Traditional Gravy for Roast Beef, Lamb, Pork or Duck

Recipe by French Tart
READY IN: 18mins


  • 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)


  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • For duck, add the grated zest and juice of a small orange, along with a glass of port.
  • For beef, add a wineglass of red wine or Madeira – this enriches the beef flavour magically.