All-Purpose Gravy

"An America's Test Kitchen recipe that I received in an email. What's great about it is that it can be made ahead and frozen (a great holiday time saver!) since it doesn't use any pan drippings."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
2 cups




  • Heat butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and well-browned (about 7 minutes).
  • Reduce heat to medium.
  • Add flour, stirring constantly, until well-browned (about 5 minutes).
  • Gradually add broths while whisking constantly.
  • Bring mixture to boil and skimming off any foam on surface.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns.
  • Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes until thickened and reduced to 3 cups.
  • Strain gravy through fine-mesh strainer.
  • Press on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • To thaw frozen gravy:.
  • Add gravy to pan with 1 tablespoon of water and warm on low heat until thawed.
  • Gravy may appear to have separated.
  • Whisk vigorously to recombine.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I have made this twice; the first time was of necessity when I made Christmas dinner for 5 guests, and my Pork Loin Roast produced a total of TWO DROPS of pan drippings! I'd received a weekly email from ATK shortly before T'Giving, and one item mentioned a meatless gravy. I dismissed the idea out-of-hand, but scanned it out of curiosity of how they could flavor a gravy with no drippings.<br/>FFWD to Christmas, and I'm in a near panic because I have no gravy for the Pork Loin or Mashed Potatoes I was serving. The ATK email was long deleted, but I remembered enough from scanning it, to make an attempt. I fine-diced 2 carrots, and a large yellow onion and sautéed them for probably 20-min until well caramelized. Coincidentally, I started a roux with a half cube of butter and a quarter cup of flour. Both skillets were over med-hi heat. By the time the car/oni were well done, the roux was a toasty med-dk brown. I whisked in about a quart+ of chicken stock, but I pureed the car/oni in the Vita-Mix and added it, instead of discarding it. I don't remember adding the Bay or Thyme, but I did simmer and reduce it to a med-thick consistency.<br/>Everyone had 2nds, and the picky teenager had 3rds! Try this, next time you get caught short of pan drippings; you'll be amazed how good this gravy can be!
  2. Great little recipe when you have no meat or poultry drippings. If you would like to double the recipe, use a Dutch oven to give the vegetables ample space for browning and increase the cooking times by roughly 50 percent. The finished gravy can be frozen. To thaw either a single or double recipe, place the gravy and 1 tablespoon of water in a saucepan over low heat and bring slowly to a simmer. The gravy may appear broken or curdled as it thaws, but a vigorous whisking will recombine it.
  3. This smells fabulous while cooking, tastes great too. I think the prep time is longer than mentioned, but worth it. I substituted 1/2 olive and 1/2 veg. oil for the butter to reduce saturated fat. It took some time and effort to make, so I will definitely triple the recipe and make extra for freezing next time. I hated throwing away the cooked veggies, next time I may freeze them to add to soup or stew.



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