Making the best homemade gravy is so easy with this foolproof recipe. It is perfect for holidays (or any day) when you need the best gravy to go with your meal.
Knowing how to make amazing homemade gravy may be one of life’s most important skills! Once you learn the basics, you can use this recipe and incorporate a variety of meat drippings and flavors to make gravy for any occasion.
It Starts with A Roux
The most important foundation of any good gravy is the homemade roux. A roux is made up of flour and fat (in this case butter), cooked together, and used to thicken sauces and gravies.
One of the most important keys to the best gravy is to cook the roux until golden in color. This deepens the flavor of the gravy.
We’re using equal parts flour and butter in this homemade gravy recipe to achieve the best silky consistency.
5 Tips for the Best Gravy
- Cook the roux until golden (as noted above).
- Use hot broth or stock.
- Choose a flavorful broth or stock (brand preferences listed below in the recipe).
- Whisk constantly!
- Add a spoonful of bouillon paste, if you have it.
As the hot broth is ladled and whisked into the roux, it might look crumbly. Maybe even curdled. But as you continue adding broth (and whisking constantly!!), the gravy will cook and thicken until silky smooth. Trust the proces!
Whisking constantly (yes, I am a broken record about this) and using hot broth or stock are the two most important elements for gravy without any lumps!
Using the tips above and the method below in the recipe, this gravy can easily be adapted to a variety of flavors: chicken, turkey, or beef.
How to Use Drippings in Homemade Gravy
This gravy can be made and used any time, with or without drippings, and it is exceptionally flavorful and delicious.
However, the flavor is amplified if you add drippings from cooked or roasted meat to use.
To use drippings, skim or strain the fat from the drippings (use a fat separator or refrigerate all the drippings until the fat solidifies and can easily be skimmed off the top). Pour the drippings into a liquid measuring cup and add broth or stock to equal 4 cups. Proceed with the recipe. You can use the fat from the drippings in place of some or all of the butter, if desired.
The same goes for homemade stock. If you have it, use it! Otherwise, a good-quality storebought stock will work very well.
Making Gravy Ahead of Time
Homemade gravy can easily be made several days in advance. After refrigerating it will be super thick and gelatinous (officially the first time I have ever used that word on my blog). 🤓
To reheat, cook over low heat, whisking constantly (!) until the heat softens the gravy. It will go from globby to smooth as it cooks (and as you stir). Add broth or stock to thin, if needed.
It’s normal for a skin to form over gravy if it isn’t covered directly with plastic wrap. If that happens, simply skim it off with a spoon and discard before serving.
Perfect Gravy Every Time
This recipe, combined with the foolproof tips, makes perfect gravy every time.
The consistency of gravy is very dependent upon the person…and the meal it is being served with. I recognize people have very strong feelings about how thin or thick gravy should be! We prefer a medium-thick gravy.
The good news is that this gravy can easily be made thicker or thinner according to your preferences.
To make a thicker gravy, add only three cups of broth or stock to start. Add additional liquid, as desired.
To make a thinner gravy, add an additional 1/2 cup hot broth or stock and evaluate. Continue adding additional liquid, as desired.
I feel so strongly about gravy that every time I make it, I holler out to the family: what makes amazing gravy?!? And they holler back: never stop stirring! And then I promptly delegate one of them (usually the one that was too cool to respond back to my query) to come over to the stove and take over the “whisk constantly” duties.
I hope when all is said and done, I’ve left my kids with a legacy of love, faith and really good gravy. 💗
The Best Homemade Gravy
- 4 cups broth or stock, preferably low-sodium (see note for how to use drippings)
- 10 tablespoons (142 g) butter
- ⅔ cup (95 g) all-purpose flour (don’t pack the flour into the cup – should be right around 10 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon bouillon paste (optional – see note)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Warm the broth or stock in a saucepan or in the microwave until steaming. Keep warm.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the roux is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the bouillon paste, if using.
Whisking constantly and quickly, slowly ladle in warm broth about 1/2 cup at a time. Combine fully before adding more. The mixture will look crumbly and may even look curdled. It’s ok! Trust the process.
Once all the broth has been added, simmer the gravy for 3 to 4 minutes, whisking constantly, until thick and silky smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper (important! The exact amount will depend on unsalted/salted butter and/or regular or low-sodium broth/stock). Thin with additional broth, if desired.
Serve immediately or keep warm to serve later. The gravy will thicken as it cools.
Drippings: this recipe works very well using drippings from cooked or roasted meat. To use drippings, skim or strain the fat from the drippings (use a fat separator or refrigerate all the drippings until the fat solidifies and can easily be skimmed off the top). Pour the drippings into a liquid measuring cup and add broth or stock to equal 4 cups. Proceed with the recipe. You can use the fat from the drippings in place of some or all of the butter, if desired.
Bouillon Paste: adding a spoonful of bouillon paste boosts the flavor of homemade gravy. I prefer the Better Than Bouillon brand. If I’m making gravy for chicken or turkey, I use chicken-flavor bouillon (and obviously beef-flavored bouillon for gravy to be served with beef).
Serving: 1 serving (1/2 cup gravy), Calories: 120kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 105mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.03g
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
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