Thursday, October 2, 2008

Let's Make Some Gravy

One thing about growing up in my household, you didn't get out of that childhood without knowing how to make gravy. In our family gravy is considered a beverage.

My dad had been a cook in the Navy, serving on aircraft carriers where thousands of men were fed at each meal. He was a gravy expert and we were good students learning how to make gravies from different meats. Chicken, turkey and beef gravies were thickened with corn starch and milk gravy is thickened with flour.

I had a friend who used to get freaked out at the thought of gravy made from milk. I explained to her that it's basically a watered down bechamel sauce. Somehow that made it palatable to her and she tried it and was hooked. I swear she ate biscuits and gravy every morning for two weeks!

Let's get started. There's a basic formula for this gravy that will allow you to any amount you wish. Because I've been doing this for so many years I don't measure anything. It's what I call flying by the seat of your pants.

Here's the basic formula:

1 TBSP. butter or fat
1 TBSP. flour
2/3 cup of milk
Salt and pepper to taste

That's it!!

Here are the ingredients for 2-1/2 cups of gravy:

4 TBSP. butter
4 TBSP. flour
2-1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

You can use any type of butter or fat. For example, this evening I fried up some boneless pork cutlets.


I pour off the oil (leaving the brown scrapings in the pan) and returned 4 TBSP. to the fry pan. Heat the oil and add the flour a little at a time, mixing well.


Keep adding the flour till it's all incorporated. The mixture will be slightly thick.

Here's the secret to not having pasty tasting gravy, you must allow the flour to cook a bit. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes.

Photobucket just made a roux and didn't even know it. Add a small amount of the milk and stir well. The mixture will be thick. Keep adding the milk a little at a time until it's all incorporated. Adding the milk all at once will result in lumpy gravy.


At this point the gravy will be a bit thin so you need to simmer it down a bit until it's the consistency you like. If it gets too thick just a little more milk.

Salt and pepper to taste. Personally I love this gravy with lots of freshly grated black pepper. You can see the brown bits from the cutlets and the pepper.


To make sausage gravy: Fry your sausage patties and reserve one or two, depending up on how meaty you want the gravy. Pour off the fat, reserving enough for your recipe. Crumble up the sausage into the pan and continue as above.

No meat?? Use butter as the basis.

Now, if I could just make a great biscuit.


Louise said...

I love this kind of gravy, but not with a lot of pepper. I've just never liked pepper. And I DON'T believe you can't make a good biscuit! Love your pictures. What do you think I want to do RIGHT NOW?!

bj said...

Hubby and I love homemade gravy better than anything in this world, nearly...and both of us grew up on it. Love it with biscuits or toast, either one.
After having troubles with hearts and blocked arteries however, we stay away from gravies. We did find a fat-free mix for cream gravy that we use when we just get so hungry for gravy..not anywhere CLOSE to the real thing but better than nothing!
love, bj

jazzi said...

My grandma's comment about making milk gravy was "Don't drop the spoon." Oh, do I miss my grandma's cooking.

chocolatechic said...

I love gravy.

Sausage gravy and biscuits.....yum.

The best biscuits that I have ever had are the ones from the Better Homes and Gardens cook book (the 1980's one) the Supreme ones.

They are fabulous.

jeanne said...

I have had company for two weeks and I know why I miss your post so much. Your gravy looks so good. I have never made sausage gravy, but my sister makes it and adds sugar. lol. I can't eat it. Do you ever put sugar in your gravy?

Sorry I haven't been visiting, but I'm back. smile.

Have a terrific day...Jeanne

Lucy said...

Thats the way my mother made gravy however, I could never get the consistency right. I think I can now. :)

J'Ollie Primitives said...

Good gravy! :)

belladella said...

Gravy as beverage. This makes me smile this morning. True in my family too!

Janet said...

Isn't it amazing how in one generation we seem to have lost the art of gravymaking and in many ways the art of cooking? I love to cook and think young women are missing out by not learning this creative and nourishing skill. Just my two cents.


Significant Snail said...

I'm a big fan of milk gravy, plain or with meat. On biscuits, on bread or toast..mmmm.




Ha ha ha. Now, over at my blog I've told my readers (I mean I've suggested) that if they register to vote here in Canada or the U.S., they will get the link to your blog so they can learn how to make gravy.

StitchinByTheLake said...

That's the exact same recipe I use for gravy Suzanne! And I do so wish I had room for that big farm table you showed yesterday - I'd be driving up there to get it! blessings, marlene

Mary said...

Oh holy cow, I think I just gained 5lbs. reading about it! :) My mouth is watering.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh yes, it's a staple here, too. I love the stuff! (I don't believe that you can't make a great biscuit!)

Living on the Spit said...

Ohhhhh, thank you, thank you, thank YOU...I want to make some tonight!!! It is truly the BEST comfort food.

MeadowLark said...

We grew up eating "bread and gravy" for supper. Hamburger gravy on white bread. Which is odd, since we ran cattle and certainly had steak aplenty, but my dad was an Army guy and bread and gravy was one of our favorites.

My gravy is always too thin, but this solved it... I thought it was a CUP of milk for the 1TB/1TB thing. Thanks.

lifeinredshoes said...

Oh yeah, can you say "What's for dinner"?

Mamahut said...

I love me some cream shows on my behind. Somehow yours looks better than mine ;) I always like other peoples cooking over my own. What I can't make is turkey gravy. We need a post on turkey gravy. I am off to catch up on ya.

Suzanne said...

Louise - Pepper is a love it or hate it kind of thing. I eat pepper on almost everything. I even found a recipe for sorbet (Emeril) that include pepper as an ingredient.

BJ - Better safe than sorry. Maybe you could treat yourself once a year? Christmas or New Year's?

Jazzi - "Don't drop the spoon", I never heard that one. Probably means that you don't want to miss a drop.

Chocolatechic - I'm going to have to search out that recipe. I better find a good biscuit recipe soon because I'm feeling like a failure.

Jeanne - I don't put sugar in mine but I'm going to try it next time. Wow, I'm glad you're back. Hope you had fun with your company.

Lucy - I guess the trick is to start thick and go thinner.

J'ollie - HA. You're very clever.

Bella Della - Gravy as a beverage was probably originally a southern thing.

Janet - Amen sister!!! None - NONE of my nieces can cook anything from scratch! There are 14 children among them and I can't figure out what those kids are eating. Chicken nuggets???

Significant Snail - If you make a plain milk gravy and add Buddig beef you've got chipped beef on toast. Ohhhhh Gourmet!

Liberty - Thanks for linking the recipe to any reader who registers to vote. That ought to entice them for sure! You're a hoot!

Marlene - I loved the farm table but the truth be told it was very, very wobbly and it probably wouldn't hold up under a full-on farm meal.

Mary - Strip some wallpaper and you'll lose that weight pronto!

Vee - Believe it. I feel so inadequate. The Pillsbury dough boy lives in my freezer.

Living on the Spit - I hope the recipe works well for you. Give it a try.

Meadowlark - One of the other staples of our childhood home was beef gravy on white bread. My dad would make a beef roast and a ridiculous amount of gravy from the roast. The beef would be gone and we'd still have plenty of gravy goodness left.

Life in Red Shoes- It's perfect for a fall evening but I don't think it's cool weather by you yet, is it?

Mamahut - Oh yeah, we'll do turkey gravy for sure. I love other people's cooking too. It always seems to taste alot better.

Thanks everyone for visiting and leaving a comment. I really appreciate it.

Thirkellgirl said...

Just curious which aircraft carriers your dad cooked on - I think he and my dad might have been the same era. Mine was on the Boxer at the end of WW2. Wouldn't it be something if they crossed paths?

Suzanne said...

thirkellgirl - My dad served on the Midway, which is now a floating museum in San Diego. He also served on other ships including the Coral Sea. He served both in WW2 and the Korean War.

Mrs Parks said...


Daughter of the Midwest said...

As my husband says, it's all about the roux. Stumbled across your blog while searching for farming scenes. Really enjoying it. Am a dairy farmer's daughter in Ohio.

reluctantfarmchik said...

My Prince Farming is the gravy make in our home. He experiments with all sorts of stuff - but the roux is always the start. Very good post - and excellent pictures, as always. BTW - our grocery store has a no-name-brand frozen biscuit that I SWEAR is amazing - even Prince Farming (who never goes for any processed or prepared foods) loves them and allows me to keep them stocked on a regular basis to go with his gravy. Give them a try (not the ones in the cans - these are in bags - in the freezer section)

Karen said...

Ahhhh... now I'm going to have to make some !!! The hubby will be pleased. :-)

When I make normal gravy, I use flour instead of cornstarch. I cook the flour slightly in the pan drippings just the way that you did for the milk gravy.