Perfect Gravy

Delia shows how to make Perfect Gravy: when you're roasting meat and its removed from the oven and its put aside to rest you are left with all the fat and meat juices left in the tin.

To make gravy you first need to place the tin over a gentle direct heat, then tilt the tin and you will see clearly how the juices and the fat will separate in the corner. Spoon off the excess fat and reserve it for cooking, leaving behind about 1 1/2 tablespoons of fat with all the juice. Now let the fat and juices begin to bubble, turning the heat up to medium, use a wooden spoon to scrape all the crusty bits from the base of the tin, adding a slightly rounded tablespoon of Sauce Flour, which you can find out about in our Flour Based Sauces lesson. Then using circular movements with the wooden spoon blend it into the fat, juices and crusty bits as quickly as you can.

When the flour is absorbed start to add the stock, bit by bit, stirring vigorously all the time.  The stock can be cooking liquid from vegetables or a powdered vegetable stock like Marigold, but I'm not keen on stock cubes because they have too many added ingredients. Then as more goes in switch to a balloon whisk, and as it boils and thickens, stop adding the liquid when its as thick as you would like it to be, add some seasoning, then let it bubble a bit to amalgamate all the flavours.  Then if you want to improve the colour just add a drop of gravy browning.

Delia also shows how easy it is to make gravy if you don't have meat juices, or if you are a vegetarian, Onion Gravy, which goes perfectly with Delia's recipe for Toad in the Hole and a Reduction Gravy.

(Please note true vegetarians don't eat meat, fish or shellfish if you are cooking for someone else and are unsure it is always good to check with them first.  Where Worcestershire sauce is used, make sure to choose one that has been made without anchovies).

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