Perfect Gravy From Scratch

Tuesday 9 November 2021


Perfect Gravy From Scratch 
With almost 5000 recipes here in The English Kitchen, one might think that I am running out of delicious things to share with you.  Nothing could be further than the truth.

I have barely scratched the tip of the proverbial iceberg here!  Aren't we lucky to be living in a society where we have so many choices available of things to cook and to eat.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 
I try always to make my posts fresh and interesting. I also try to word them in such a way as those who are not so knowledgeable in the ways of cooking can learn and improve their existing skills.

I have a daughter who is learning challenged, so I always try to write my recipes in a way that she can understand and follow. So far so good!  

I also try to always share recipes that I think people will enjoy and that work out, or at least they have worked for me.  I do all the testing so that you don't have to. Everything else is down to the matter of taste.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 
One thing which people really struggle with is making a good gravy.  Its either lumpy, or too thin.  Too thick, or lacking in taste. Or maybe even too salty.

Many resort to a packaged mix or a jar of gravy powder rather than to risk making their own.  I thought it would be fun today to show you how to make a delicious gravy from scratch without using a mix or a powder, but simply the pan juices from your roasted meat or poultry.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 
What's  nice about this version is you don't even need any pan juices. If you are lacking in them completely or even just want gravy for any reason, you can still have it.

MY sister makes the best gravy on the planet.  I used to faff about with shaking flour in a jar myself, and would end up with a fairly decent gravy, but it was also a bit hit and miss from time to time. 

Using my sister's method, you can be assured of perfect and flavor filled gravy every time you need a gravy.  And you don't even need any pan juices, and what's more,  it is quick and easy to make, using only a very few ingredients and a very few simple steps.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch


There is nothing mysterious here.

  • stock or pan juices from the roast
  • unsalted butter
  • flour
  • onion and garlic powder (not salt)
  • seasoning

If you have no pan juices feel free to use stock or bouillon cubes.  If you don't have enough pan juices, then add boiling water and stock or bouillon cubes to make up the full amount.

I used unsalted butter because stock or bouillon cubes can sometimes be a bit on the salty side. I would rather make the gravy, taste it and then add seasoning if it is needed.  

It is much easier to add more salt if you need it, than it is to remove  too much salt once its been added!

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 

You will want to begin with your pan juices if you have any.  Strain them through a sieve into a glass measuring cup. You will need approximately 2 1/4 cups.  

Straining it through a sieve removes any solids or unwanted particles. You can press the ingredients left in the sieve with a wooden spoon to extract as much flavor from them as possible.  

If you don't have enough liquid, you can add stock to make up the full amount, and if you have no pan juices at all, you can use all stock or bouillon, reconstituted from stock cubes, etc. 

I like to use a mixture of beef and chicken for a really nice flavored all purpose gravy, however if I am serving it with poultry or with beef, I use chicken or beef stock/bouillon cubes, depending.

Let it be noted you get more flavor from the cubes than from the cartons of stock.  Once you have the right amount of stock, set it aside.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 
Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan until it begins to foam. You will need 2 TBS of butter and an equal amount of flour.  (If I have fat drippings from the roast or chicken, I will sometimes use that instead of butter.)

Once the butter has melted, add the flour as well as the onion and garlic powders.  You don't have to use the onion and garlic powders, but I find they add a lovely flavor.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 
Stir the flour completely into the melted butter until smooth. This is called making a roux and is the basis for many sauces, including béchamel sauce which is the most commonly used of all sauces.

Make sure you stir the flour completely into the melted butter until there are no lumps and it has completely dissolved.  Cook it for a further two minutes to cook out any flour taste. 

If you are really confident you can cook it until the flour starts to brown a bit, but that's really not necessary, and there is always a risk that you will burn it.
Perfect Gravy From Scratch 
I like to use hot pan juices or stock. This shortens the time of cooking the gravy considerably. Once you have your roux made you will need to start adding your stock/bouillon.

I begin by whisking in half of it until smooth and then I whisk in the remainder.  When you add the first half the gravy will already begin to thicken (if you have used hot stock), but it will thin as you add the remainder of the stock.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch

Continue to cook the gravy, whisking/stirring constantly until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. 

This is when you end up with gravy.  Add your black pepper and then simmer it for a few minutes to help the flavors really develop and then taste it.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 
You may or may not need additional salt, depending on the strength of your stock or your pan drippings. I find that I often don't need to add any additional salt at all. 

Some stock cubes are much saltier than others and a lot depends on how much you salted your meat if you are using meat drippings. 

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 

Your gravy is now ready to pour into a sauce or gravy boat and take to the table, ready to be spooned over mashed potatoes, meat, chicken, whatever it is that you enjoy gravy on! 

This also makes a great poutine sauce, if you use equal amounts of beef and chicken stock, and plenty of pepper.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 
ON this particular day I had roasted a small roast of beef. I had cooked it, on a bed of sliced onion, tightly covered in foil, in the oven with a bit of stock for an hour or so and then added some vegetables and cooked it for an hour or so longer.

The onion and vegetables added some nice flavors to the pan juices, and I only needed to add a very little bit of extra stock to the strained juices at the end.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch 

I used the back of a wooden spoon to really press all of the flavor out of the strained bits into the juices in the measuring cup. This really gave them a nice onion flavor.

Sometimes I will add a carrot to the strained bits or a bit of turnip and press really hard to puree them through the bottom of the sieve, scraping the puree into the pan juices. This REALLY adds some nice flavors.  But it is a personal choice and not necessary.

Perfect Gravy From Scratch

Over these next weeks, with the American Thanksgiving coming up as well as Christmas I am going to be trying to cover as many basics as I can as far as holiday meals and cooking goes.  This is just the first post of some of the basics.

I like to think that we are never too old to learn something new,  or improve upon old skills, don't  you??

Simple Gravy

Simple Gravy

Yield: 6
Author: Marie Rayner
Cook time: 10 MinTotal time: 10 Min
This adaptable recipe allows you to make gravy for any kind of roasted meats, even if you don't have any drippings. Its deliciously simple!


  • 2 1/4 cups (540ml) of warm pan juices or stock (you can use beef, chicken or a combination of both) (If using pan juices top up with warm stock to make the required amount.)
  • 4 TBS unsalted butter
  • 4 TBS all purpose plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp each onion and garlic powders (not salt)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fine sea salt (as needed)


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. (If you have fat drippings from the meat you can use them, either chicken or beef.) Add the flour along with the onion and garlic powders. Whisk well together to make a roux. Cook, whisking continuously, for about 2 minutes to cook out any flour taste.
  2. Slowly whisk in half of the stock, whisking constantly. Once that has amalgamated (It will be thick already) whisk in the remainder of the stock.
  3. Cook, stirring, for about 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Simmer for a few minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as required with pepper and salt. (Depending on your stock you may not need any salt.)
  4. Pour into a gravy boat and serve hot! Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.
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Perfect Gravy From Scratch
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  1. I love your idea of posting about seasonal basics in the coming weeks. These are things people can forget and where gravy is concerned people often automatically turn to convenience products like Bisto or Gravox, forgetting that it's easy to make from scratch.

    Packaged "sauces" to which you just add either milk or water are very common here, but I do prefer my own homemade sauces and gravies as I know everything in them. I remember as a child helping with the Sunday roast. Mum would pour off a lot of the accumulated fat into her "dripping basin" and leave enough so I could stir in the flour and add some of the retained pan juices. We made it directly in the roasting pan itself on the stovetop while the roast rested. I can also remember being amazed when visiting friends and seen that their mothers made gravy from a box of gravy powder - something I'd never seen in our home. I told mum about it, but she wasn't interested - she could never see the point of things like that.

    1. Mom never used mixes or boxed ingredients either. It just wasn't done. I suppose lots of people find them more convenient, but really making a gravy like this is so much tastier and not that difficult. Also very quick. I think you and I both had very tasty childhoods Marie!!! xoxo

  2. Mastering gravy is a super skill we can all have. Thanks for the help, Marie. It looks like another beautiful day here. We're visiting Mount Forest to see Eric's lawyer. His will has been probated - only took 12 days so the settlement of his estate is in sight. Enjoy your day. Hugs, Elaine

  3. Thank you Marie for another lovely recipe. I appreciate the work you put into your blog.


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