What is Gravy Made Of? A Comprehensive Guide to Gravy Ingredients and Types

Gravy, a culinary staple, is a flavorful sauce that elevates the taste of various dishes, from hearty roasts to comforting mashed potatoes. Understanding its composition is crucial for home cooks seeking to master this culinary art. This comprehensive guide will delve into the essential ingredients and diverse types of gravy, providing insights into their preparation and uses.

Essential Ingredients of Gravy

The foundation of gravy lies in three primary ingredients:

  • Liquid: The liquid base forms the backbone of gravy, providing its volume and flavor. Traditionally, gravy is made with pan drippings, the flavorful juices that accumulate during roasting or searing meats. Alternatively, stock or broth can be used to create a flavorful liquid base.

  • Fat: Fat contributes richness, depth of flavor, and body to gravy. It is typically derived from the pan drippings of roasted meats or poultry, but butter or oil can also be used.

  • Thickener: The thickener plays a vital role in transforming the liquid base into a luscious, velvety sauce. Traditionally, flour is used as the thickener, creating a roux when combined with fat. Other thickeners include cornstarch, arrowroot, or even mashed potatoes.

Types of Gravy

The culinary world boasts a diverse array of gravies, each with its unique flavor profile and preparation method:

  • Brown Gravy: A classic and versatile gravy, brown gravy is made with pan drippings or stock, fat, and flour. Its rich, savory flavor complements roasted meats, poultry, and vegetables.

  • White Gravy (Country Gravy): Originating in the Southern United States, white gravy is made with a roux of butter and flour, milk, and seasonings. Its creamy, comforting texture pairs well with biscuits, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes.

  • Red Gravy: A staple in Louisiana Cajun and Creole cuisine, red gravy is made with tomatoes, stock, and a roux. Its vibrant color and bold flavor enhance dishes such as jambalaya, gumbo, and pasta.

  • Mushroom Gravy: A flavorful variation, mushroom gravy incorporates sautéed mushrooms into the traditional brown gravy base. Its earthy, umami-rich taste complements roasted meats, poultry, and vegetarian dishes.

  • Onion Gravy: A British favorite, onion gravy is made with caramelized onions, stock, and a roux. Its sweet, savory flavor pairs well with bangers and mash, roast beef, and Yorkshire pudding.

Additional Flavorings and Seasonings

Beyond the essential ingredients, various flavorings and seasonings can enhance the taste of gravy:

  • Herbs: Fresh or dried herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, or parsley, add aromatic depth to gravy.

  • Spices: Spices like black pepper, paprika, or nutmeg provide warmth and complexity.

  • Vegetables: Sautéed vegetables, such as onions, carrots, or celery, add sweetness and texture.

  • Wine: A splash of red or white wine can deglaze the pan and impart a rich, sophisticated flavor.

Gravy, a culinary masterpiece, is a versatile sauce that transforms ordinary dishes into extraordinary culinary experiences. By understanding the essential ingredients and diverse types of gravy, home cooks can confidently create flavorful sauces that complement a wide range of dishes. Experimenting with different flavorings and seasonings allows for endless possibilities, enabling cooks to tailor gravy to their personal preferences and culinary creations.

Cooking Fat or Butter

Reserve 1 tablespoon of skimmed fat to make your roux. If you choose not to use pan drippings, you may substitute one tablespoon of butter.

What are the 3 Ingredients for Easy Homemade Gravy?

There are only three ingredients needed to make a delicious homemade gravy for chicken, beef, potatoes, biscuits, you name it! Once you master the basic recipe, you can easily substitute other ingredients.

The Best Gravy You’ll Ever Make | Epicurious 101


What is gravy usually made of?

The fat and drippings are combined with flour to make a roux, and milk is typically used as the liquid to create the sauce, however cream is often added or may be the primary liquid. It is frequently seasoned with black pepper and complimenting herbs and bits of meat may be added such as sausage or diced chicken liver.

What is KFC gravy made of?

What is the gravy at KFC made of? The restaurant uses a simple combination of gravy powder, water, and – their secret ingredient – chicken crackling. This is a collection of the browned bits and pieces leftover from frying their world famous chicken.

Is gravy made from meat juice?

When you cook a roast, whether it’s turkey, chicken, beef, or lamb, you should end up with plenty of browned drippings and fat from the roast when it’s finished. The “drippings” are browned juices and fat. All of the flavor a gravy you make from the drippings comes from those browned bits.

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