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Brown Gravy

Thom Hackett

Servings:  4

 

Gravy

 

Making gravy is a simple process if you following some basic rules.  When making gravy, you always use equal amounts of fat and flour.  This is very important, so always measure carefully.  If you use too much flour, you will drown out the taste of the fat, which is where the flavor comes from.  Always, always, brown the flour in the drippings.  Then, for each 2 Tablespoons of drippings and flour you will add 1 cup of liquid.

 

Ingredients


6 tablespoons dripping or butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart milk
Ĺ teaspoon sea salt

Cooking Method


There are several ways to make gravy, but here is the easiest using the two step method.
 
Step One:
 
After the meat is cooked, leave the needed amount of fat or drippings in the bottom of the pan in which the meat was cooked.
 
Next you add the flour to the gravy.  Remember:  "When making gravy, you always use equal amounts of fat and flour.  This is very important, so always measure carefully.  If you use too much flour, you will drown out the taste of the fat, which is where the flavor comes from."
  1. Add the flour to the fat, and mix well. 
  2. Then turn on the heat.  Start with very low heat.
  3. You must stir constantly.
  4. You need to cook this mixture long enough so that the flour is cooked.  
The mixture will turn brown and begin to bubble.  If you donít cook the flour long enough, it will have a raw taste, and ruin the flavor of your gravy.
 
Step Two:
 
This next step, adding the liquid to the fat/flour mixture, is where most people get into trouble.  If you just pour the milk or water into the mixture, you may get lumps.  To be safe, bring the milk or water temperature up before combining the two.  To do this, first add some of the very hot fat/flour mixture to the water to bring up the temperature of the water. Stir well to distribute the heat.  Of course, you can also slowly heat the liquid (when heating milk be careful not to scorch it with higher hear) in another pan before adding it to the fat/flour mixture.
 
Take the pan off the burner, and then add the milk or water, SLOWLY, stirring continually.
 
After the two are well blended, return to the burner, and bring to a boil for about a minute.  Be sure and keep stirring, so that the fat does not separate from the liquid.  
 
The flour is what is going to thicken the liquid mixture.  You want to stir and cook until you get the consistency you like.
 
When you make gravy, you cannot leave the pan unattended.  Have your seasonings (I just use salt) nearby so you can put them in at the end while you are stirring.  Even after you take the pan off the stove, it will still keep cooking for a while and will become thicker.
 
Continue to stir your gravy right up to the time you put it on the table.  This is why the gravy is always done last.  It is not hard, but it takes your constant attention.
 
A few other things to consider:
 
The more spices you add to the meat before cooking, the more flavorful the fat and the less spices you will need to add for flavoring. 
 
For Thicker or Thinner Gravy:  If you want to make your gravy thicker, increase the amount of fat and flour that you put into each Cup of liquid.  Very thick gravy has as much as 3 Tablespoons of each.  Thin gravy only one.
If you donít have enough fat, you can add some melted butter or margarine.
 
For a rich, flavorful gravy, avoid using plain water as your liquid.  Use bouillon or soup stock.
 
If you are making gravy for poultry, add some milk or cream, but be careful that you donít burn it.
 
Gravy Still Lumpy:  If your gravy still comes out with lumps try beating it harder with a wire whisk, blender or Cuisinart.  If lumps remain, run the gravy through a colander or strainer.  Reheat over low heat, stirring constantly. 
 
Sauces are what differentiate a good cook from a great cook.
Find a combination of spices and flavorings that you like, and perfect that homemade gravy.
     
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