GRAVIES - a confusing term for some. The word gravy, is of course used also by many to refer to any type of sauce, and indeed in Indian cuisine, the word is used to mean just that.
But professionally we use the term to mean the 'sauce' served with roast meats, usually produced using any roasting juices that came from the meat, along with additional stock. The caramelise sticky brown residue left at the bnottom of a roasting tray, is packed full of meaty flavour and goodness, and just too tasty to let go to waste. There is a non thickened gravy (known as a jus roti) or a thickened gravy (known as a jus lie). For the latter we use some of the rendered down fat of the roast to make the thickening agent (known as a roux)
These days, there is a plethora of ready made gravy mixes, powders, granules etc. Fresh gravies are just so easy to make, it suprises me that instant mixes are used. Not only that, it probably cheaper too. So if you prefer to make it fresh read on .........
The basis of any good gravy is of course a good stock. If you do not have access to fresh stock, then use a good stock cube. Personally I swear by the OXO brand, they have a great meaty flavour without the artificial, MSG type taste of others. To ensure you get a great flavour, crumble the OXOs into a measuring jug or bowl and just keep adding enough water until you get the strength of flavour you prefer. measure that out into cups, then every time you make a gravy etc, you will know just how many cubes to water to use
The recipe here is for a thickened gravy, if you prefer an unthickened, simply follow the process below but simply leave out the flour
when correcting, the following may be added if required
for that little bit extra, in place of the stock for deglazing, use a red or white wine, port or madiera. Ensuring it simmers until almost totally evaporated before adding the stock. This will give the gravy a great flavour from the wine etc but without the acidity
a wonderful peppered gravy/sauce can be made by adding chopped green peppercorns and freshly milled pepper, and finishing with a dash of cream