A smooth and delicious Homemade Meat Gravy and so much easier than you might think. This meat gravy only takes a couple of minutes to make and you can make it one of two ways.
- by starting it off with a roux or
- using the water and pan juices (water) that cooked the meat
Starting off with a roux (butter and flour) and definitely better than any liquid or powdered version you find at the shop.
I make a lot of roast dinners and those usually come with gravy so making my own gravy is a given. While making this roast lamb leg I made yet another gravy and couldn't believe that I don't have an easy gravy recipe on my blog! Here we are, let's start with the basics.
The Basics of Meat Gravy
Having a good base is where you need to start along with getting a smooth consistency. Here are the elements of a successful gravy:
- You need a base (roux or liquid)
- Thickener for consistency
- Whisk, taste and strain
Meat Gravy Ingredients
This is what you will need to make this gravy.
Water: If you use boiling water this goes so much quicker and melts the cubes quicker too!
Flour: Regular cake flour
Butter: Unsalted butter - soft, from the fridge but not melted
Salt & Pepper: I used this one, it's a perfectly blended mix of fresh black pepper and sea salt.
Beef Cubes: Any beef cubes.
How To Make Meat Gravy
Make the beef stock: Crumble the beef cubes into a jug and add boiling water. Mix together and put the beef stock aside.
Make the roux: Melt the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Add flour and whisk until a yellow golden color. Fresh black pepper in and another quick whisk (you can also use a wooden spoon in this recipe).
Combine: Pour some of the beef stock into the roux and whisk. It will immediately thicken, keep whisking as you pour the remaining liquid. At this point, it's okay to move your saucepan off the stove for a couple seconds just to drop the heat a little (all the time whisking) and slide it back on very low heat for a minute. Take it off the stove.
Season: Taste and adjust the seasoning of which it will probably need none. The beef cubes have salt and we've added pepper.
Because this meat gravy started off with a roux it will not need straining. Pour it straight into the serving jug.
Sometimes you may want the gravy a little thicker, or you've added too much liquid. To fix that, simply add a teaspoon of Maizena or flour (cornflour) into a ramekin or any small bowl (even a cup) and add about a tablespoon of water. You want a kind of a paste which is called a 'slurry'. Add it into your gravy to thicken.
The secret to a smooth gravy is whisking. If you are adding a slurry into the gravy to thicken it, for beginner cooks - remove the saucepan off the heat, add the slurry while whisking. Whisk for 10 seconds off the heat, slide your saucepan back on the heat, whisk for a further minute. In this way, you avoid it lumping.
No Stock Cube Gravy
Stock cubes are not the healthiest, they are filled with sodium so if the packaging doesn't say low sodium, check the salt you're adding to the recipe. In saying that however, remember that there is nothing wrong with using stock cubes because you are not eating the cubes like sweets so to speak. Everything in moderation.
Gravy Without Stock Cubes
You can make gravy without stock cubes. Here's what you will need:
- Beef stock
How To Make Gravy Without Stock Cubes
- Heat a saucepan aĺnd melt the butter, add the stock, mix and a pinch of seasoning. (Salt and pepper).
If your stock is not low sodium don't add salt, just pepper. Homemade stock has no salt and organic store bought is usually low sodium. Anything else, check the sodium!
- Mix the Maizena/cornflour with a couple tablespoons of the stock to make a paste/slurry.
- Pour the paste into the stock while whisking until it thickens.
How To Make Gravy Without Stock Cubes and Without Stock Liquid
This would be the prime example of using drippings. If ever you see a recipe calling for drippings to make gravy this is it. See below under frequently asked questions for more on drippings.
FAQ's Meat Gravy
What's a Roux?
A roux is mixture of equal parts of flour and butter, cooked over low to medium heat which is normally the beginning of a delicious gravy or a béchamel sauce.
How to freeze meat gravy?
There is no need to throw out what you don't use! You've taken the time to use best quality ingredients and enjoyed a fantastic roast with your gravy, freeze what's left! Next time, you'll save yourself the time to make it all over again.
To freeze meat gravy: You can store it in ice trays and freezer-friendly containers.
How to reheat meat gravy?
Reheat from the fridge in a saucepan over medium heat with a little water to help thin it out. Don't add stock to reheat, it's already seasoned and might end up salty, rather use water. A dash of kettle water is good to speed up the process.
Tip: Depending on what you're reheating it for, you can add a dash of cream instead of water, it will lighten the color a little but it will be delicious! This is great for pasta, mashed potato or chicken dishes.
If you are reheating from the freezer then it needs to thaw overnight in the fridge.
How to revive lumpy gravy?
Add liquid while its on the stove and whisk quickly, if it's not working, strain or blend.
Can I make gravy in advance?
Yes you can! That's what makes this recipe so convenient. You can make gravy the night before or 2 to 3 days in advance. Pour it into a container, seal and leave it in the fridge and then follow the reheat instructions.
How to make gravy taste better?
Salt adds that balance and structure in gravy with butter for richness.
Drippings from the roast, what exactly is drippings?
Drippings are the pan juices and fat drippings accumulated while the meat was roasting. Whatever is left in your pan is drippings.
Drippings For Meat Gravy
If you've ever saved those drippings in a container or left it in the slow cooker/oven after cooking your meat, you will notice a fat surface has accumulated over the liquid. That's your drippings.
When you use those drippings to make a gravy, you use some of the fat (to make up for the butter in this recipe) and the liquid will make up for the stock part of this recipe.
This is how you avoid using stock cubes or any stock for making your gravy. Plus, the flavor from drippings is much more than when you use stock but that doesn't meat the stock cube version is not delicious, because it is! It's just good to know your options.
Before you go! Please leave a review and rating in the recipe card below, letting me know how you liked the recipe and don't forget to tag me @anosmickitchen or use the hashtag #anosmickitchen on Instagram should you share your own creations of my recipes. Many thanks, Miranda. xx
Homemade Meat Gravy
- 2 cups water, boiling
- 2 beef cubes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup flour
- 76 grams butter, about 4 to 5 tablespoons
Gravy Without Beef Cubes (Bouillon Cubes)
- 2 cups beef stock (liquid)
- ¼ cup Maizena or flour
- 3 tbsps. butter, unsalted
- salt and pepper
- Worcester sauce
- Cajun spice
- cream if you want it a bit lighter in color and taste.
- Make the beef stock: Break up the beef cubes in a jug and pour in the water, mix and set side.
- Cook the roux: In a saucepan, melt the butter on low to medium heat and add the flour. Whisk the flour into the butter until the mixture turns a light golden color.
- Cook the gravy: Pour part of the beef stock in, it will immediately thicken, whisk and pour the rest of the beef stock in. For beginner cooks, it's best to remove your saucepan off the heat for 10 seconds, while whisking and immediately return the saucepan back to the heat, while whisking.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a gravy boat.
Gravy Without Beef Cubes (Bouillon Cubes)
- Combine: Heat the butter until melted and stir in the liquid stock and a little seasoning.
- Slurry: Meanwhile, in a small ramekin or bowl, add about 4 or 5 tablespoons, one at a time, of the warm beef stock and make a paste.
- Make the gravy thick: Slowly pour the slurry into the beef stock mixture and keep whisking until you have a thick gravy, takes 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour into a gravy jug and serve.
- Add and taste is using any.