Tips To A Perfect Gravy
No matter how bad you think your gravy turns out there is always a quick fix in your future. Follow these Tips to success and be the envy of everyone.
If you’d like a thicker gravy, mix 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons water or broth then whisk it into the hot gravy, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
You can substitute corn starch for flour. Once I started making my gravy with cornstarch I had better luck turning out a perfect result.
Do like the pros and use a medium sized wire whisk to stir up the gravy, vigorously mixing in the flour into the pan drippings to create a roux.
End up with a few lumps? Pour the gravy through a wire mesh sieve to smooth the gravy to a silky smoothness.
A flavorful broth is a traditional liquid for many gravies, but you could mix things up by using wine, milk, or half and half with the broth.
DISCLAIMER: I found these tips on a browned piece of ruled paper hidden in an old cookbook of my Mom. They have saved my meal many times. The tips provided below are quoted from that cookbook.
FIXES TO COMMON GRAVY QUESTIONS
With recipes as simple as gravy, it’s important to get the details right. Sometimes that can be harder than expected, but have no fear these tips will fix all your gravy problems.
HOW TO FIX THICK GRAVY?
Add a hot liquid, either stock or broth, water from cooking potatoes, white wine or just plain old water to hot gravy and whisk to incorporate.
Note, when you wish to make a thinner gravy from the start decrease meat drippings and flour to 1 tablespoon each.
HOW TO FIX THIN GRAVY?
Dissolve 1 tablespoon of flour in 2 tablespoons water; stir into gravy with fork or wire whisk. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Alternately, you can add a quick mixing flour, like All Purpose to thicken gravy.
WHAT TO DO WHEN GRAVY IS TOO SALTY?
Add a few peeled potatoes, cut into eighths.
Cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes, then remove potato pieces.
WHAT TO DO WHEN GRAVY IS LUMPY?
Pour into food processor or immersion blender.
This is the perfect time to use it. Process until smooth, or press gravy through a strainer and return sauce pan to heat.
You can avoid lumpy gravy in the first place by using a wire whisk when adding the flour to the drippings. Beat the drippings rapidly with the whisk while adding the flour and voila! No lumps.
WHAT TO DO WHEN GRAVY SEPARATES?
Gravy separates when there is too much fat in relation to the other ingredients. If this happens, cool down the gravy until the fat rises and solidifies. Scrape off the fat, discard and reheat your gravy.
A gravy separator can also come in handy in this situation. When you use a gravy separator, the fat will sit on top and a spout will pour the liquid from below. Pour until the fat remains and discard the fat.
Alternately, adding a higher proportion of other ingredients can help when there is too much fat. Blend equal amounts softened butter and flour together in a small bowl, starting with a couple tablespoons of each. Once the flour and butter are blended together, reheat your gravy and whisk in flour butter mixture, a little at a time.
WHAT TO DO WHEN GRAVY TASTES LIKE FLOUR?
If your gravy tastes like flour, it’s probably because you did not allow it to come to a full boil.
It’s important to cook gravy at a full boil for 1 minute. This cooks the flour or cornstarch, so the gravy doesn’t have a starchy flavor. To correct gravy tasting like flour bring gravy to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer 1 minute. If your gravy is too thick, then thin as noted above.
HOW TO FIX BLAND GRAVY?
Those bits in the bottom of a roasting pan are flavor surprises! Be sure to scrape them all up to start your gravy. You can always strain it later if you like smooth gravy.
Adding a little chicken base or beef base, depending on the type of gravy, will intensify the flavor, but will also add more saltiness. So it’s best to adjust the salt level once you have added other ingredients.
Ground pepper, finely chopped fresh herbs also can add flavor. If possible, make gravy ahead of time. It will develop a deeper flavor, and it’s easy to remove excess fat.
ROUX FOR GRAVY
Roux is a classic sauce every home cook should master. It’s used to thicken and it adds richness. It’s just what you need to thicken a too thin gravy!
Use a mixture of flour and fat (usually butter) cooked over low to medium heat until smooth and bubbly and then liquid is added.
Some recipes call for cooking the roux until it turns golden to deep brown. Making a roux cooks the flour and prevents foods from taking on a raw flour taste.
Note, roux is similar to a béchamel or white sauce. The only difference is that a dairy product, like milk, half and half or cream is the liquid added. See my Mushroom Lasagna With a Bechamel Sauce for a great recipe.
Leftover gravy? Is this a real thing in your kitchen?
This rarely happens, but when it does, you’re in luck. Suddenly an easy dinner is within reach. Just swap in leftover gravy where jars of gravy or gravy mix are called for.
HOW LONG DOES GRAVY LAST?
Gravy will keep in the fridge for up to two days. Store in a well sealed jar or container. It can be tricky to warm gravy in the microwave, since it’s easy to overcook and curdle the gravy. Instead, reheat gravy on the stove over low heat. Stir often and remove from heat once gravy comes to a simmer.
If you’d like to save your gravy for long than two days, store in a well sealed container or resealable plastic bag in the freezer. Frozen gravy will keep for up to four months.
One caveat, milk and cream based gravies will separate when reheated, so it’s best to turn these types of gravies into your next meal, instead of freezing.
I hope you turn out your perfect gravy every time. No matter what mistakes you make there is an easy fix!