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You can make gravy from any meat or poultry, such as the dripping from roast beef, chicken or turkey. To make gravy, you will need:
- Heat-proof glass measuring jug
- Wire whisk
- Wooden or stainless steel spatula
- Spoons of various sizes
- Two saucepans, ideally one with slanted sides
Step 1: Degrease
Degreasing means that you remove the fat. After you've cooked a joint of meat, there is liquid in the roasting tin - fat. Pour this into a glass measuring jug. But don't scrape up those yummy brown bits just yet! You’ll need those later.
Refrigerate the liquid until the fat starts to congeal on the top.
Once solid, skim off the fat and save it in a separate dish so you can use it to flavour and thicken your gravy. Pour the remaining liquid into a saucepan and set aside.
Step 2: Deglaze
Deglazing is the step that transforms those yummy brown bits in the roasting tin into a sauce. Place the roasting tin on medium heat.
Add 125ml (4 fl oz) of white wine or stock and stir. Scrape up the brown bits on the bottom and sides of the tin using a wooden spatula.
Allow the liquid to come to the boil for several minutes to blend and intensify the flavour. Pour into a saucepan and add more stock to make a total of about 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) of liquid. The amount of stock will vary based on the amount of dripping you start with.
Heat to hot but not boiling, and reduce to a simmer. Cover with a fitted lid so the liquid does not evaporate.
Step 3: Thicken
This is the step that changes the dripping into thick gravy. One of the best ways to thicken sauces is with a roux, a method that pairs equal parts fat and flour.
Combing flour and fat together BEFORE adding to the liquid prevents clumping and creates thick, velvety smooth gravy. Eight tablespoons of roux will thicken 1 litre of gravy.
Here is how you make a roux. Add 4 tablespoons of the reserved fat to a saucepan over medium heat. This is where a saucepan with slanted sides comes in handy. When the fat is melted, add 4 tablespoons of flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 3-4 minutes until the roux turns a light golden colour.
When the roux is cooked and smooth, add the simmering stock, whisking gently. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
The flavour intensifies as the liquid cooks down. So taste your gravy before seasoning, adding salt, pepper and minced fresh herbs to taste.
Once you get the hang of making gravy, you can whip it up after cooking any meat - turkey, chicken, beef, pork, even bacon. Check out our Gravy recipe collection for loads of foolproof recipes!