Nothing beats pot roast swimming in fresh homemade gravy, or the added creaminess gravy lends to mashed potatoes. Using a few simple techniques, you can make delicious beef gravy with common ingredients that are probably already in your cupboard. The trick is to use the correct methods and the right proportions of ingredients.
Fresh pan drippings make the most flavorful beef gravy. Use a fat separator or spoon the fat off the top of the liquid left in the pan. Save the tasty bits at the bottom of the pan for added flavor.
Use an equal amount of fat and all-purpose flour. Using too much flour will diminish the taste of the fat in the gravy. If you do not have enough fat add a few tablespoons of butter. Likewise, butter can be substituted entirely for the pan drippings.
For the thickest, richest tasting gravy, use a half cup of liquid for each tablespoon of fat and flour. Water or broth can be used in place of pan dripping liquid. Add beef bouillon granules to boiling water to quickly create a more intense flavor. Regular bouillon cubes can be used, though dissolving them takes more time. If desired, salt and pepper can also be added to the gravy.
For variety, create gravy with mushrooms or onions. Using sliced button mushrooms or diced yellow onions adds a mild flavor to beef gravy. A bit of onion powder can also be used in place of fresh onions.
Melt the fat completely in a heavy saucepan. If using onions or mushrooms, add them to the pan and cook them until softened. When adding the flour, mix briskly with a wire whisk or wooden spoon until you create a roux, which should be a smooth consistency. Keep cooking the roux to darken the mixture and remove the floury taste from the gravy.
According to Home Ec 101, adding the liquid very slowly will help prevent lumps in the gravy. Whisk the mixture briskly as you slowly add liquid in very small amounts. After all of the liquid has been added, cook until small bubbles appear on the surface. Cooking for one minute longer will completely cook the flour.
To avoid a filmy layer from forming over the top of the gravy, stir the finished mixture frequently until served. Don’t toss out lumpy gravy. Run the gravy through a blender or food processor to whip out the flour lumps.