Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Secret of Gravy

Gravy and "white" sauces are easy to make once you know the "secret".

We'll start with a basic recipe and I'll explain from there.

1 tbsp. oil, (butter, margarine or fat.)

1 tbsp. white, non-rising flour.

1 cup cool liquid, (water, milk, cooking juices.)

These ingredients would make a, (very thin and bland), "white" sauce.

Place your oil in a large enough sauce pan or skillet, warm on low heat making sure not to get it hot enough to scorch your flour. It only has to be warm enough to mix with your flour easily, (add the flour now and this is the secret), stir into a smooth paste with absolutely no flour lumps, not even small ones.

Now add your liquid, turn your heat to high and continuously stir the mixture until it comes to a boil.

The thickness of the sauce is dependent on the amount of flour added to the mixture. Its necessary to experiment a little to get the thickness you prefer.

Now some recipes built from the basic mixture.

Warren's, sweet and sour, salad dressing, (also makes a good coleslaw dressing or dressing for German potato salad.)

1/2 pound hickory smoked bacon
1 cup water
1 cup "apple cider" vinegar (necessary for flavor)
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. sugar (may substitute Splenda brand sweetener)

Makes 2 cups of a slightly brown salad dressing.
Prepare salad ingredients before hand. I prefer leaf lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and sweet onions.

Fry bacon crispy and remove from pan, saving drippings. When bacon cools, crumble and set aside. (I usually cook all of this in one large cast Iron skillet to save on cleanup.)

When drippings cool, add flour and sugar then stir into a "smooth" paste. Add remaining ingredients, (water, vinegar and bacon crumbs), increase heat to high and stir continuously until mixture comes to a boil. Allow to set for one minute then pour mixture over salad ingredients, toss salad and serve warm.

Quick and easy chicken gravy.
My family likes this more than turkey gravy at Thanksgiving.

3 chicken bullion cubes
3 cups canned chicken broth
3 rounded tbsp. flour (if you like thin gravy, don't round)
3 tbsp cooking oil, (shortening, butter, etc.)

Makes three cups of light yellow, somewhat salty, gravy.

Warm oil in saucepan or skillet.
Add flour and stir into "smooth" paste.
Add the rest of the ingredients, increase the heat to high and stir continuously until it comes to a boil.

Cover and turn off heat, stir before serving.

Warren's breakfast "milk" gravy. (I've also heard it called "sawmill gravy".)

4 tbsp bacon or sausage drippings
(You may also add sausage pieces to the gravy to make "sausage gravy".)
5 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp coarse black pepper (or pepper to taste)

Makes 3 cups medium thick milk gravy.

Warm drippings in saucepan or skillet.
Add flour and stir into "smooth" paste.
Add the rest of the ingredients, increase the heat to high and stir continuously until it comes to a boil.

Turn off heat leave covered on stove, stir before serving

All of these recipes many be doubled or halved and I do so quite frequently. The thickness of each sauce is determined by the ratio of flour to the liquid ingredients, so with a little experimentation, you may thicken or thin them to your taste.


The Merry Widow said...

HAH! Read my mind, I've wanted a decent milk gravy(my Mother was from upstate NY, she hadn't even had grits till she married my Dad!)for some time. Thank you.
AoW thinks you could open a restaurant and do well!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


cube said...

Yum! Thanks for the lesson.

Brooke said...

HA! And I thought TMW was writing this until I got to the end! LOL!

Warren, I think I just put on two pounds just reading this! :)

nanc said...

my mother makes the best gravies in the world - every kind you can imagine, but she hates gravy and you'll NEVER see her eat it - she doesn't even taste it while making it and it turns out perfect EVERY SINGLE TIME!

i love gravy - zgirl and i like to eat it like soup - in a bowl with a spoon.

thankx for the recipes, warren.

Always On Watch said...

I've sampled Warren's sweet and sour dressing and sawmill gravy. I can tell you from personal experience that both are to die for!

I admit it....All of my attempts at gravy have been failures--dismal ones, at that. Now I have recipes that will work. Yeehaw!

I'll be printing and saving these. And I'll spring a surprise on Mr. AOW when I serve up a successful gravy.

Wild Bill said...

A good gravy deserves a good bisquit too !!

Southern High Rise Biscuits
Dissolve 2 T yeast in 1/4 c. warm water
In large mixing bowl, combine;
5-1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
1 t. soda
Cut in 1 c. shortening until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in 2 c. buttermilk and yeast mixture, mix well with fork. Knead lightly a few times on floured surface. Pat dough out to about 1/2" thickness and cut with floured glass. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees until lightly browned (10-12 min.).
Makes about 48.
* This recipe can be halved.

Wild Bill said...

Tater Bisquits

Grandma's Potato Biscuits

Makes 24 biscuits

4-1 / 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1- 1 / 2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons shortening
1 / 4 cup warm water (100o to 110oF)
1 envelope FLEISCHMANN’S Active Dry Yeast
3 / 4 cup warm milk (100o to 110oF)
1 cup potato, boiled and mashed
2 large eggs
Directions In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, and salt. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. Place warm water in bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add yeast mixture, milk and mashed potato to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours.

Remove dough from refrigerator; roll on lightly floured surface to 1 / 2-inch thickness. Cut with 2-1 / 2-inch biscuit cutter; place on lightly greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Bake at 400oF for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from sheet; serve warm.

Wild Bill said...

Sherried Portobello Mushroom Gravy

Pan of drippings from roast turkey breast
3/4 cup dry sherry
1 portobello mushroom, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 to 2 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper

Remove the turkey breast from the roasting pan; set aside.

Place the pan and its drippings over medium-low heat. Stir in the sherry, scraping and deglazing the pan. Add the mushroom pieces, continuing to stir. As the sauce thickens, add the water, a little at a time, continuing to stir for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch-water mixture, increase the heat to medium and stir until the gravy thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Yields 3 cups.

nanc said...

okay, wild bill - just what are you trying to do to us?

i love gravy!

and biscuits!


Wild Bill said...

I'm tryin to make ya'll as hongry as I am !!

I've got a coupla rib-eyes marinatin in garlic powder and lemmon-pepper salt and Kikkoman soy sauce RAT NOW and I've got a pot of pintos ready with smoked pork roast in it and gonna stir up a pan of mashed taters and pig out, but till then my belly is gonna be growlin like crazy..

I just didnt wanna be the only one starvin to death..

Tony Cachere's has a Roux and Gravy Mix that I use in my gravy too.. I add a few shakes of it in my flour and make it like the recipe here above..

Adds a Cast Iron Skillet taste when you are usin a non-stick pan..

You can use it in the juice from a Pot Roast and make a good thick brown gravy too..

The Merry Widow said...

I do my own cheese sauce for mac and cheese, medium thickness white sauce;
2 cups milk, divided
2 tblsp. corn starch
pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar, divided
cooked macaroni

Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in sauce pan, mix remaining milk and corn starch until smooth. When milk starts to bubble at edges, remove from heat, slowly add corn starch mix while whisking the milk, add butter and pepper, continue whisking until desired thickness, add 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar and dry mustard. Whisk until cheese is melted and incorporated into sauce. Add cooked macaroni, pour into lightly sprayed casserole, top with remaining cheese and paprika. Bake in 350 degree oven until top is golden brown.


nanc said...

if any of you have never done it - add a small tub of sour cream to ANY of your gravies when they're done and put the gravy over wide egg noodles - talk about a little taste of heaven!

The Merry Widow said...

Sour cream in biscuits are fabulous!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad I ate before reading this.

I don't think I'll be buying any more gravy packets at the Supermarket. Thanks y'all.

nanc said...

a little secret to mix your gravy or salad dressings - put your ingredients into a jar with a whiffle golfball in it and shake it - NO LUMPS!

and no, don't cook or eat the whiffle...

Almtnman said...

Sounds like a good gravy recipe. Now, since I'm the one that cooks the gravy every Friday morning for something like 80 to 85 hungry coaches, football players and cheerleaders, I'll have to figure out how to use this recipe to make the usual 10 gallons at a time.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...


okay... my pitch...

"1-2-3 Mayonaisse Rolls"

In each of them there divots in a muffin pan from what for the muffins come out of when they're done, put 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of mayonaisse, and 3 tablespoons of self-rising flour. Stir up the stuff good. Bake in the oven until they're golden brown on top. Eat 'em, pilgrim. I used to make these as a snack after school. They're good for dinner too.

For fancy guests, put a little garlic, butter, and cheddar cheese on top of the mix before you bake, and tell them you know how to make "Cheddar Bay Biscuits" like they serve at Red Lobster. (Because they are virtually the same thing...)