Monday, November 24, 2014

Granny 101: Homemade Gravy



I don't like to brag, (Okay, I totally like to brag.) but this granny is known far and wide for making really great sauces and gravies.  It's only fair, because I can't bake worth a darn.  (Don't report that to the Granny's Union, or they might try to take back my card.)

I'm just surprised at how many people claim they can't make good gravy, because honestly, it's not rocket surgery.  But if you are one of those people, let me show you how it's done.

Whatever kind of gravy you want to make:  chicken, turkey, beef,  it all works the same way.

It starts with pan drippings.  You know -- the greasy, charred-looking mess you find at the bottom of the pan whenever you roast meat.  Never discard that.  It is flavor gold.


Even if you're not planning to make gravy, deglaze that stuff and refrigerate it in a small airtight container for a myriad of other delicious uses.

To deglaze, simply add a small amount of liquid.  Water is fine, but broth is even better.  Even a little wine isn't wrong.  And stir, scrape, slosh with a slotted spoon until suddenly that greasy, crispy mess starts to look brown, rich and yummy.


Once you have incorporated every tasty bit into your pan juice, pour it through a mesh strainer into a measuring cup.  Then add approximately the same amount of broth (chicken, beef, whatever) to end up with an even number of cups.  For instance, I started with just under 1 cup of pan juice, and I added a little more than 1 cup of chicken broth to end up with a full 2 cups of base liquid for my gravy.



The reason this is important is because perfect gravy is a combination of 1 cup of liquid to 1 tablespoon each of fat and flour in the form of a roux.



A roux, (correctly pronounced, "yeah, baby!") is simply equal amounts of fat and flour, cooked until golden.


A classic roux uses clarified butter, but any good quality fat will work just fine.  Regular butter, coconut oil, ghee, bacon grease, whatever.  Just don't use margarine.  For one thing, it is a poison.  For another, most margarine contains quite a bit of water.  If you don't believe me, melt some butter in one pan and margarine in another.  The difference will be noticeable.  Then throw out the margarine.  Not just the stuff you melted -- all of it.


So, if you have 2 cups of base liquid (pan juices and broth), you will need to melt 2 tablespoons of fat in a skillet over medium heat and mix in 2 tablespoons of flour to make an unappetizing greasy paste.  Don't give up.  Just keep cooking, keep stirring and stirring with that slotted spoon a couple of minutes or so, until your paste starts to brown.



Next add in about a fourth of your base liquid and stir, stir, stir some more.  It's still not going to look like gravy, but keep stirring and slowly adding liquid ...


... until finally the stuff in your pan begins to look like a thin gravy.  Raise the heat to medium high and keep stirring to reduce this to the desired thickness.

Finally, take a taste.  Depending on how well you seasoned your meat in the roasting process, this may taste just fine, but chances are, you'll want to add a little salt or maybe some herbs in the final few minutes of cooking.



And there you have it:  delicious homemade gravy.  Better than anything you'll ever find in a jar.

Enjoy!





42 comments:

  1. I LOOOOOVE gravy! YUMMY! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  2. Your gravy looks so good.
    Thanks for sharing how to make it with us at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.

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  3. My gravy is hit or miss, and now I know why! I plan to link this to my 3 daughters so they can make better gravy too. I'm your newest follower.

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    1. You are so kind! I'm looking forward to seeing you again!

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  4. Looks perfect. I even do this with the drippings from rotisserie chicken!

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    1. WHAT? That's a great idea! I'll bet it's delicious.

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  5. This is a wonderful tutorial. I love how you broke it down to why you should do what you do. I bet you could get invited to dinner anywhere if you promised to make the gravy. :) Great job!

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    1. Invite me to dinner, and we'll see! Thanks for your kind comments!

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  6. Wow this is easy. I always buy the packages to add to the drippings. I'll have to give this a try.

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  7. Good Evening Nan, I loved your tutorial on making gravy as I make mine in exactly the same way. My father-in-law taught me how to make gravy when I first married my husband as he was the cook in the family. He always said, the 'burnt bits are the best'.... and he meant the sticky bits at the bottom of the pan.
    Your tutorial is brilliant.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne
    ivyphyllisandme.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much, Daphne! It's a pleasure for me to hear from you and to have you approve my gravy-making method. I hope you will come back again soon. I will surely give a visit to your blog. Cheers!

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  8. Gravy can be tricky and I appreciate you sharing this with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday! Pinning for all those who could use some help in this area :)
    ~Laurie

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  9. Ok, I'll be honest...I had no earthly idea how to make gravy until I read this post. Now I can't wait for Thanksgiving to try it! Thanks so much for linking up to the Weekend Wind-Down party, and you can bet I will be sharing this for others who may be as incompetent as I am ;)

    Nicole

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    1. Oh, I know you'll do great, Nicole! I hope you like how it turns out, and all your family friends are impressed!

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    2. Thank you for your vote of confidence! I pinned this and also shared it with my FB followers so hopefully someone else can benefit from it as well! (Here is the FB mention if you want to see it! https://www.facebook.com/soseworganized/posts/895891740460834)

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  10. I'm always a bit intimidated by making my own gravy. A good gravy adds so much to a great meal, like Thanksgiving.I will follow your instructions and try this.

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    1. I hope it goes well for you! You're right: people always look forward to gravy at holiday dinners.

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  11. Love this tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. What a great post! So many people don't understand gravy and you detailed it perfectly! Thanks for sharing on the Lazy Gastronome's What's for Dinner linky party!

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  13. Now that is a wonderful pan of Gravy, it looks fantastic! Your recipe is awesome, I have pinned it. We really enjoy you sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again soon!
    Miz Helen

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  14. Hi! Iwas surfing and hopping through several blogs and found your recipe. I have been looking for this! My kids love gravy and this recipe looks yum!

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    1. Hi, Tisha! I'm glad you ran across my blog. Make those kids some great gravy, then come back and tell me how they liked it. Cheers!

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  15. I generally use coffee as the liquid for my gravy. It's how Momma taught me. I will have to try the broth, we like broth! Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday.

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  16. Ooooohhhhh that gravy looks sooooo good! It's totally something to brag about! So glad I discovered this post through the Sunshine Life Blog link-up!

    JD - altamontefamily.com

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  17. That gravy looks amazing. I usually resort to granules. Now I have no excuse!

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    1. You'd have been just fine if it weren't for that meddling granny! (I really hope it works out well for you.)

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  18. Great post and thanks for sharing! Featuring today on The Painted Drawer Link Party!

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  19. So glad we found each other. I'm going to try to make homemade gravy this year. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's Best Linkup. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts.

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  20. Thanks, Rhonda! I'm glad to be invited back!

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  21. Yes! I love making gravy. Once I figured out the process I've been proud of my gravy making skills. And you're right, it's really easy once you know how! Thank for linking up to the Sunshine Life Link Up!

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    1. You go, Mary! Just be careful: once word gets out that you make great gravy, you'll start getting recruited. I once attended a dinner party where the hostess met me at the door, handed me a spoon and an apron, and pointed me to the kitchen. Then she headed off for the cocktails! I have no idea what that poor woman went through prior to my arrival, but it must have been bad! LOL!

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    2. Haha, that's happened to me before! So yes, it is a curse to the talent, but hey, it's better than having bad gravy at a party ;)

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