This site uses cookies Learn More

Cooking with Tallyrand




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 

stock 500 ml
flour  1 -2  tbs
  1. after the meat is roasted, remove from the roasting tray and allow it to sit, covered to rest
  2. carefully pour away any excess fat that has been rendered down. This is achieved by gently tipping the pan to one corner. The roasting juices should settle to the bottom, so the fat can easily be poured away.
  3. place the pan back onto a medium heat to heat up, when hot add a few tbs of stock and stir with a wooden spoon. This is known as deglazing, and will loosen any cooked sediment off the bottom of the pan
  4. pour approx 2 tbs of the fat back into the tray and add the flour (1tbs if you prefer only a slightly thickened gravy, 2 tbs if you like a good, hearty, thick gravy). Stir and to cook for a few minutes, allowing the flour to brown slightly 
  5. gradually pour in the stock, while stirring or whisking to ensure the flour mix is evenly distrubuted and doesnt cause lumps 
  6. gently simmer for 5 minutes while stirring frequently 
  7. taste and season if required (see notes below)
  8. strain and serve


chef notes

when correcting, the following may be added if required

  • for colour  - gravy browning or black jack
  • for flavour - meat glaze, powdered stock mix,soy sauce, lea & perrins, bovril, vegemite or marmite 

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