October 10, 2014

Hasty Gravy

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There’s no need to skimp. Satisfy your gravy cravings, with or without a roast beast. You can prepare this Hasty Gravy on a whim. Alternatively, cook it in advance to supplement the meagre gravy made from your roast’s pan drippings (see Land of Plenty Gravy). Want it gluten-free? Try: Hasty Gravy (Gluten-Free). Or vegan? See: Vege-Gravy. Need an all-purpose gravy guide? Hop on My Gravy Train.

      A boatload of gravy. Credit: Susan Sampson


4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken/beef stock, divided
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, bacon fat, duck fat and/or schmaltz
1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour (2-1/4 oz/65 g)
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce/worcestershire sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground white pepper
Browning to taste

In large measuring cup, microwave stock 2 minutes, or until steamy.

In medium pan, melt fat on medium heat. Add flour. Whisk 1 minute, or until thick, pasty and slightly golden.

Remove from heat. While whisking vigorously, gradually add 3-1/2 cups (875 mL) warm stock, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in soy sauce or worcestershire, 1 tsp (1 mL) salt and pepper. Heat, whisking often, on medium 2 minutes, or until starting to simmer and thicken. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often and then constantly with whisk, 10 minutes, or until thick and glossy.

Remove from heat. Add some or all of remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) stock to adjust thickness. (Gravy will thicken more as it cools.) Adjust salt. Add browning.

Makes 3-1/2 cups (875 mL).

  • This gravy tastes awesome when made with bacon fat.

Kitchen Secrets: To prevent lumpy gravy, it’s important to add stock gradually and to whisk until smoothly combined before adding more. For thicker gravy, continue to simmer until reduced as desired.

Bright Ideas: You can season the finished gravy or consider your stock options. For the latter, pre-simmer stock with 2 stalks thyme or parsley, 1 stalk rosemary or sage, or 1 large bay leaf, or infuse it with chopped onion or leftover mushroom stems. For the former, add tomato paste, barbecue sauce or Cajun spice blend; replace the soy sauce or worcestershire with a few dashes of liquid Maggi; stir in juices from the roasting pan. For the smoothest, richest, most decadent gravy, add heavy cream (35%) in place of some of the remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) stock.

Oh No: Never cover the pan to keep your gravy warm. It will thin out if steam attacks it.

Make-Ahead: You can prepare this gravy a day or three in advance. Refrigerate it, and when the time comes, reheat in a small pan on medium-low heat, whisking occasionally, until bubbly. Or microwave it, stirring every 30 seconds.

B is for Browning: Sugar so darkly caramelized that it has lost its sweetness is sold as browning. It is used as a food colouring in everything from gravy to cake. Supermarkets sell browning.

V is for Velouté: Velouté is an essential type of French sauce. It is kin to the workhorse white sauce known as béchamel, but made with stock instead of milk/cream. Velouté means “velvety.” Surprise – gravy is a type of velouté. To make room for potential drippings, my gravy has less butter and more flour than my Velouté 101.


Hasty Cider Gravy
Use 3 cups (750 mL) chicken stock and 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened hard cider. Cider accents are excellent with turkey, pork or game.

Hasty Curry Gravy
Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) curry powder and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) garam masala along with salt.

Hasty Herb Gravy
Stir 1/4 cup (60 mL) mixed chopped fresh herbs into finished gravy.

Hasty Red Wine Gravy
Start with butter or duck fat. Use 3-1/2 cups (825 mL) beef stock and 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry red wine.

Hasty Wine & Bacon Gravy
Start with bacon fat. Use 3-1/2 cups (825 mL) stock and 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry red wine (with beef stock) or white wine (with chicken stock). Before serving, stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled, crisp, cooked bacon.