Traditional Gravy for Roast Beef, Lamb, Pork or Duck

Total Time
Prep 3 mins
Cook 15 mins

A basic and yet delicious traditional gravy to serve with all your roast dinners! This gravy is also wonderful if served with sausages for "Bangers and Mash", as well as Yorkshire Puddings. It also makes an ideal base for Shepherd's pie or Cottage pie, and all manner of stews and casseroles. There are variations to the basic gravy listed at the end of the recipe, depending on what type of roast meat you are serving. This recipe has been taken from Delia Smith's How to Cook Book one.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • juices from cooked meat, left in the pan after roasting
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 pint hot stock, depending on how thick you like your gravy (potato or other vegetable water, for example)
  • salt
  • fresh black pepper


  1. First of all remove the meat or poultry from the roasting tin and have a bowl ready, then tilt the tin and you will see quite clearly the fat separating from the darker juices. So now you need to spoon off the fat into the bowl using a tablespoon, but remember, you need to leave 1-1½ tablespoons of fat in the tin. Then, using a wooden spoon, scrape the sides and base of the tin to release any crusty bits, which are very important for flavour. Next, place the tin over direct heat turned fairly low and, when the fat and juices begin to sizzle, add the flour, then quickly dive in with the wooden spoon using brisk circular movements. Speed is of the essence – gentle, faint-hearted stirring is not what's needed here: you should be mixing in the manner of a speeded-up film!
  2. Soon you will have a smooth paste, so now begin to add the hot stock, a little at a time, whisking briskly and blending after each addition. Now turn the heat up to medium and you will find that, as the stock is added and it reaches simmering point, the gravy will have thickened.
  3. Now your own preference comes into play. If the gravy is too thin, let it bubble and reduce a little; if it's too thick, add a little more liquid. Finally, taste and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper, then pour the gravy into a warmed jug ready for the table.
  4. For pork, which has pale juices, add onion to the roasting tin. This will caramelise during cooking and give colour to the juices. The onion may also be used with other joints and poultry to give colour.
  5. For lamb, add a teaspoon of mustard powder with the flour, a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly to melt into the gravy, and some red wine to add body.
  6. For duck, add the grated zest and juice of a small orange, along with a glass of port.
  7. For beef, add a wineglass of red wine or Madeira – this enriches the beef flavour magically.
Most Helpful

My mother used to make gravy like this F.T. I never really got the hang of it as I was never sure how she made it. Now I know I have been missing out on the stock!!!! I usually just water, but this time I used the water (hot) from the vegetables, and this was just fantastic. DH who is not much of a gravy eater loved this, so from now on the instant is out the cupboard (ohhh unless in an aweful hurry) and this is going to be our preferred gravy.
Thanks for helping me to solve the mystery of making Mum's gravy F.T.

Tisme July 22, 2010

This is the exact same way my Mother taught me to make gravy 50 years ago, then how I was taught at school cooking class and how I still do :) Thank you French Tart for posting this "passed the test of time" recipe. A "keeper" everyone should have :)

Jen T March 28, 2009

Served this tonight (though have been making for 20 years+) and had with JustJanS Roast Leg of Lamb With Rosemary and Garlic and in this case used water (usually with chicken use chicken stock and with beef use beef stock but do not have lamb stock available), always make sure my stock/water is warm as I find it blends better. Thank you French Tart went to post but found it already here. Though have to comment don't normally make with pork, prefer apple sauce and well have nevery tried duck so cannot comment :lol:

I'mPat March 26, 2009