- 45 g butter (unsalted)
- 45 g Flour (Plain)
- 500 mL stock
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1 t onion powder
- 1/2 t ground rosemary
- 1/2 t ground white pepper
- 1/2 t ground black pepper
- 1/4 t Salt (Table) (add more as desired)
- 1/4 t dried basil
- 1/4 t dried chives
- 1/4 t dried oregano
- 1/4 t dried sage
- 1/4 t dried thyme
- 2 T Corn Starch / Corn Flour (or thickener of your choice)
- cold water (as needed)
Prepare all ingredients first. Place butter in large frying pan, do not turn heat on yet. Measure out flour; set aside. Measure out stock in jug; set aside. Measure out spices; set aside. Make a corn starch slurry: put some corn starch in a small bowl, glass, or jug; add enough cold water (tap water is fine) to get past the paste stage and to the slurry stage. Set aside.
Start a medium heat under the frying pan; once the butter is melted, add the flour. You now have a roux. Stir constantly so this does not burn. The whiter your roux is, the more thickening power it has; the darker it is (excluding once it turns black, because that's burnt), the tastier it is. I usually shoot for a golden brown, but it depends on what's going on, and you'll find your preference over time.
When your roux is to the state you desire it to be, add your stock in a steady, smooth stream. You do not need to add it all at once, if it isn't working for you. Whether you add it in separate additions or all at once, continue stirring constantly. Add all your spices now. Once you've mixed it all together thoroughly, start tasting your gravy to see about adjusting your spices. I get an ordinary spoon (used to eat off), and drip a bit of the gravy from the stirring spoon onto it. I then let it cool a bit before tasting, adjust spices, and taste again in the same fashion. This means (a) I burn my tongue less often, (b) I don't have to worry about whether everyone dining with me wants my cooties, (c) I only have two spoons to wash, and (d) I can keep on stirring with the big spoon, and not fear the gravy burning, rather than having to stop stirring while I wait for it to cool long enough for me to taste it off the big spoon.
Once you've adjusted the spices to your liking, the gravy should be thickening up. Cook and stir till it's as thick as you like. If it's too thick, add stock until it's thinned down to the correct consistency, and then turn off the heat. If you're out of stock, just add water (whatever kind you drink). If it doesn't thicken up sufficiently for you, add some of the corn starch slurry, and continue to cook and stir. Repeat if necessary. Once it's as thick as you like, serve and enjoy! :-)
I didn't have a clue how to make gravy for a long time. Over Thanksgiving 2009, I read up on it, and had ample opportunity to try, so I think I've got it down pretty well now. The ground rosemary puts it over the top; definitely get or make some if you can. If you can't, I highly recommend putting rosemary in your stock when you're making it, so you can at least get some of that flavor in your gravy.
Many (most?) people use the drippings from the meat they've just cooked as the base for their gravy, and if you do that, carry on. For me, though, I have two problems doing that. First, I have to be cooking a sizeable hunk of meat in order to get drippings: cooking for two means I don't often cook large hunks of meat. Second, if there's too much fat in the drippings, I've had it ruin my gravy - it just fails to come together. My stock is virtually fat-free, and moreover, is more consistent than drippings, so I don't have that problem. If you have one of those gravy strainers, maybe you wouldn't have that second problem, though.