|BASIC PAN GRAVY
2 tablespoons meat drippings|
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup liquid (beef or chicken broth, water, meat juices, or a combination of them)
Salt and pepper, to taste
After the meat is removed from the pan and put in a warm place, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the pan juices in the skillet. If you're not sure about how much is left in the pan, pour off all the drippings and measure 2 tablespoons back into the skillet. Heat up the drippings over medium-low heat.
Sprinkle the flour over the heated drippings, and stir it constantly so that the flour "cooks" for about a minute. Then gradually add the liquid, stirring constantly, until the gravy begins to thicken and bubble. Add the salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat, pour the gravy into your prettiest gravy boat, and you're done.
"But," you moan, "I've tried that before and it was a disaster." Well, you probably tried it once and never tried it again, or you waited too long before your second attempt. I cannot emphasize enough that perfect gravy comes with the knowledge and skill born of frequent practice.
RED EYE GRAVY WITH COUNTRY HAM
This flavorful ham gravy contains no flour, so lumps are never a problem. I've heard good things about Red-Eye Gravy made with Coca-Cola, but I've never tried it myself. You omit the brown sugar and coffee altogether, and substitute ½ cup of Coke. Anyone trying it is urged to let me know how it turns out.
5 or 6 slices of Country Ham (about ¼" thick)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup strong black coffee
Pinch of salt
Slash the edges of the ham slices so they won't curl up while they're cooking. Over medium to low heat, sauté the ham in the butter, turning frequently to lightly brown both sides of each slice. Remove the ham from the pan and keep warm.
Over low heat, stir the brown sugar into the pan juices, stirring constantly until it dissolves. Stir in the coffee and simmer for 4 or 5 minutes. Makes 5 or 6 servings.
SAWMILL OR SAUSAGE GRAVY
Mainly a Southern dish, a breakfast of sausage, biscuits and Sawmill Gravy is hard to beat.
1 pound Pork sausage (can be less, but you need at least enough to make 2 tablespoons of drippings)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Black pepper, to taste (at least ¼ teaspoon)
Crumble the sausage and cook it until it is brown. Remove it from the skillet to drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet.
Over low to medium heat, add the flour to the pan drippings, stirring constantly so that the flour "cooks" for about a minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. Stir in the pepper and cooked, crumbled sausage, and cook until mixture is hot. Serve over biscuits.
A Texas staple. A must for Chicken-Fried Steak or Fried Chicken. Or anything. A little practice will have you dishing up perfect cream gravy in a few minutes. Texans don't always fry their food. Suppose your delectable pot roast is done, and you want to turn its pot liquor into gravy---that's next.
3 tablespoons pan drippings
3 tablespoons flour (I like to use the flour left over from the steak- or chicken-coating process)
1-½ cups liquid (can be all milk, half milk/half warm water, or 1 cup milk and ½ cup beef broth - nice for the chicken-fried steak)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Okay, you've fried your chicken or your steak, removed it to a warm place, and now you're ready to make the gravy.
Return 3 tablespoons of the pan drippings to your skillet, keeping as many as possible of the browned, crusty bits in the pan. Over low to medium heat, add the flour to the pan drippings, stirring constantly so that the flour "cooks" for about a minute.
Gradually add the liquid, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. Stir in the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Serve hot.
POT ROAST GRAVY
Here is a time when a fat separator comes in handy if you're trying to watch your fat intake.
Liquid from pot roast
½ cup all-purpose flour (you can use self-rising flour, too)
Salt and pepper, to taste
If using a fat separator, pour the liquid from your pot toast into it and allow the fat to settle. Measure the liquid from your pot roast into a large measuring cup. Add enough water to make 3 cups of liquid. Pour about half of the liquid back into the Dutch oven. Over medium heat, sprinkle in the flour, and stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, adding the rest of the liquid gradually, and smoothing out any lumps. Cook until gravy thickens, stirring constantly. Taste and season accordingly.
Again, a fat separator comes in handy here. This recipe makes perfect Giblet Gravy. I know everyone has different tastes, and I'm a Giblet Gravy purist, so you won't find any hard-boiled egg or vegetables in this recipe but, trust me, this is delicious.
First, you gotta cook the Giblets! This can be done a day or two ahead and refrigerated in a sealed bag or container.
Use just the liver, gizzard, heart and pieces off the neck. Place them into a medium saucepan with a little chopped onion, carrot and celery, and a little salt and pepper. Cover with water, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 hour. Drain giblets, discard any vegetables used, and reserve as desired. Note that the drained liquid can be saved to use when making the gravy like I do, or it can be saved for stock or gravies later if desired.
1 cup drippings from turkey roasting pan that have been skimmed of fat
1 cup chicken broth (homemade turkey giblet broth is great)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 or 2 tablespoons Dry Sherry (optional, but highly recommended)
Turkey giblets, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Remove the turkey drippings from the roasting pan and degrease.
Over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan until it is bubbly, sprinkle in the flour and stir quickly for a minute or so to cook the flour. Slowly stir in the turkey drippings and chicken or turkey broth, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the gravy is smooth and thickened. (If you've got some lumps and want to get rid of them, strain the gravy or whizz it in the blender now because you won't be able to after you add the giblets.)
Reduce heat to low, and check the seasonings. Add salt and pepper only if you think it is necessary. Some people like to add a tablespoon or two of sherry at this point. It adds a wonderful, mellow flavor. Just use regular, dry sherry -- not sweet sherry, and definitely not cooking sherry. Then, add the giblets and simmer for about 10 minutes.
You can make your gravy early, keep it warm, and heat it back up a bit just before serving, if you like.