How To Make Brown Gravy At Home

How To Make Brown Gravy At Home

How to Make Brown Gravy at Home: A Culinary Masterclass

Brown gravy, a rich and flavorful sauce, elevates the taste of countless dishes. Whether you’re preparing a juicy steak, succulent roast, or comforting mashed potatoes, a homemade brown gravy takes your meal to the next level. This comprehensive guide will lead you through the steps to create a delicious and satisfying brown gravy in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Step-by-Step Instructions


  • 1 pound of beef drippings, bacon grease, or butter
  • 6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups of beef broth, chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the Drippings: If using beef drippings, roast or sear a beef roast or steak to render the fat. If using bacon grease, cook the bacon until crispy. If using butter, simply melt in a large skillet.

  2. Make the Roux: In the same skillet used to render the drippings, whisk in the flour. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture turns a light golden color. This mixture is called a roux and is the foundation of the gravy.

  3. Gradually Add Broth: Slowly whisk in the broth to the roux, a little at a time, ensuring that the mixture remains smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until thickened.

  4. Season to Taste: Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings as desired.

  5. Strain (Optional): For a smoother gravy, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot or serving bowl.

Detailed Explanation

What is Brown Gravy?

Brown gravy is a thickened sauce made from meat drippings, flour, and broth. It is characterized by its rich, savory flavor and dark brown color.

Why Make Brown Gravy at Home?

Homemade brown gravy allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor to your preference. It eliminates the use of store-bought sauces with preservatives and artificial flavors.


  • Use high-quality beef broth for the best flavor.
  • If the gravy becomes too thick, whisk in more broth.
  • If the gravy becomes too thin, simmer for longer or add more flour.
  • Add herbs or spices like thyme, rosemary, or onion powder to enhance the flavor.

Table: Meat Gravy Variations

Meat TypeDrippingsBroth
BeefBeef drippingsBeef broth
ChickenChicken fatChicken broth
TurkeyTurkey drippingsTurkey broth
PorkPork drippingsPork broth

Interesting Facts

  • Brown gravy originated in the 17th century as a way to use up leftover drippings from roasted meats.
  • The roux is the key to a smooth and flavorful gravy.
  • Some cultures use red wine or tomato paste to add depth to their brown gravy.
  • Gravy was once considered a staple food in many parts of the world.
  • A well-made gravy can transform even the most basic dishes into culinary masterpieces.


1. Can I make brown gravy without drippings?
Yes, you can use melted butter or bacon grease as a substitute.

2. What if I don’t have beef broth?
Chicken broth or vegetable broth can be used instead.

3. How long does brown gravy last?
Refrigerated in an airtight container, it can last for up to 5 days.

4. Can I freeze brown gravy?
Yes, frozen brown gravy will keep for up to 3 months.

5. How do I reheat brown gravy?
Gently reheat in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave on medium power until warm.

6. What can I serve with brown gravy?
Brown gravy pairs well with roasted meats, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and even sandwiches.

7. How do I thicken brown gravy?
Add more flour to the roux or whisk in cornstarch mixed with cold water.

8. How do I thin brown gravy?
Whisk in more broth or water.

9. What herbs and spices can I add to brown gravy?
Thyme, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika are common additions.

10. Can I use brown gravy as a marinade?
Yes, brown gravy can be used as a flavorful marinade for meats before grilling or roasting.

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