How to Make Gravy

A Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings is not complete without gravy to pour over the mashed potatoes, turkey and dressing. Gravy is also a mainstay for many other meals during the year. Some people pour gravy over bread and eat it as another course of their meal. Discovering how to make gravy will ensure that you enjoy these holidays meals with traditional flavors.

After cooking the meat and removing it from the pan, the drippings that remain in the pan usually supply the flavor and fat for the gravy. The normal thickening agent is flour or cornstarch. It can be a challenge to make gravy without lumps, but it is possible. Use a wire whisk or a similar utensil for stirring the gravy, and you can eliminate the lumps.

Giblet Gravy Recipe

The following is a basic giblet gravy recipe that will produce up to a quart of gravy.

  • ¼ cup turkey fat
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 cups turkey broth or pan drippings
  • Turkey giblets (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make Gravy

How to Make Gravy

Remove the neck, liver, gizzard and heart from the turkey cavities and bake the turkey in a 325 degree oven approximately 30 minutes per pound. Boil the neck, liver, gizzard and heart in a large pot of salted water for about 1 hour, or until they are tender. For more flavor in the broth, you can add a few slices of carrots and celery and 1 teaspoon of peppercorns to the water. Cool the giblets, and chop them into small pieces after removing the meat from the neck bones. Use some of these giblets in the gravy and some in the dressing. Save the water in which the giblets boiled to use for liquid in the gravy.

After the turkey is cooked, remove it from the pan and pour the drippings into another container. Cool the drippings, and let the fat come to the top of the container. Measure about ¼ cup of the fat back into the pan. Skim off the remainder of the fat and discard it, but save the drippings. Add the flour to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the crusty bits that remained on the bottom of the pan as the turkey cooked. Slowly add the reserved turkey broth or pan drippings while stirring the gravy, and increase the heat. Bring the gravy to a boil, and add the giblets and seasonings. Cook while stirring frequently, until it reaches the desired consistency. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Making Gravy

There are variations to this basic way of making gravy, and you might want to try different methods with different meats.

Thicken gravy by pouring 1 cup of cold water into a screw-top jar and adding ½ cup of flour. Make sure the lid is tight, and shake the jar until the mixture is free of lumps. Slowly stir the thickening into a pan of 4 cups of meat drippings and broth. When it is blended, cook over low heat until bubbling, and then simmer for 5 minutes.

If you prefer to use cornstarch instead of flour to thicken gravy, dissolve ¼ cup of cornstarch in ½ cup of water, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add this to the meat drippings and broth and proceed in the same manner as the first recipe.

When you want brown gravy, mix the flour and fat, and brown the mixture over low heat before adding the liquid.

To make cream gravy, use light cream or milk instead of broth or drippings for the liquid.

After boiling potatoes to mash, pour off the excess water and use it as part of the liquid for the gravy.

For extra flavor, try adding a dash of Tabasco sauce to your gravy. Adding ¼ cup of dry sherry will provide a different flavor that you might enjoy. A teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet will add flavor as well as make the gravy brown.

When you do not have meat broth for your gravy, you can dissolve bullion cubes in water as a substitute.

You can make vegetarian gravy with broth from roasted or boiled vegetables, flour and oil or margarine.

Different cultures and countries have various ways of making gravy, and each one has its own unique flavor. Experiment with several recipes, and perhaps combine some of them to develop your own favorite gravy.

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