Gravy is a staple of many meals, adding extra flavor and texture to everything from mashed potatoes to roasted turkey. While it’s easy enough to buy pre-made gravy in a jar or can, making homemade gravy is simpler than you might think. Not only does it taste better, but it also allows you to control the ingredients, ensuring that your gravy is free of preservatives and other unwanted additives. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps to make delicious homemade gravy from scratch. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, our step-by-step guide is sure to help you create a gravy that will impress your family and guests.
Homemade gravy is a staple in many kitchens, especially during the holiday season. Whether it’s for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, gravy is an essential component that brings all the flavors of the meal together. Making your own gravy from scratch is not only easy but also satisfying. In this post, we’ll show you how to make homemade gravy with our tried-and-tested recipe.
Our homemade gravy recipe uses basic ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. By making your own gravy, you can control the quality of the ingredients and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any drippings from your roast or turkey.
We’ll go over every step of the process, from making the roux to adding liquid, seasonings, and finishing touches. You don’t need any special equipment or culinary skills to make this recipe. All you need is a whisk, a saucepan, and some patience.
The best part about making homemade gravy is that you can customize it to your liking. If you prefer a thicker or thinner consistency, you can adjust the amount of flour or liquid accordingly. You can also add different herbs and spices to create a unique flavor profile.
In summary, making homemade gravy is a simple yet rewarding task. With our recipe, you can elevate any meal and impress your guests with your culinary skills. Let’s get started and learn how to make homemade gravy from scratch.
Making homemade gravy requires only a few basic ingredients, but the quality of those ingredients can make all the difference in the final flavor and texture of your gravy. Here are the key ingredients you will need:
Flour: Flour is used to thicken the gravy and create a smooth, velvety texture. All-purpose flour is the most common choice, but you can also use other types of flour, such as cornstarch or rice flour, for gluten-free options.
Fat: Fat helps to carry the flavor and adds richness to the gravy. The most common fats used for gravy are butter, oil, or drippings from roasted meat.
Liquid: Liquid is necessary to create the base of the gravy. You can use various types of liquid, including chicken or beef stock, milk, cream, or even beer or wine, depending on the desired flavor and consistency.
Seasonings: Seasonings are what give the gravy its flavor profile. Salt and pepper are the most basic seasonings, but you can also add herbs, spices, or other flavorings to suit your taste preferences.
When choosing your ingredients, it’s important to use high-quality, fresh ingredients for the best results. For example, using homemade stock instead of store-bought can greatly enhance the flavor of your gravy. Similarly, using real butter instead of margarine can add a richness that cannot be replicated with artificial substitutes.
Experimenting with different combinations of ingredients can also lead to unique and delicious gravy variations. For example, using bacon fat instead of butter for a smoky flavor or adding a splash of balsamic vinegar for a tangy twist. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things!
Next up, we’ll dive into the step-by-step instructions for making homemade gravy that will have your taste buds singing.
Step 1: Make the Roux
To make a delicious homemade gravy, the first step is to create a roux. A roux is a mixture of fat and flour used as a base for many sauces, including gravy. In this case, we’ll be using butter as our fat of choice.
Start by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted completely, add an equal amount of flour to the pan and whisk it together until it forms a thick paste. You will want to use about 2 tablespoons of butter and flour each to make enough roux for your gravy.
It’s important to cook the roux for a few minutes to get rid of any raw flour taste. Continue stirring the roux for at least 2-3 minutes, or until it turns a light golden color.
The roux will thicken and darken as it cooks, so keep an eye on it to prevent burning. If you notice the roux getting too dark too quickly, reduce the heat and continue stirring until it reaches the desired color.
Once your roux is ready, you can move on to the next step in making your gravy. Remember, the roux is the foundation of your gravy, so take your time and make sure it’s done right. A well-made roux will give your gravy a smooth texture and rich flavor that everyone will love!
Step 2: Whisk in Liquid
When it comes to making a delicious homemade gravy, the liquid you use can make all the difference. There are several options to choose from, including stock, milk, and cream.
Stock is a popular choice for gravy because it adds a rich flavor and depth that can elevate any dish. Chicken or beef stock are commonly used in savory gravies, while vegetable stock is perfect for vegetarian or vegan options. When whisking in stock, be sure to use a low-sodium variety so you can control the saltiness of the gravy.
Milk is another liquid option that can create a creamy and smooth texture. This is a great choice if you want to add richness without too much heaviness. Whole milk or even half-and-half can be used, depending on your taste preferences. Keep in mind that using milk will result in a lighter-colored gravy compared to stock.
For an even richer and more decadent option, consider adding cream to your gravy. Heavy cream is perfect for special occasions or when you really want to impress your guests. Be careful not to overdo it, though, as too much cream can make the gravy overly thick and heavy.
No matter which liquid you choose, be sure to whisk it in slowly and steadily to prevent lumps from forming. A smooth and consistent texture is key to a perfect homemade gravy. Try experimenting with different liquids to find your favorite combination and take your gravy game to the next level.
Step 3: Add Seasonings
Step 3: Add Seasonings
Seasonings are what give homemade gravy its distinct flavor and aroma. The right combination of salt, pepper, herbs, and spices can take your gravy from good to great.
Salt is a key ingredient in gravy as it enhances the natural flavor of the dish. However, it’s important not to overdo it with the salt, as this can ruin the taste of the gravy. As a rule of thumb, start by adding a small amount of salt and then taste the gravy before adding more. You can always add more but you cannot remove it once it’s been added.
Pepper adds a subtle heat to the gravy and complements the saltiness. There are many different types of pepper available, each with its own unique taste. For example, black pepper is the most commonly used type of pepper and has a slightly pungent and spicy taste. White pepper, on the other hand, has a milder and more earthy taste that pairs well with creamy gravies.
Herbs are an excellent way to add depth and complexity to homemade gravy. Commonly used herbs include thyme, rosemary, sage, and bay leaves. Thyme has a delicate and slightly floral taste that goes well with chicken and beef gravies, while rosemary has a piney and savory flavor that pairs well with lamb and pork gravies. Sage has a strong and slightly bitter taste that complements turkey gravies, and bay leaves have a distinctive and aromatic flavor that works well with all types of gravies.
Spices add warmth and richness to homemade gravy and can be used in both sweet and savory gravies. Some common spices used in gravy include cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Cinnamon adds a warm and sweet flavor to fruit-based gravies, while nutmeg has a warm and nutty flavor that goes well with creamy gravies. Cloves have a strong and pungent taste that pairs well with beef and pork gravies, and allspice has a warm and spicy flavor that complements chicken and turkey gravies.
In conclusion, adding the right combination of seasonings is crucial to making delicious homemade gravy. By experimenting with different herbs and spices, you can create a gravy that is uniquely your own and sure to impress your guests.
Step 4: Simmer and Stir
Step 4: Simmer and Stir
Once you have added the seasonings to your gravy, it’s time to let it simmer. The heat of the stove will help the flavors meld together and allow the gravy to thicken up to the perfect consistency.
It’s important to keep an eye on the heat during this step – too high of a temperature can cause your gravy to scorch or boil over. Ideally, you want to keep the heat at a steady medium-low and stir frequently.
Stirring the gravy as it simmers helps prevent lumps from forming and ensures that the consistency is smooth and even. If you do notice lumps, don’t panic – simply use a whisk or immersion blender to smooth them out.
The length of time you’ll need to simmer your gravy will depend on the recipe and desired thickness. Generally, it takes about 10-15 minutes of simmering to achieve a thick, velvety texture. However, if your gravy is still too thin after this time, you can continue to let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Remember, the longer you simmer your gravy, the more intense the flavors will become. So be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings as needed before serving.
By following these tips and being patient during the simmering process, you’ll end up with a delicious homemade gravy that’s sure to impress your guests.
Step 5: Strain and Serve
Step 5: Strain and Serve
Once you have achieved the desired consistency and finishing of your homemade gravy, it is time to give it a final touch and serve it. This step is crucial as it determines the texture and overall quality of your gravy.
To enhance the flavor of your homemade gravy, you can add a few finishing touches. A knob of butter or a splash of cream can give your gravy a rich, velvety texture, while a sprinkle of fresh herbs or a pinch of spices can add depth and complexity to the taste. Some people also like to add a tablespoon of red wine or cider vinegar for a tangy, acidic note. However, be careful not to overdo it, as too much acidity can overwhelm the other flavors in your gravy.
Straining Your Gravy
Before serving, it is important to strain your gravy to remove any lumps, bits of herbs, or other impurities that may have accumulated during cooking. To do this, simply pour the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve into a clean bowl or gravy boat. Be sure to press on the solids with a spatula or the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
The texture of your gravy can make or break the dish. Ideally, it should be smooth and silky, with a thickness that coats the back of a spoon without being too thin or gloopy. If your gravy is too thick, add more liquid and whisk until it reaches the desired consistency. On the other hand, if it is too thin, you can thicken it by adding a slurry of cornstarch or flour mixed with water or stock. Gradually whisk the slurry into your gravy and simmer for a few minutes until it thickens.
By following these tips and tricks, you can create a delicious and perfectly textured homemade gravy that will elevate any dish. So go ahead, pour it over your mashed potatoes, turkey, or roast beef and enjoy the savory goodness!
Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks
Leftover gravy can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, be sure to stir frequently to prevent lumps from forming and add a splash of liquid if needed to thin out the consistency.
While traditional gravy is made with pan drippings from meat, there are many variations that can be just as delicious. For a vegetarian option, try using vegetable stock and butter instead of meat drippings. You can also experiment with different seasonings such as thyme, rosemary, or even a touch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
Gravy is a versatile sauce that can be served with a wide variety of dishes. Of course, it pairs perfectly with turkey and mashed potatoes, but it can also be drizzled over roasted vegetables, biscuits, or even breakfast foods like biscuits and gravy or poured on top of eggs benedict. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your gravy serving ideas!
By following these tips and tricks, you can take your homemade gravy game to the next level. Whether it’s storing leftovers, experimenting with variations, or trying out new serving suggestions, there’s no limit to what you can do with this classic sauce.
Homemade gravy is a staple for many holiday meals and special occasions. Making your own gravy can seem daunting, but with the right ingredients and techniques, it’s actually quite simple. By following our step-by-step guide, you can create a delicious homemade gravy that will impress your guests. Remember to use quality ingredients, like homemade stock or fresh herbs, and to adjust the seasonings to your liking. With a little practice, you’ll be able to make gravy that complements any dish. So why settle for store-bought gravy when you can make your own? Give it a try and see just how easy and rewarding it can be.