Brown gravy is usually made from the pan drippings from a beef dish. The little bits left in the bottom of the pan help deepen the flavor of the gravy, but you can make gravy without these drippings. You want to be sure to use a good tasting liquid or broth. You can extend pan drippings with broth or water to get enough flavorful liquid to make the gravy. But, as my daughter asked, what do I do for meatloaf or other meats that don’t provide pan drippings? Here is a basic brown gravy you can make anytime.
To make one cup of delicious brown gravy you will need
- 1 cup of beef broth or stock (stock will give you a little richer flavor)
- 2 tablespoons sifted flour OR 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter (or you could use olive oil)
- 1 packet HERB OX beef bouillon ( I prefer this brand because it has 0 sodium and a great flavor)
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook until the flour is dissolved into the butter and begins to turn a light brown. This is the RUE. It should resemble a spoonful of peanut butter. If you choose to use cornstarch instead of flour, dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of cool water and set aside.
Into the RUE you want to add the beef stock or broth, maintaining medium heat and stirring as you add the liquid. Continue stirring until the mixture begins to boil. You will see it thicken as you continue to stir. Add the packet of bouillon and salt and pepper to taste. That is it. You now have a delicious gravy.
If you are using the corn starch option, add the stock or broth to the melted butter over medium heat. Dissolve the bouillon into the liquid. Over medium heat, add the cornstarch mixture (stir it so that any cornstarch that has settled to the bottom is re-mixed with the water). Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste.
For a tasty treat make the gravy as described and add one can of cream of mushroom soup. This is wonderful on any beef dish and will add yet another depth of flavor to your table.
With a little care you can easily make a gravy that will have your family asking time and again, ‘Did you make gravy tonight?’. I hope you will give it a try soon.