A quick, classic gravy that can dress up anything from mashed potatoes to a beef roast.
In the way back times, whoever had the brainstorm of adding meat drippings to starch and fat resulting in the velvet goodness that is gravy should get more credit – who doesn’t love gravy? This underrated sauce–these days often associated with grandma’s cooking–is a versatile, quick way to add flavor and that extra homecooked touch to so many different dishes.
While there’s nothing difficult about gravy, many of us assume it’s only for holiday dinners or special occasions. However, this recipe for Brown Gravy is so fast and easy, you will want to warm up your meal with it more often, especially during the chilly months!
A homemade gravy like this one is nothing like the gelatinous sauce out of a jar labeled “gravy.” The texture is just right – not runny but not heavy either. Its taste and depth of flavor is rich, carmel-y, and complements meat and/or potatoes perfectly. Ladled over roast, turkey, or mashed potatoes, the warm, meaty gravy infuses the whole meal with hearty homecooked goodness. It’s also delicious to sop up with crusty bread!
The Art of Making a Slurry
What is a slurry? No, it doesn’t have to do with overindulging and slurring your words – it’s a cooking technique! Making a slurry is a method of combining a thickening agent (like flour or, in the recipe below, cornstarch) with hot liquid and whisking until you achieve the desired thickness. If you’ve made a roux before, this is the opposite. The key to a good slurry is the constant whisking – the motion helps you avoid lumps in your final sauce.
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 drops browning and seasoning sauce
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tbsp butter
Step 1: In a pan or pot whisk the beef stock, bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, browning and seasoning sauce, onion powder, and garlic powder together.
Step 2: Place it onto a medium heat and bring it to the boil.
Step 3: In the meantime mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl or jug.
Step 4: Pour it into the pan with the beef stock and keep whisking while you bring it to the boil and then let it simmer until it thickens. This will take about 8 – 10 minutes. Don’t stop whisking otherwise, it will get lumpy. The gravy will be ready when it is thickened to a gravy consistency.
Step 5: Stir in the butter to make the gravy creamy and glossy.
Top Tips For a Perfect Brown Gravy
- Use beef stock, not beef broth. Beef stock is richer in flavor and color and combined with the browning sauce, helps to give this gravy it’s deep savory flavor.
- Use a clean mason jar with a lid to combine the water and cornstarch. Shake vigorously and then it’s easy to pour into your hot skillet while whisking.
- Once you add the cornstarch/water, do keep whisking while it cooks for the needed 8 – 10 minutes. Switch hands if necessary – the constant whisking helps you avoid lumpy gravy.
- To add the butter at the end, remove the skillet from the heat and swirl until the pat of butter is incorporated.
No – this recipe uses the beef stock and browning sauce as the base for the gravy. If you happen to have drippings from the meat you’re cooking, you can substitute some of the beef stock with the drippings.
If you’ve added too many drops of browning sauce, the gravy may have a bitter aftertaste. Just mix in a little extra butter to counteract it.
Some of the cornstarch did not dissolve – perhaps because the gravy was not whisked while it was cooking. If you can, just remove the lumps. If not, don’t worry about it. It’s more of a texture thing than a taste thing.
My favorite way to enjoy this gravy is ladled over homemade mashed potatoes. It also works beautifully on roast beef, a roast beef open-faced sandwich, or even poutine. Alternatively, whip it up while your Thanksgiving turkey is resting – try our Herb-Roasted Turkey.
How to Store
This Brown Gravy is best served right after making it, but if you need to reheat it, either reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave. Just don’t let it boil. Freezing it works well and you can even pour the cooled gravy into an ice cube tray so you have individual, small portions of gravy ready to go in your freezer. This Brown Gravy keeps in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Make Brown Gravy
- 2 cups Beef stock
- 1 Beef Bouillon
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 drops Browning and Seasoning Sauce
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 3 Tbsp Cornflour
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- In a pan or pot whisk the beef stock, bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, browning and seasoning sauce, onion powder, and garlic powder together.
- Place it onto a medium heat and bring it to the boil.
- In the meantime mix the cornflour and water in a small bowl or jug.
- Pour it into the pan with the beef stock and keep whisking while you bring it to the boil and then let it simmer until it thickens. This will take about 8 – 10 minutes. Don’t stop whisking otherwise, it will get lumpy. The gravy will be ready when it is thickened to a gravy consistency.
- Stir in the butter to make the gravy creamy and glossy.