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How to make gravy

Turkey Dinner 2016

It always surprises me when I’m a guest at a holiday dinner when the host or hostess serves gravy from a jar. I know it’s upsetting when the gravy is lumpy, which has happened to me a time or two, but gravy is easy to make. I grew up on farms where we had potatoes and gravy often.

Great Gravy Every Time

¼ cup flour

¼ cup water

2 cups of liquid – water, milk, or broth, or add some dry white wine with broth

Salt

Pepper

Optional ingredients – Thyme, basil, tarragon, or other dried herbs or mushrooms

When the turkey is done, put it on a serving platter. Look at the drippings in the pan. There are two ways you can separate the starch granules in the flour so the gravy won’t be lumpy. If the drippings look fatty, you can stir the flour directly into the drippings. If the drippings look more watery, put the water in a small bowl then add the flour. Use a whisk or potato masher to make it smooth so there aren’t any lumps. You also can use a small jar with a lid to vigorously shake the water and flour mixture so there aren’t any lumps.

Put the metal roasting pan on a burner on your stove. Add the flour or the flour-water mixture to the drippings. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to thickened and bubble, scraping up the crusty parts from the bottom of the pan for added flavor and color. Stir well to prevent lumps from forming later when you add the liquid. Remove the roasting pan from heat.

Add enough milk, water, or broth or broth with some dry wine to the meat juices to be about 2 cups total liquid. Return the roasting pan to the heat. This is the time to add dried herb if you’d like. Stir constantly so the gravy doesn’t get lumpy or burn.

Cook over medium heat to medium high heat until the mixture is thicken and bubbly. When the gravy starts to bubble, turn the heat down. Simmer and stir for 2 minutes more to make sure that the flour cooks completely. Season with salt and pepper.

If you happen to get some lumps in your gravy, here are some methods to remove them:

  • Try breaking them up by whisking the gravy vigorously with a wire whisk or potato masher.
  • Pour the gravy through a mesh strainer.
  • Try pureeing the gravy in a blender or food processor or dip an immersion blender into the gravy to smooth it as a last resort.
  • Use an instant flour, such as Wondra, that has been formulated so it doesn't lump if you’re really having trouble.

As a back-up, if you’ve never made gravy before, you can purchase some ready-made gravy in a can or jar...just in case. You could also ask an experienced gravy maker to prepare the gravy.

Copyright 2016, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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