Basic Pan Gravy
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
This is a basic recipe to make a quick and easy gravy from roasted, fried, sautéed, braised or stewed meats and poultry, as in some of the recipes in the similar and related recipes links. With braises and stews, the liquids needed are already there. In other preparations, you will need to add broth. If you are making a small amount of gravy and there are browned bits in the bottom of the pan, water can be substituted for the broth. As for the wine, the basic rule, which can be altered to taste, is red for red meats and white for white. Alternately, you can substitute more broth for the wine.
- 1/2 cup dry red or white wine
- 2 cups broth, homemade or low-sodium canned (see comments above)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, combined with just enough cool water or broth to make a thin paste (slurry)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Use the pan in which the meat was prepared. Drain out most of the fat. Place over high heat; add the wine and deglaze, scraping up all the browned bits (called fond) in the bottom of the pan. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low.
Gradually stir the flour-water paste into the simmering broth, whisking vigorously until incorporated into the broth. Continue to add the paste until gravy is the desired thickness, keeping in mind that it will continue to thicken as it cooks. If it gets too thick, whisk in a little more broth or water. Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately or keep warm for a little while over very low heat, stirring occasionally to keep it combined.
Notes: The water or broth added to the flour to make the paste cannot be warm or hot or it will get lumpy. Add herbs or spices as desired to complement the dish. Gravy can also be thickened with cornstarch, arrowroot or a roux, although the methods are different. Another foolproof method is to make a beurre manié, which means kneaded butter. Use equal parts flour and soft butter (or oil) and 'knead' with your fingers until well-combined. Then, like a slurry, gradually whisk into the simmering liquids.