Traditional Beef Gravy

A pan of beef gravy.

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  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings

Traditional beef gravy is the best accompaniment to roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, the national dish of Great Britain. Why would you ever buy ready made gravy when making it is so easy and tastes so much better than anything you can buy?

There are a few tricks to making a great gravy. If you can, always use the delicious pan juices from your roast. Homemade stock will almost always be tastier than store-bought stock. If it's an option, use homemade stock. It doesn't matter what type of red wine (or port) you use in the recipe. As long as it is a wine you'd drink, that works fine. In fact, it's a nice conversation starter to use the wine you are serving at dinner. In addition to those tips, then all you need are a few simple ingredients and your Sunday roast or supper dish will be transformed by tasty homemade gravy. 

Store any leftover gravy in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Once it cools, the fat will likely separate when it's cooled. Gently stir it as your warm it in a saucepan to reheat it. Serve the leftover gravy with any leftover meat or give it a new life as a dressing for tasty sandwiches or a decadent topping to homemade steak fries. Leftover gravy can also be frozen. Defrost it on the counter or in the refrigerator and then gently rewarm it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pan juices from a roast meat (such as beef or lamb)
  • 1/2 glass red wine or port
  • 1 pint/500 mL meat or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into very small cubes

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the roasting pan with the pan juices on the stovetop over high heat until the meat juices begin to bubble, taking care not to burn the juice as it bubbles up quickly

  3. Pour in the red wine and scrape all the juices from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. All of the bits at the bottom of the pan will impart their meaty flavor to the sauce.

  4. Allow this mixture to bubble until it is reduced to a sticky, concentrated glaze. Do not leave the pan unattended, as the reduction happens very quickly and can quickly burn.

  5. Add the stock to the sauce and stir thoroughly to incorporate the stock into the reduced glaze.

  6. Once it is fully mixed, strain the gravy through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Bring this mixture to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, and reduce it by one-third.

  7. Once the gravy is reduced, add the butter in tiny pieces, shaking the pan gently until all the butter is melted and fully incorporated into the sauce. Adding the ice-cold butter not only adds flavor and richness, but it also gives the gravy a glossy shine. 

  8. 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. 

  9. Keep gravy warm until needed, then strain into a gravy boat or bowl.

Tips

  • Once the roast meat is cooked, remove it from the oven and the roasting pan to a cutting board or platter. Wrap it loosely in aluminum foil, and leave to rest as you make this gravy.
  • Pour away any excess fat from the meat juices before using in this recipe.