I’ve probably told you about the first time I made gravy for Matt (who was my boyfriend at the time). It was so thick he had to spread it onto his potatoes with a knife. I’m pretty sure it was flavorless. He still married me a year later.
Thankfully, I’ve improved my gravy-making skills. I think it gets easier with practice. Sometimes I still mess it up. I’ve been known to strain out lumps while distracting my guests by sending them outside to look for the black squirrels we sometimes have on our property. Straining works, and black squirrels are fascinating.
Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) to make your gravy-making experiences easier.
While this series is called “Getting Ahead for the Holidays,” gravy is actually one part of the meal I save for the last minute. This still isn’t hard though. Here’s why:
- I’ve already made the broth for this gravy a couple of days before the holiday meal when I made the turkey. Therefore, I just have to rewarm some broth and whisk it into gravy (details below).
- I’ve made so many of our other dishes ahead of time that I have plenty of time to make gravy just before serving the meal.
- Turkey Gravy can be made in only about 10 minutes.
Why do I wait until the last minute to make gravy?
Because it tastes best this way. You can make it ahead of time and rewarm it before serving (we do this with leftover gravy, after all). But I prefer to make a fresh batch for a special meal on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Oh Good Gravy
- Turkey broth
- Cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or wheat flour (about 2 Tablespoons for every 2 cups of broth)
- Cold water (about ⅓ cup for each of your 2 Tablespoons of corn starch/arrowroot/flour)
- Sea salt
- Spoon cornstarch (or arrowroot or flour) into a small jar or glass.
- Add water to to the jar and whisk smooth with a fork.
- Pour broth into a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling.
- Slowly pour cornstarch (or arrowroot or flour) and water mixture into boiling broth, whisking while you pour.
- Stir at medium to high heat until gravy thickens.
- Turn down the heat and allow the gravy to simmer for a minute or two.
- Salt to taste and serve your gravy.
You’ll notice my recipe gives the option of using cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or wheat flour to thicken your gravy. Any will work. I prefer cornstarch because it’s easiest. Arrowroot powder works well but can sometimes result in a gooey gravy. Wheat flour works well, but I’d rather avoid it so that people with a gluten or wheat intolerance can still enjoy it.
Trouble Shooting Your Gravy
- If it isn’t thick enough for your liking, simply stir 2 Tablespoons cornstarch/arrowroot/flour into about 3 Tablespoons of water – making a consistency just thinner than paste. Stir it into your gravy while it is hot, whisking until smooth. This should thicken it up as it cooks.
- Lumpy gravy? Whisk like you’ve never whisked before.
- Still lumpy? Strain out the lumps the best you can. Pray your guests like lumpy gravy. Hey, you never know.
Here is a picture tutorial to show you the specifics of making Turkey Gravy:
Step One: Pour broth into a medium saucepan.
Step Two: Spoon cornstarch (or arrowroot or flour) into a small jar or glass.
(Surprise, surprise…I use a jar.)
Step Three: Add cold water to cornstarch/arrowroot/flour and whisk smooth with a fork.
Step Four: Bring broth to a boil.
Step Five: Slowly pour cornstarch (or arrowroot, or flour)/water mixture into boiling broth, stirring while you pour. (I usually use a whisk. On picture taking day, I used a wooden spoon. Either one works, but a whisk usually helps in case lumps want to form.
Step Six: Stir at medium to high heat until mixture thickens.
Turn down the heat and allow the gravy to simmer for a minute or two.
Salt to taste.
What has been your gravy making experience? Do you find it easy? Hard? Lumpy?
Here are the quick links to all the recipes we covered in this series:
- Make-Ahead Turkey
- Stuffing Muffins
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- Oh Good Gravy
- Green Bean Casserole
- How to Make Frozen Pies
- Simple Whipped Sweet Potatoes
- How to make Whipped Cream
- Whole Wheat Stir-and-Pour Dinner Rolls