Wednesday 5 October 2011

How to make gravy

They say it's gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe, but that
won't stop the roast

Who's gonna make the gravy now?

I bet it won't taste the same
Just add flour, salt, a little red wine and don't forget a dollop of
tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang

And give my love to Angus and to Frank and Dolly,

Tell 'em all I'm sorry I screwed up this time
And look after Rita, I'll be thinking of her early Christmas morning
When I'm standing in line 

From Paul Kelly, "How to Make Gravy"

Aussie singer-songwriter.  Brilliant song about a man in prison writing home about Christmas Day.  With a recipe included!  Love this song!  It send a shiver down my spine every time I hear it.  Check it out on YouTube.  Maybe one day I will even try his recipe!

I love gravy.  Love it with a roast dinner.  Watched my brother Dave make it to serve with a roast dinner recently.  Loved how it was a simple way to perk up a nut roast.  Simple was good after Sylvia had a 2 hour tantrum.  She was ill, poor wee thing!  Served nut roast with roast pumpkin, steamed broccoli and potato scones.

My mum always make gravy in the meat juices.  I just brown some onions and flour.  Sometimes I add stock or booze.  I flavour it with promite, soy sauce, mushroom, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, tomato paste, mustard, sundried tomato, leftover mashed pumpkin, anything that takes my fancy.

I have posted quite a few gravies on my blog.  Last week I created a new Gravy category in my Recipe Index.  My basic gravy is below.  I should make it more often!  When I make it, I should remember to serve it in my gravy boat.  It makes dinner special.  Just like gravy!

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe
This time last year: Touch of Yellow: Savoury Biscuit Hearts
This time two years ago: PPN Painless Pasta II
This time three years ago: Lentil Salad and the Dream Festival

serves 2-4

1-2 tbsp olive oil (or margarine)
1 brown onion, finely chopped
handful or two of flour - I use wholemeal
1/2 - 1 cup water
slurp of wine, port or whiskey (optional)
1 tsp promite (or vegemite or other yeast extract or stock powder or a bit of soy sauce)

Heat olive oil in heavy based frypan.  Fry onion in oil until well browned.  I fried mine over a medium high heat and let it get so brown that it charred a little bit.  Add some flour and stir over heat a minute or two until it is browned.  Gradually add water, using the back of a spoon to break down any lumps of flour.  Bring to the boil.  When gravy boils it should thicken slightly.  Check seasoning and serve over nut roast, roast veg, bangers and mash or whatever you like.  If you don't use it immediately it might thicken quite a bit when it cools and need a bit more water when being reheated.

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food October 2011.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more Vegan MoFo posts.

Update 2016: I am brainstorming ideas ideas for using leftover gravy so here goes:
  • Shepherd's pie
  • Sausages with gravy and mashed potato
  • Add coconut cream, veg and curry powder to make curry
  • Soup or stew (leftover roast veg, mushrooms, lentils, eggplant, potatoes etc)
  • Toss vegetarian meatballs in gravy and serve on rice or mashed potato (like ikea swedish meatballs)
  • Vegetarian meat pies
  • In sandwiches with leftover nut roast 
  • Mix gravy with tomato paste to make a quick and tasty pizza sauce


  1. I always make gravy with promite too, or actually one of the other brands of gf vegemite. It's how our family always did it, also with meat juices like yours, but of course I leave that out!

  2. Love your post!
    Gravy makes the dish!!

    My nan taught me how to make gravy and it was exactly as you said, bits and pieces of whatever you needed to get the right flavour!

    Tonight I had a plain and simple (made from scratch of course) brown onion gravy made with very caramelised onions and a bit of bourbon.
    YUMMY! Can't beat a good gravy :)

  3. This is so perfect for us in Canada, about to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend! I've linked up to this post on my Diet, Dessert and Dogs Facebook page. Thanks, Johanna! :D

  4. I love your gravy boat!

    although, much to the SHOCK and HORROR of my gravy-loving family, of my family, I dont like gravy at all lol

  5. Great post! I reach for the gravy packet mix too often and really should make more effort to make it from scratch. Bookmarking this!

  6. But what's on the stereo?

  7. You know, I have never had gravy! We weren't a big roast family growing up, and when we did have roasts (Christmas, for instance) I tended to skip the gravy. I have an odd thing about sauces / dressings and think they ruin the food they're over :P I'm in the minority, I know!

    I wanted to say thanks for your helpful comments this week - the pumpkin tip and that recipe for a possible yoghurt coating were great :)

  8. Love that song. Just from your title I was singing it :-)

  9. What a great way to make vegetarian gravy that doesn't involve Gravox (which I just don't like). Oh and I love Promite-more than Vegemite (shh don't tell anyone! ;) ).

  10. Thanks K - my mum always used gravox so it was only as an adult that I started to use promite - gives a nice dark colour as well as flavour

    Thanks Gourmet Getaways - your nan knew that gravy is an art not a science and a great way to finish a meal

    Thanks Ricki - lovely of you to link to it - hope it perks up a few thanksgiving dinners

    Thanks Lisa - don't like gravy - it was just part of what we ate when I was a kid - I eat it a lot less now so it is more of a treat

    Thanks Mel - possibly I eat gravy less because I never eat it out of a packet but I love it when I make it - and it isn't that hard

    Thanks Bliss Doubt - never saw it missing til you pointed it out - am tryng to push out posts a bit quicker for vegan mofo so hope you will accept the link to Paul Kelly singing how to make gravy in lieu of on the stereo this post (though I will try better next time!)

    Thanks Kari - we had roast dinners all the time and my grandmothers often made them too so I love some gravy over nut roast but I draw the line at drowning the whole dinner in sauce or gravy (unlike E) - glad the comments might help you

    Thanks Brydie - the song made it all the more fun to write this post - I love it

    Thanks Lorraine - then you must try some promite in your next gravy - just don't tell anyone!

  11. This gravy recipe sounds delicious! Mushroom gravy is the most common alternative people use. I dont like mushroom so this recipe is a definite try for me! thanks for posting this!

  12. I love how simple this gravy is! And love that gravy boat too.

  13. At the Paul Kelly A-Z concerts last year you could buy tea towels with a gravy recipe on them. I was actually devastated when they sold the last one as I walked in!


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