Silky Beef Gravy

Scott Louie Cooks

Some friends of mine have admitted they’re intimidated to make gravy. It will have lumps. It will be thin. It will taste pasty. If this is you, it’s all in your head.

Gravy is straight-forward to make if you put in the effort, which is not to say it’s so easy. Like a lot of things, the ease of making it is in the experience. You have to pay attention to it. Gravy is not something where ingredients go in the pot and you walk away. It deserves your full attention. If you can give that, gravy is straight-forward to make.

That being said, this is not a quick and easy recipe.

BTW, for quick and easy: take your roast out of the oven and out of the pan, skim off any obvious clear fat, add three tablespoons of butter, stir in (one Tbsp at a time) three tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly until well blended. You should have a bit of a slurry (the roux), then turn up the heat, pour in two cups of stock, stir constantly until it comes to a boil under medium high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer to let it thicken, stirring often for about 3-5 minutes. Taste it often. If too thick add a little stock at a time until it’s the right consistency. Add salt and pepper and whatever herbs you prefer (like parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme). You have gravy, Simon.

This recipe goes beyond the basics. It’s what you might call fortified, since I’ve read that most commercial stocks are rather carrot-heavy. I add my own vegetables (easy on the carrots) and blend to enrich my store-bought stock. In the past, I used to always make my own stocks, but nowadays I defer to very good NO-SALT (so important! don’t buy otherwise) chicken and beef stocks like Kitchen Basics, College Inn, and Swanson quart-sized, carton-based products.

You’ll need an immersion blender (or regular blender) for this.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped celery (or 2-3 medium stalks of celery, trimmed of leaves)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (or 1 medium onion)
  • ½ cup chopped carrot (or 1 medium carrot)
  • 8 oz chopped mushrooms
  • 2-3 cloves roasted garlic (or 1 clove minced garlic)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (for sauteing the veg)
  • 1 qt. No Salt Beef Stock (you may want more on hand if needed, or use water)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter (for the roux)
  • 3 Tbsp flour (for the roux)
  • salt and black pepper
  • basil and thyme (or seasonings of your choice)
The veg await

Fortify Your Stock

On medium heat, melt butter in a 5 qt dutch oven (like Le Creuset) and add the celery, carrot, and onion. Sauté for a few minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for a couple minutes more. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer on low heat for an hour. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes or so, then blend using your immersion blender (either in the pot, which I don’t prefer as I don’t want to scratch the enamel finish, or in a large bowl). Alternatively, blend it up in a blender. If not using immediately, set aside and let cool, or keep in your refrigerator until needed (it will keep 3-4 days).

Make Your Gravy

In your 5 qt dutch oven, melt 3 Tbsp butter and add the flour 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring constantly until well blended (the roux). You can cook the roux until it browns, stirring often and watching it like a hawk. It will adopt a bit of a nutty aroma. For a beef gravy, this is preferred.

Turn up the heat and immediately add your fortified stock, stirring well to break up the roux and let it dissolve into the liquid. Stir this often and watch closely. After a few minutes, it will thicken.

Add seasonings to taste. Cook for a few more minutes. You may need to thin it with more beef stock or water. Taste. You’ll know when it’s ready, but surely within 10 minutes of adding the stock.

Enjoy!

The finished gravy – so good. Enjoy!

Make it Your Own

An array of vegetables could be used for this. You can also add roasted mushrooms to the finished gravy. Stay Friendly and Healthy.