    1. Wow, rainey, thank you! I’d never heard this before and it is, indeed revelatory! Happy, happy Thankgiving!

      1. I know. It came at me as a bolt of lightening after decades of doing traditional gravy. But what more vaunted recommendation can you get than Shirley O. Corriher and the woman who taught HER to cook?!

        1. It’s the identical thickening agent as flour but in the form of bread it WON’T gelatinize and lump up like flour. And it’s tastier with all the herbs and aromatics. How can you lose?

  3. My mother-in-law always made a white wine reduction, with a couple cups of white wine and a bouquet garni, boiled down by half, to add to the drippings. After the second time some helpful soul threw out the wine, thinking it was water, I began simply pouring a bottle of dry white wine into the roasting pan, a cup at a time or so over the course of roasting time; keeps drippings from burning, infuses them with wine flavor, and makes the best gravy ever.

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