‘Bisto’: this is usually for beef meat, a dark brown meaty thickening powder mixed with cold water first to make a thickening blend
Gravy salt: a browning salt that add richness of colour and saltiness
Stock cubes: a flavour of meat and herbs and salty seasoning
Stock-pot: meat flavoured ( choose the right animal) rich colour and flavour
Home-made stock: Fluid made from left over joints or carcass with onion, bay leaves and carrot and water that is boiled and reduced and sieved to leave wonderful stock
Cornflour: Flour used for thickening liquids. Needs to be made into a blend with cold water before being added to hot juices.
Plain white flour: a wheat based flour used to thicken fatty meat juices leftover from roasting meat. It absorbs the fat and also thickens the juices. Added to the roasting tray.
Gravy granules: amazing granules that can be sprinkled onto boiling liquid and stirred to thicken the juice. This is a technologically advanced product that is easy to use.
Sea salt – tastes good in savoury sauces
Black pepper freshly ground
Worcestershire sauce – meaty spicy and add richness
Marmite – salty and rich brown
Mustards: English mustard powder, grainy mustard add flavour and texture
Ketchups: brown and red – make extra flavour if used carefully in limited amounts
Prep to Cook: Basin, measuring jug, wooden spoon, spiral headed whisk or similar, sieve (just in case)
Prep: Gravy 1: Veggie Gravy: NOT USING MEAT JUICES
You need some juices: maybe vegetable water from potatoes or carrots. You may also need some stock made from using a stock cube this will give a little flavour but not much colour. Make it in a jug with one stock cube to 350ml water. These liquids will need to be thickened. Use ‘Bisto’ style gravy powder (or Cornflour and gravy salt ) and blend I rounded tablespoon with cold water until it is smooth and lump-free. Boil the juices and then pour over the bisto flour blend and stir. Re-cook to return to boiling and adjust the thickness by adding more juices if necessary.
Real gravy USING MEAT JUICES AFTER ROASTING.
Leave the roasted meat to stand covered with foil on a plate. (Up to an hour is OK)
Look at the juices and see if there is too much oil or fat? If you can see a thick layer all over the roasting dish spoon some of it away into a basin. What is left will probably be absorbed by the plain white flour. Sprinkle a rounded tablespoon over the meat juices and with a wooden spoon stir until the flour is mixed in and is not lumpy. Gradually heat this up and keep stirring. In a jug gather vegetable juices from the vegetables you are cooking OR make up some stock using a cube OR use some thawed out previously frozen home-made stock. Gradually add the juices to the flour and meat juice mixture and stir all the time as the mixture begins to thicken. Taste the gravy and if it needs to be browner add a teaspoon (it is more like - hack off a portion from the gravy salt block!!) to enrich the colour. Boil and reduce the gravy for a while to thicken it up and enrich the flavour. Always serve piping hot,
When pouring the gravy from a roasting tray that has been used for making gravy on the hob remember to tip it from a corner so that you can aim it into the gravy jug.
Gravy 3: USING MEAT JUICES, STOCK and GRANULES
Remove the meat from the roasting tray and wrap it in foil and leave to stand. Use the roasting tray on the hob (or tip the juices from the roasting tray into a saucepan). Using the roasting tray does sometimes give some lovely browny bits that stick to the base but make gorgeous flavour and coloured juices. Into that juice BEFORE you boil it pour in some of the veg juices or stock from a jug. Stir well and rub the base of the roasting tray with your wooden spoon to clean it up. Now begin to bring to the boil and when it is hot sprinkle over a heaped tablespoon of gravy granules. Stir like mad to keep the sauce lump free and makes a ‘glossy’ gravy. Taste the gravy and add seasoning such as black pepper and salt or even a shake of Worcestershire sauce! Or tip of teaspoon of marmite.
Making gravy is not easy! When you try it, aim for great flavour and if it is lumpy just pop it in a food processor or push it through a sieve. Everyone goes through this stage! I suggest you think of gravy differently just as thickened savoury sauce. Veggie gravy will not have meat juices ( see gravy 1)
Cooks Know How: Thickening gravy juices and vegetable juices is a classic way of making gravy. You will see that getting the thickness right is one thing but getting the colour right in another. You will gradually get more confident and just knowing you have gravy making ingredients in your cupboard is half the battle. You will learn that flour will thicken a liquid and sometimes the flour needs blending with water first (cornflour, bisto) and sometimes it can be added to the fatty meat juices (white flour) or it can be technologically adjusted for adding straight to hot liquids (sauce flour, and gravy granules, thickening granules) You will gain the experience of adding thickeners in the different ways and then stirring continually until the sauce is made. For any gravy the starch added will burst and thicken as you bring the gravy back to the boil. You will love tweaking the flavours and experimenting with gravy to make it unique.
Keep on trying different methods of gravy making until you feel confident. A good gravy makes a meal and therefore it is worth developing your repertoire. Make a mental note of the most successful method for you and keep using it.