- Make turkey and chicken gravy with a roux.
- Make beef or vegetable gravy with a slurry.
4 cups stock (turkey, beef, chicken, pork, venison, vegetable), homemade or off the shelf (see note)
¼ cup unsalted butter or vegetable oil
To make a roux: ¼ cup all-purpose flour OR
To make a slurry: 2 tablespoons cornstarch or 3 tablespoons arrowroot or ¼ cup instant flour
Pan Drippings (optional, recipe follows)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Madeira or sherry (optional)
Note: If you are going to add pan drippings, reduce stock to 3 cups.
Making gravy with a roux: Bring stock to a boil in a medium pot. Remove from heat; keep warm. Melt butter in, or add oil to, a large heavy saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Whisk in ¼ cup all-purpose flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Continue to stir while the roux turns golden brown.
Your roux is ready to make gravy when it is the color of café au lait and emits a slightly toasted aroma. Gradually whisk in the hot stock and Pan Drippings, if using, bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the gravy is at a bare simmer. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, whisking frequently, or until thickened. Add salt to taste, 1 teaspoon at a time, and pepper as desired. Keep warm until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir in Madeira or sherry if using.
If making ahead, allow gravy to cool completely at room temperature. Do not refrigerate until cooled. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat gently and serve. If too thick, thin with additional stock. If too thin, thicken with a slurry (see below).
Making gravy with a slurry: Bring stock to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat to low and add butter or oil to the hot stock, stirring well. In a small bowl or jar with tight-fitting lid, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch or 3 tablespoons arrowroot or ¼ cup instant flour with an equal amount of water or room temperature stock. Stir or shake until smooth. Gradually add the slurry to the hot, but not boiling, stock, whisking constantly. Whisk in the Pan Drippings, if using. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, whisking frequently, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add salt to taste, 1 teaspoon at a time, and pepper as desired. Keep warm until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir in Madeira or sherry if using.
Pan Drippings: If you have them, add pan drippings for a more “roasted” flavor. Remove beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey or other meat from roasting pan; place on cutting board or platter for slicing. Tent with foil to keep warm and rest 10 minutes. Pour the drippings from the roasting pan through a fine strainer into a large measuring cup. Skim the fat; add enough water (and/or wine if desired) to measure 1 cup. Place the roasting pan across two burners set on medium-high heat and add the drippings mixture.
Scrape up pan’s remaining browned bits with a wooden spoon and incorporate, stirring frequently until mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain into the gravy; simmer or heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Also stir in any juices from the rested meat. Adjust seasoning with salt. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Note: For more flavor in vegetarian gravy, add roasted, sliced mushrooms