Friday, November 25, 2016

How To Make Gravy From Roux

My usual method for making gravy is to add cornstarch to the pan drippings for roast chicken, beef or turkey, but I didn't thicken the gravy with cornstarch on Thanksgiving Day.

Instead, I used flour to make a roux, which turned into the perfect gravy consistency. Cornstarch thickens gravy, but sometimes when over cooked, the gravy thins out again. I didn't want to take any chances of serving runny gravy on Thanksgiving. As it turns out, my gravy was such an unexpected hit that making gravy from roux will become my new regular way of gravy making.

What an unplanned pleasure for me! I tried something new, and it paid off. The day before Thanksgiving, I had a vague idea of using flour to thicken gravy, but I didn't know how to make roux. I knew flour tasted raw unless cooked a certain way, which is the sole reason I have always used cornstarch to make gravy. 

I'm so glad I took a risk! Furthermore, I considered buying a couple of jars of ready-made gravy as a backup, but decided against it. Succeed, or fail, the desire was homemade gravy all the way.

A dinner guest asked me to post my winning recipe on THE SAVVY SHOPPER ... and to tell you the truth, if I ever want to make the gravy again, I'll have to return here myself. So now my lovely readers, you understand why these recipes are published on the blog.
Before we start, know that I use bouillon cubes, but certainly chicken, or beef stock can be substituted.

Homemade Gravy
Photo of roux: The Creekside Cook


2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons of flour
2 large bouillon cubes (I used Maggi chicken flavor.)
32 ounces water (or substitute 32 ounces of beef or chicken stock. I dissolve the bouillon cubes in the water ahead of time and let stand.)
1 teaspoon dried garlic
1 teaspoon dried onion powder
12 turns of the black pepper mill (= 1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper)
salt to taste (if using stock. No salt needed if using bouillon cubes)
1/2 teaspoon dried celery
About 1/3 teaspoon dried sage (I omit sage if making a beef gravy.) 


1) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter into a large skillet. (After a roast, if I have a pan of meat stock and dripping to scrape, I do not use butter. Only if not enough liquid is left in the roasting pan, do I use butter. Fat needs to combine with flour to make a roux. You can get the fat from the chicken or beef drippings ... or you must use butter.

2) Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour, and cook over a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep whisking as the butter bubbles and simmers.

3) Next add the liquid from the meat to the roux: If you have pan drippings, scrape and use the juices. With enough juices from the roast, there is no need to add water. Use the meat juices as your liquid. If you don't have enough pan drippings, round out the liquid with water to get 32 ounces of liquid. (You can use wine as part of your liquid, if you wish).

4) Season to taste. Add the black pepper, dried garlic, onion powder, celery and sage.

5) Simmer and stir until the mixture thickens into gravy.

Leftover gravy using my recipe freezes well for several months, as opposed to, a gravy made with cream. (A cream, or milk gravy separates if reheated). Bon Appettè!

I really enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving this year. First of all, I would not have discovered this delicious new way (to me) of making gravy had dinner not been at my place. It takes having company over for many of us to apply ourselves. Thank you, Thanksgiving company, for your tasty contributions, not to mention your wonderful ... well, um, company! Until next time ...

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  1. It sounds delicious Debbie. I do make gravies from a roux, but your other additions are new ideas for me to try! I am glad your dinner was such a success - it makes it all worthwhile. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Trish, I always enjoy reading your comments!

      Like for many people, Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of mine. Somehow, no commercialism has attached itself to Thanksgiving. It's still just a meal with family and friends, and I hope it always stays that way!