Traditional pan gravy
Take the roasted meat from the roasting dish and set the meat aside to rest. (See why below).
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 3 ½ cups beef stock (for a beef roast) or chicken stock (for a veal or lamb roast) - you can make your stock from cubes or powder or you can use liquid stock.
- freshly ground pepper and salt
- Drain away a little of the fat from the pan if it seems excessive (you’ll need about one tablespoon of fat). You will be left with a little fat and the brown residue from the roast meat.
- Place the roasting dish on the cooktop, over a medium heat. Bring the pan juices to the boil. Add the flour and stir until the flour is well combined.
- Reduce the heat a little and cook, stirring often until the flour mixture is well browned. Make sure you scrape up the tasty meat residue as you stir. Take care that the mixture does not burn.
- Take the roasting dish from the heat and slowly pour in the stock, stirring constantly until well combined. If you add the stock too quickly, it will be harder to combine with the flour mixture. Return the roasting dish to the heat, bring mixture to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes, stir occasionally. Season with pepper and salt.
Enriching the pan gravy
The simple pan gravy above can be varied by using half wine and half stock, or by adding finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley and chives are good choices) just before serving. A good dash Worcestershire or soy sauce gives great flavour and colour. A small dollop of tomato paste will add colour and richness (add it with the stock so it cooks with the gravy).
Don’t dismiss packet gravy powder
- To guarantee that you have no lumps, mix the gravy powder to a smooth paste with a little cold water before adding the required liquid.
- Use half water and half red or white wine to make up the required amount of liquid. Add the pan juices from the roasting juice.
- Packet gravy is usually low in fat but high in salt, so take care not to add extra salt. A splash of soy sauce will season and add a depth of colour to the gravy. Add some freshly ground pepper too.
- Add a small dollop of tomato paste to mellow out the flavour of the gravy. Chopped fresh herbs are also good additions.
Why meat should ‘rest’ before serving
All red meat should ‘rest’ after it comes off the heat. The time taken to rest will depend on its size; a roast is best rested for 10 to 20 minutes. Allowing the meat to rest before serving allows the juices to redistribute and be reabsorbed. As a result the meat will lose less juice when you cut it and be far more tender and juicy