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How to Make the Perfect Gravy

Gravy is the star of any meal and is absolutely essential for most. What better than with a wonderful roast and best of all for soaking up with Yorkshire pudding!

 

Gravy (500ml)

Gravy made while roasting a joint or chicken

You will need

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

500g lamb or beef bones for lamb or beef gravy 

OR 8 chicken wings or 8 chicken necks (or a mixture of the two) for chicken or pork gravy

3 roughly diced carrots

1 roughly chopped onion

½ stick chopped celery

1 bulb of garlic sliced in half horizontally

2 sprigs of rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

2 sprigs of thyme

3ml cornflour

Method

  1. To the roasting pan you are going to use to roast meat or chicken, add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, rosemary and thyme
  2. Place the roast on top of this bed and roast as you would normally
  3. When the joint is cooked to your satisfaction, set it aside to rest
  4. Place the roasting pan on the stove
  5. Spoon off any excess fat from the roasting pan – retain a little as this adds flavour to your gravy
  6. Add 2 litres of water, scrape the bottom of the pan well and cook on a high heat for 30 minutes or until the stock reduces a little
  7. Remove from the heat and strain the stock from the vegetables and/or bones.
  8. Remove the garlic and press the other vegetables to release as much juice and goodness as possible
  9. Squeeze the cloves of garlic into the stock (like toothpaste) and mash with a fork
  10. Add the stock back in the pan and simmer uncovered for a further 10 minutes until the stock is reduced by half and the flavours become concentrated
  11. If you prefer a slightly thicker gravy, make a paste with 3ml cornflour and 3ml water. Whisk into the reduced stock and heat until thickened to your taste
  12. Season well with salt and pepper
  13. This should result in about 500ml of wonderfully tasty gravy
  14. Add a knob of butter to make it really silky and rich

Gravy made without roasting a joint or chicken

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to a large pan and heat on high
  2. When hot, reduce heat to medium and add the bones (chicken, beef or lamb), carrots, onion, celery, garlic, rosemary and thyme
  3. Cook for about 30 minutes until brown and caramelised
  4. Add 2 litres of water and cook for a further 30 minutes until the stock reduces a little
  5. Remove from the heat and strain the stock from the vegetables and bones. Remove the garlic and press the other vegetables to release as much juice and goodness as possible
  6. Squeeze the cloves of garlic into the stock (like toothpaste) and mash with a fork
  7. Add the stock back in the pan and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes until the stock is reduced by half and the flavours become concentrated
  8. If you prefer a slightly thicker gravy, make a paste with 3ml cornflour and 3ml water. Whisk into the reduced stock and heat until thickened to your taste
  9. Season well with salt and pepper
  10. This should result in about 500ml of wonderfully tasty gravy
  11. Add a knob of butter to make it really silky and rich

Tips:

  • Lamb gravy – I sometimes add a little mint jelly or fresh mint (2 teaspoons) to the stock (point 4) 
  • Beef gravy – add a teaspoon of hot mustard to the stock (point 4)
  • Chicken or pork gravy – add 2 teaspoons apple jelly and a teaspoon of dried tarragon to the stock (point 4)
  • Add a splash of soy or Worcester sauce to enhance the flavour of your gravy – note that it will darken the gravy, so if you are making chicken gravy, leave this out
  • If you are having difficulty removing excess fat from the roasting pan, simply add a few ice cubes to the tray and the fat will stick to the ice – remove the blocks
  • You can also use the water in which you cooked your accompanying vegetables instead of adding all the water.
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