It's All Gravy

By • November 2, 2010 • 8 Comments

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Author Notes: "Drippings" and "fond" sound so much more edible and a lot less gross than "caramelized blood, melted fat and other fluids" stuck to the bottom of a pan, but that's what you need to make a satisfying gravy. Whether those drippings come from ham, pork, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, ground beef or breakfast sausage, (or, grudgingly, tomatoes) or whether those meats have been roasted, braised, sauteed, pan- or deep-fried, you don't need a recipe as much as a formula. It's very easy to remember--the proportions are 1:1:1, but making it requires a little forethought so it doesn't turn into a plain bland topping on a plain bland base. Will the liquid be stock or water, milk or cream, beer or ginger beer? Hmmmm. . .decisions, decisions. (Is it October and is there pork and sauerkraut? Beer gravy it is!) Will the taste of the gravy be affected if the chicken is roasted with lemons or the ham is studded with cloves? Yes, it most certainly will (lemony chicken gravy is wonderful with rice, but save the cloves for gingerbread). Will it complement or clash with the taste of the mashed potatoes, rice, polenta, noodles, puff pastry, biscuits or toast? Hamburger gravy is great on mashed potatoes or white toast--don't try it on biscuits, no matter how light and fluffy they are. This would be a much easier task if it had an accompanying flow chart. Is there an app for this?betteirene

Makes at least 1 cup

  • Pan drippings
  • 1 tablespoon fat, butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup liquid
  • Salt (if needed)
  • Pepper (if needed)
  1. Remove meat from the cookware; set it aside and keep the meat warm with a loose tent of foil. If there is any liquid mixed with the drippings, you can do one of two things: On the stove over medium-high heat, cook the liquid off until only fat and drippings remain in the pan, then carefully pour the fat into a glass liquid measuring cup; or, pour the contents into a fat separator (be careful not to pour off any drippings, and use the liquid collected as part or all of the liquid required to make the gravy). In the event you have drippings but have collected no fat, use butter or vegetable oil.
  2. For each cup of gravy desired, add one tablespoon of fat and one tablespoon of flour to the drippings in the pan. Whisk or stir together until the fat has absorbed all the flour. Set the pan over medium-low heat and let cook a full minute, stirring or whisking constantly.
  3. Add your choice of liquid, turn the heat to medium-high and stir briskly for two to three minutes, until the flour loses its raw taste. Depending on the meat and how it was seasoned, salt and/or pepper might not be necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Comments (8) Questions (0)

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Dsc03010

over 3 years ago betteirene

Thanks, everyone. I'm glad all my years of terrible gravy could be of so much help.

Thanks especially to you, mrslarkin. Hilarious ("Are you wearing pants?") and yet so wise ("The price of great bacon is eternal vigilance"). It's printing out as we speak and it's going right onto the refrigerator.

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over 3 years ago adamnsvetcooking

Love your spunk and recipe ahaha

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Great recipe, betteirene. Thank you for this! I feel like the curtain's been raised and the mystery solved! I love your humor and your knowledge. You're right, flowcharts would be helpful! It works for bacon: http://www.cslacker.com...

Henrykiss

over 3 years ago arielleclementine

that flowchart is rad!

Henrykiss

over 3 years ago arielleclementine

this is a great recipe! just what gravy should be :) and i love the 'caramelized blood' note- hilarious!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

betteirene, this is like a really great cooking lesson.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Everyone says its such a cinch to make, but I've always been gravy-challenged. Thanks for demystifying it, betteirene. I'll be referring to this on Thanksgiving.

Monkeys

over 3 years ago monkeymom

Your title, headnote, and recipe = perfection. :)