Basic Pan Gravy

This basic pan gravy teaches you how to make any kind of gravy using three ingredients: pan drippings, flour, and stock. A must for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Sunday supper.

Basic Pan Gravy

This basic gravy recipe is a cinch to make. No fuss. No mess. No lumps. Just easy, foolproof gravy. Which isn’t as easy to pull off as you may think. Because great gravy doesn’t happen by accident. Here’s how it does happen. Complete with instructions 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. The saltiness in the pan drippings will truly overpower everything else in your gravy. Sorta like a narcissist dominating the conversation at a cocktail party. Trust us. Don’t even bother.

Basic Pan Gravy

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 2 1/2 cups
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  • Roasting pan with the 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


  • 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.

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.

This recipe is foolproof, easy, and has demonstrated that it’s really versatile.

My slightly alternative approach 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. 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.

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