Traditional beef gravy is the best accompaniment to roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, the national dish of Great Britain, so why would you ever buy ready made gravy when making it is so easy and tastes so much better than anything you can buy?
The trick to great gravy is to use the delicious pan juices from your roast. Then all you need are a few simple ingredients and your Sunday roast or supper dish will be transformed.
- 1 cup pan juices from roast meat (more or less; see note below)
- 1/2 glass red wine or port
- 500ml (1 pint) meat or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp butter, ice-cold (put in freezer for an hour before use)
Once the roast meat is cooked, remove it from the oven, wrap loosely in aluminum foil, and leave on one side to rest. Pour away any excess fat.
Place the roasting pan on the stove top over a high heat until the meat juices begin to bubble, taking care not to burn as it bubbles up quickly
Pour in the red wine and scrape all the juices from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. Allow this to bubble until it is reduced to a sticky, concentrated glaze. Do not leave the pan unattended, as the reduction happens very quickly.
Add the stock and stir thoroughly to incorporate the reduced glaze.
Strain the gravy through a fine sieve into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil and reduce by one-third.
Once the gravy is reduced, add the butter in tiny pieces, shaking the pan gently until the all the butter is absorbed. Adding the ice cold butter not only adds flavor, it gives the gravy a glossy shine.
Check the resting meat to see if it has given up any more meat juices (beef and lamb often will as the meat relaxes). Add these juices to the gravy and give it another quick boil.
Keep warm until needed, then strain into a warmed sauceboat.