What is Taste of the Past?

Taste of the Past is where I share my love of traditional cookery. Recipes from the days before TV dinners and microwaves right down the ages to the earliest cook books that I can get my hands on. I hope you enjoy my experiments as much as I do. Please share your own ideas, efforts and feedback in the comments.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Real Gravy

Real, Old Fashioned Gravy

Ok, making gravy is really very easy as long you are willing to go through the basic first step of roasting a large chunk of meat.  That bit out of the way, the rest is simple.


1 Roast a chicken, keep it covered for most of the time and only uncover for the last 30 minutes when you want to give the bird a good baste with the juices anyway.
2 once cooked, remove the chicken to a plate, cover and leave for around 15 to 20 minutes to relax.
3 Put your roast tin on the hob over a very gentle heat
4 Add some liquid that will help de-glaze the pan.  I usually use a good slug of white wine here but you could also use, water from your boiling vegetable, beer (good if meat you roasted was beef), cider (pork) or red wine.  Even plain boiling water will do.  Use a good 4 tablespoons or so.
5 Use a wooden spoon to gently stir the liquids around and try to gently un-stick as much of the cooked on chicken as you can.
6 Let it simmer for a short while.
7 Pour the liquid through a sieve into a small sauce pan
Place back on the heat
Put 1 or 2 teaspoons of cornflour into a small, heat proof dish.
Bring the gravy back up to a simmer
Pour 1 tsp of gravy into the cornflour
Mix it up to make a paste, adding a little more as necessary.
You want a thick liquid.
The add a teaspoon of the cornflour paste back into the gravy.
As the cornflour boils it will thicken the gravy.
You will need to experiment with how much cornflour to add.
If you need more gravy then add more hot water, preferably from your boiling veg.

Adjust until you have a gravy consistency you like.  Try not to make more than you need as you will be watering down all that lovely chicken flavour.

Please, please. please do not add the cornflour straight into the gravy, it will be really lumpy and you will have to strain it again only this time your sieve will get really yucky with cornflour.  If you do do this, and to be honest, I have done it when in a rush, (big mistake), get the sieve into hot water immediately.

In theory it should be possible to thicken this with other types of flour such as potato flour or rise flour.  I haven't tried it but from using them to bake with I would try potato flour first.

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