Gravy is super simple to make and costs very little, but it gives wonderful flavor and texture to your meal. In the south, gravy is a staple food. There are brown gravies and white gravies. White gravy is made with fat and flour along with milk. Brown gravy is made with meat drippings and corn starch. Gravy from the turkey drippings is brown, generally speaking.
Besides saving money, it’s a great idea to make your own gravy because then you know exactly what’s in it. Store bought mixes and gravies are filled with flavor enhancers, artificial flavors, preservatives, and other chemicals that may not be the most healthy to put in your body. I have multiple chemical sensitivities and many of these additives can give me migraines, diarrhea or other unpleasant symptoms. Even if you don’t have chemical sensitivities, additives have many health concerns. Know what’s in your food.
Another great reason to make your gravy from scratch is flavor. Nothing equals the pure taste of homemade food. Store bought is not even in the same universe as homemade. Do yourself a favor, and learn this skill.
My grandmother was a master of gravy. Grandpa wanted gravy at every meal and when Grandpa wants it, Grandma masters it. Her food was oozing with love. She nourished people with her cooking. I love that. I want that. My Mom does that as well and her gravy is just as good as Grandma’s ever was. She’s an amazing cook too. I hope to be as good as them. I have the key ingredient, love. Food nourishes minds, bodies, and souls. It’s important.
From as far back as I can remember, my Grandma served gravy in a turquoise gravy boat. When she passed away, I got to take it home and now I serve gravy from it on special occasions. I love it because it reminds me of her.
Mastering the art of gravy takes a little bit of finesse, but once you get it down, it’s super simple. There are a few key things to remember.
- Stir, stir, stir! No one likes lumpy gravy!
- The longer you cook gravy, the better it tastes. Good things come to those who wait, so be patient with your gravy.
- Tasting is important to adjust your seasoning.
Now let’s focus on the making of brown gravy. First you need the drippings from some meat you’ve cooked. Brown gravy can be made from chicken, beef, pork, whatever type of meat you’re roasting. If you’ve cooked a turkey, lift it out and pour everything from the bottom of the pan into a bowl. Set a strainer over your sauce pan and pour the drippings into your pan, straining out any bits as you pour. Let your juice sit for a while and settle. It might take 30 minutes or so for the fat to rise to the top.
Take a spoon and skim the fat off the top of your liquid and discard it. You just need the juice for brown gravy. Too much fat will make it separate as it sits.
Take a small amount of your liquid and put it in a separate bowl. Put your pan with the remaining liquid on medium heat and bring it to a boil. Make sure to watch it, sometimes it will try to boil over.
Add a few tablespoons of corn starch to your bowl of liquid and whisk it thoroughly with a fork until you don’t see any clumps of corn starch. Depending on how much total liquid you got from your turkey, you should need 2-4 tablespoons. Your liquid should still be somewhat warm, if it’s cold, you need to heat it a little before you add the corn starch so it will incorporate correctly.
Homemade Turkey Gravy is so easy to make yourself!
Put your strainer back over your saucepan when the liquid is at a full rolling boil. Add your corn starch, liquid mixture back into the boiling liquid straining out any small clumps that didn’t get broken up.
Boil gravy, whisking constantly until it thickens and has the desired consistency. Be sure to cool a spoon full of gravy and taste it to see if it needs additional seasoning. Typically with turkey gravy, the seasoning from the meat is perfect for the gravy and it doesn’t need any additions.
What special family traditions do you love?
Are there other basic cooking skills you’d like to learn? Comment here and I’ll write a post about them if it’s something I know how to do.
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