While gravy is normally a rarity in our house, I have made it twice in as many weeks: a thick turkey gravy for Thanksgiving dinner and a thinner, but still very flavourful, beef gravy to go with the surprisingly traditional prime rib dinner (beef, gravy, horseradish, roasted potatoes, carrots and rutabagas and steamed green beans — the last three from my garden) we had on Sunday.
Here is my basic method for making good gravy.
1 L (4 cups) or more chicken or beef stock and red wine (optional)
45 mL (2-1/2 tbsp) flour
375 mL (1-1/2 cups) milk or water
salt and pepper
Keep some liquid in your pan while roasting. This not only keeps your meat moist, it prevents any drippings from blackening in the pan and giving your gravy a burned flavour. For turkey, I always use homemade chicken stock. For the best beef gravy, I use a combination of dry red wine and beef stock. Add a cup or two of liquid to start and top it up as necessary while roasting.
Transfer meat or bird from pan to a large platter and tent with aluminum foil.
Place roasting pan on stove, covering two burners. Turn both up to medium-high. Add additional liquid to measure about 1 litre (4 cups). Boil while scraping the bottom of pan for five to 10 minutes.
In a mason jar, mix together flour and milk (for poultry gravy) or water (for beef gravy) and shake until combined. (This mixture is called a slurry.)
Add slurry, plus salt and pepper to taste to roasting pan. Cook until bubbly and thickened, then cook one minute more. Skim fat from top of gravy if necessary.
Strain gravy through a fine mesh sieve before serving.