Although it's not the only kind of homemade gravy, a gravy based on roux -- equal parts fat and flour cooked together -- is perhaps the easiest because it doesn't require any separate dishes for preparation. Whipping cream is an optional addition to homemade gravy, but it adds extra richness and acts as a thickening agent to take the flavor profile up a notch. You can make a wide range of gravies from a roux and whipping cream, including beef, mushroom, chicken, and turkey gravy.
Things You'll Need
- Butter or other fat
- Wire whisk
- Wooden spoon
- Whipping cream
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Roux is most commonly associated with butter, but you can use other fats for flavor, such as some of the fat drippings from a roasted chicken or roast beef.
Stir in an equal amount of flour with the butter and cook for a few minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste. If you use 1/4 cup of fat, stir in 1/4 cup of flour.
Whisk broth into mixture a few tablespoons at a time, using roughly 1 cup of broth for every 2 tablespoons of fat and flour. Stir in a bit more broth after the roux is incorporated well, continuing this process until all the broth is added. If you add all the broth at once, you'll likely end up with lumpy gravy. The broth can be homemade or store-bought, but should complement the type of gravy you wish to make. Use chicken broth for chicken gravy and beef broth for beef gravy.
Stir in some of the pan drippings from roasted meats to boost the flavor of the gravy. After draining off the fat from the pan, use a wooden spoon to scrape up the stuck-on bits of meat.
Simmer the gravy for about 10 minutes until it begins to thicken.
Whisk in whipping cream a few tablespoons of time to achieve the desired level of richness and creaminess in the gravy. Simmer for about 2 more minutes. As a general rule use roughly an equal amount of cream as the fat used to make the roux, making adjustments to suit your taste.
Thin the gravy with 1 to 2 tablespoons of broth at a time if it becomes too thick. The finished gravy should coat the back of a spoon and drip off slowly without sticking to the spoon.
Tips & Warnings
- If you roast meat in an ovenproof skillet, use the same skillet to make the gravy so you can deglaze the pan and use as much of the flavorful roast residue as possible.
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