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What Is Gravy Made Of and How to Perfect It: A Comprehensive Guide

What Is Gravy Made Of?

Gravy is a sauce made from the juices of meats.

It is often thickened with wheat flour or corn starch for added texture.

Gravy can be further flavored and colored with gravy salt, gravy browning, or ready-made cubes and powders.

There are different types of gravy including brown gravy, cream gravy or white gravy, and egg gravy.

Brown gravy is made from the drippings of roasted meat or fowl and is thickened with water and either wheat flour or cornstarch.

Cream gravy is made with fats from meat or meat drippings mixed with flour, milk or cream, and seasoned with black pepper and herbs.

Egg gravy is made with meat drippings, flour, water or broth, and a beaten egg.

There are variations of gravy based on different cuisines and ingredients such as tomato-based curry gravies in India, giblet gravy made with turkey or chicken giblets, and mushroom gravy made with mushrooms.

Gravy is commonly served with roasts, meatloaf, rice, noodles, chips (fries), mashed potatoes, or biscuits.

It has various cultural influences and is an important part of dishes like poutine in Canada, tajine in the Mediterranean, and macarrons amb grevi in Menorca.

Quick Tips and Facts:

1. Gravy is traditionally made by combining the drippings or juices from cooked meat with a thickening agent, such as flour or cornstarch, to create a rich and velvety sauce.

2. Did you know that the word “gravy” actually originated from the Old French word “grane,” which means “fat”? This reflects the important role that fat plays in the creation of a delicious gravy.

3. Interestingly, it is believed that gravy was first invented by the ancient Egyptians more than 4,000 years ago. They used a mixture of breadcrumbs, spices, and fat to make a thick sauce, which bears resemblance to modern-day gravies.

4. While meat drippings are commonly used to make gravy, vegetarian and vegan alternatives can be created using vegetable broth or even mushroom-based sauces. These alternatives can provide a flavorful and savory accompaniment to plant-based dishes.

5. One lesser-known variation of gravy is chocolate gravy, which is a specialty in the Southern United States. It is made by combining cocoa powder, sugar, flour, and milk, resulting in a sweet and velvety sauce that is often served over biscuits as a breakfast or dessert treat.

Gravy Basics: Made From Meat Juices And Thickened With Flour Or Cornstarch

Gravy, a beloved sauce often paired with a variety of dishes, is made from the savory juices of meats. This delectable sauce primarily consists of the flavorful drippings that are extracted during the cooking process of meats such as roasted meat or fowl. It is these juices that form the base of the rich and tantalizing gravy that we all know and love.

To achieve the desired consistency and texture, gravy is commonly thickened using wheat flour or cornstarch. The addition of these ingredients not only enhances the thickness of the gravy but also provides a smooth and velvety texture. The flour or cornstarch is typically combined with water to create a slurry, which is then slowly incorporated into the meat juices, resulting in the thickening of the sauce.

  • Gravy is made from the savory juices of meats
  • Primarily consists of flavorful drippings
  • Achieves desired consistency and texture through thickening
  • Commonly thickened with wheat flour or cornstarch
  • Slurry of flour/cornstarch and water is used for thickening

“Gravy is the perfect complement to a variety of dishes, adding richness and depth of flavor.”

Types Of Gravy: Brown, Cream, Egg, And More

Gravy Types

Gravy comes in various types, each offering its own unique flavor profile and characteristics. Here are some popular variants:

  1. Brown gravy: Derived from the drippings of roasted meats or poultry, brown gravy is typically thickened with water and either wheat flour or cornstarch. It creates a luscious and savory sauce that pairs perfectly with a range of dishes.

  2. Cream gravy: Also known as white gravy, cream gravy is made by combining fats from meat or meat drippings with flour, milk, or cream. It is often seasoned with black pepper and herbs, resulting in a creamy and flavorsome sauce. Cream gravy is commonly enjoyed with dishes such as biscuits, chicken-fried steak, and rice, particularly in the southern United States.

  3. Egg gravy: An intriguing variant, egg gravy combines meat drippings, flour, water or broth, and a beaten egg. This combination creates a thick and satisfying sauce that is often served alongside breakfast dishes or as a comforting addition to meat-based meals.

  4. Brown gravy: derived from roasted meats or poultry, thickened with water and wheat flour or cornstarch

  5. Cream gravy: made from fats, flour, milk or cream, seasoned with black pepper and herbs
  6. Egg gravy: combines meat drippings, flour, water or broth, and a beaten egg

“Gravy comes in various types, each offering its own unique flavor profile and characteristics.”

Flavors And Colors: Enhancing Gravy With Salts, Browning, Or Cubes

While the natural flavors of meat juices serve as the foundation for gravy, there are various ways to further enhance the taste and appearance of this delectable sauce. These include the use of gravy salt, gravy browning, or ready-made cubes and powders.

Gravy salt, a seasoning specifically designed for gravies, provides a savory and well-rounded flavor to the sauce. Often containing a blend of herbs and spices, gravy salt adds depth and complexity to the overall taste profile, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Gravy browning, on the other hand, is a coloring agent used to deepen the hue of the gravy. By gradually adding small amounts of gravy browning, one can achieve a rich, caramel-brown color that not only adds visual appeal but also enhances the perception of flavor.

For those seeking convenience, ready-made cubes and powders can be used to quickly and easily create flavorful gravies. These pre-packaged options often contain a combination of seasonings, along with thickening agents, allowing for a hassle-free and efficient way to perfect your gravy.

  • Gravy salt adds a savory and well-rounded flavor.
  • Gravy browning deepens the hue and enhances flavor perception.
  • Ready-made cubes and powders offer convenience for flavorful gravies.

Variations Around The World: Tomato-Based Curry Gravies And More

The world of gravy is not limited to traditional meat-based variations. Many cuisines have their own unique takes on this beloved sauce, incorporating diverse ingredients and flavors.

In Indian cuisine, tomato-based curry gravies are a prominent feature. These gravies are made by cooking spices, herbs, and vegetables in a tomato-based sauce. The result is a vibrant and aromatic gravy that pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes such as biryanis, curries, and lentil dishes.

Canada also has a diverse cuisine that showcases different types of gravy, especially in the iconic dish known as poutine. Poutine consists of french fries topped with cheese curds and generously smothered in gravy. Depending on the region, there can be variations in the types of gravy used, which adds a unique twist to this beloved Canadian comfort food.

In the Mediterranean, gravy plays a significant role in Maghreb cuisine, particularly in dishes like tajine. Tajine refers to both the clay cooking vessel and the dishes prepared in it. These dishes often consist of flavorful meats and vegetables cooked in a thick and hearty gravy. Spongy bread is commonly used to soak up the gravy, enhancing the overall dining experience.

To summarize:

  • Indian cuisine utilizes tomato-based curry gravies in dishes like biryanis, curries, and lentil dishes.
  • Canada’s poutine showcases various types of gravy, adding a unique touch to this comfort food.
  • Maghreb cuisine in the Mediterranean incorporates gravy in dishes like tajine, enhancing the flavors and texture of meat and vegetables.

Unique Ingredients: Giblets, Mushrooms, Onions, And Coffee In Gravy

While the traditional ingredients of meat juices, flour, and cornstarch form the basis of gravy, various unique ingredients can be incorporated to elevate its flavor and appeal.

Giblet gravy, often associated with holiday meals, is made using the giblets of turkey or chicken. The giblets, which typically include the heart, liver, and gizzard, are cooked and added to the gravy, imparting a rich and intense flavor.

Mushroom gravy, as the name suggests, features the earthy and savory taste of mushrooms. This variation is made by sautéing mushrooms and incorporating them into the sauce, creating a delightful and aromatic gravy that pairs exceptionally well with a wide range of dishes, from roasts to mashed potatoes.

Onion gravy, a popular choice in many cuisines, is made by cooking chopped onions until caramelized and then combining them with stock or wine. This results in a sweet and savory gravy that complements various meats and adds a burst of flavor to any meal.

For a unique twist, red-eye gravy is created by deglazing the drippings of fried ham with coffee. This unconventional combination results in a tangy and slightly bitter gravy that provides a distinct flavor profile to dishes.

Gravy In Different Cuisines: From Canadian Poutine To Mediterranean Tajine

Gravy has made its mark in various cuisines across the globe. In addition to the Canadian poutine and the Mediterranean tajine mentioned earlier, gravy finds its place in many other culinary traditions.

In New Orleans, red gravy refers to a simple tomato sauce that is a staple in Creole and Cajun cuisine. This tangy and flavorful sauce is commonly used in dishes such as pasta, stews, and seafood, adding a vibrant and robust taste.

In some parts of Asia, gravy takes on a different meaning, referring to any thickened liquid in a dish, such as the liquid part of a curry. This type of gravy can vary greatly in terms of flavors and ingredients, ranging from mild and creamy to spicy and aromatic, depending on the culinary traditions of the region.

Furthermore, in Menorca, an island in Spain, gravy has been a part of the local cuisine since the English influence during the 17th century. Dishes like macarrons amb grevi feature this unique combination of flavors that blend both English and Spanish influences, creating a truly distinctive culinary experience.

In conclusion, gravy is an incredibly versatile and delicious sauce that can elevate a range of dishes to new heights. Whether it’s the traditional brown and cream gravies or the diverse variations from different cuisines around the world, mastering the art of making gravy opens up a world of culinary possibilities. So, go ahead, experiment with different ingredients and techniques, and perfect your gravy to delight your taste buds and impress your guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is KFC gravy made of?

The gravy at KFC is a delectable blend made from a mixture of gravy powder, water, and a secret ingredient that sets it apart – chicken crackling. This special ingredient comprises the crispy remnants left behind after frying their renowned, finger-licking chicken. By combining these elements, KFC magically crafts a savory, full-bodied gravy that complements their dishes and leaves customers craving more.

Is gravy made from beef?

Yes, gravy can indeed be made from beef. Brown gravy, a popular type of gravy, is traditionally made from the drippings of roasted meat, which can include beef. The drippings are combined with beef stock and thickened with a roux made of flour and butter to create a savory and flavorful sauce. Whether it’s served alongside meat or roasted vegetables, beef-based brown gravy adds delicious richness to any dish.

Is gravy made out of flour?

No, gravy is not made solely out of flour. At its core, gravy is a pan sauce that combines various ingredients to create a rich and flavorful sauce. While flour is commonly used as a thickener in gravy, it is typically combined with fat and stock to achieve the desired consistency and taste. Therefore, gravy consists of a combination of flour, fat, stock, and seasoning to create a delicious sauce to accompany dishes such as turkey.

Is all gravy made of meat?

Not all gravy is made of meat. While traditional gravy is made from meat juices, there are also vegetarian and vegan alternatives available. Vegetarian gravy can be made by substituting meat broth with vegetable broth and thickening it with flour or cornstarch. Vegan gravy, on the other hand, is made entirely without animal products, often using ingredients like mushrooms, onion, and vegetable stock as a flavorful base. These variations cater to people with different dietary preferences and restrictions, providing a wide range of options beyond the traditional meat-based gravy.

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