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Instant gravy granules

Gravy is a sauce made often from the juices that run naturally from meat or vegetables during cooking. The gravy may be further coloured and flavoured with gravy salt (a simple mix of salt and caramel food colouring) or gravy browning (gravy salt dissolved in water) or ready-made cubes and powders can be used as a substitute for natural meat or vegetable extracts. Canned gravies are also available. Gravy is commonly served with roasts, meatloaf, rice, and mashed potatoes.

Thickened gravy

Gravies are often thickened with a starch, starting with a roux made of wheat flour, cornstarch/cornflour, or arrowroot. The liquids from cooked meat, the liquids from dissolved bouillon cubes/stock cubes, or stock are added gradually to the mixture, while continually stirring to ensure that it mixes properly and that the thickener does not clump. In some recipes, the animal fat in the roux may be omitted as part of the base content. It may be replaced with cornstarch/cornflour alone (see cowboy roux) or is sometimes omitted entirely.

Types of gravy

  • Egg gravy is a breakfast gravy that is served over biscuits. Meat drippings (usually from bacon) and flour are used to make a thick roux. The roux is salted and peppered to taste, Water and milk (even parts) are added, and the liquid is brought back up to a boil. A well-beaten egg is then slowly added while the gravy is stirred or whisked swiftly, cooking the egg immediately and separating it into small fragments in the gravy.
  • Giblet gravy has the giblets of turkey or chicken added when it is to be served with those types of poultry, or uses stock made from the giblets.
  • Onion gravy is made from large quantities of slowly sweated, chopped onions mixed with stock and wine. Commonly served with sausages and mash, chops, or other grilled or fried meat cuts which by way of the cooking method would not produce their own gravy.
  • Red-eye gravy is a gravy made from the drippings of ham fried in a skillet/frying pan. The pan is deglazed with coffee. Coffee is the traditional method. This gravy is a staple of Southern U.S. cuisine and is usually served over ham, grits or biscuits.
  • Tomato gravy is a gravy made from canned or fresh tomatoes, flour, and usually a small amount of fat. This is generally considered a Southern U.S. dish .
  • Vegetable gravy or Vegetarian gravy is gravy made with boiled or roasted vegetables. A quick and flavorful vegetable gravy can be made from any combination of vegetable broth or vegetable stock, flour, and one of either butter, oil, or vegan margarine. One recipe uses vegetarian bouillon cubes with cornstarch (corn flour) as a thickener (Cowboy Roux), which is whisked into boiling water. Sometimes vegetable juices are added to enrich the flavor, which may give the gravy a dark green color. Wine could be added. Brown vegetarian gravy can also be made with savory yeast extract like Marmite or Vegemite. There are also commercially produced instant gravy granules which are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
  • White gravy (Sawmill gravy in Southern U.S. cuisine) is the gravy typically used in biscuits and gravy and chicken-fried steak. It is essentially a B├ęchamel sauce, with the roux being made of meat drippings and flour. Milk or cream is added and thickened by the roux; once prepared, black pepper and bits of mild sausage or chicken liver are sometimes added. Besides white and sawmill gravy, common names include cream gravy, country gravy, milk gravy, and sausage gravy.
  • Chocolate gravy is a variety of gravy made with fats, flour, cocoa powder and sometimes a small amount of sugar. This variety is more common in Southern cuisine and is most often served as a Sunday morning dish with fresh biscuits in the Ozark and Appalachian Mountain regions.


Gravy is also commonly eaten with pork, chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, meatloaf, American style biscuits, Yorkshire pudding, and stuffing and sandwiches. One Southern American variation is sausage gravy eaten with American biscuits. In Australia, Canada and the northern parts of the UKmarker, chips and gravy is seen as a popular dish. It is also common with traditional "Sunday Roast". Gravy is an integral part of the Canadianmarker dish poutine. A Southern U.S.marker dish that has white gravy is chicken fried steak.

In Britishmarker cuisine, as well as in the cuisines of Commonwealth countries like Australia and New Zealand, the word gravy only refers to the meat based sauce (and vegetarian/vegan alternatives) derived from meat juices, stock cubes or gravy granules. Use of the word 'gravy' does not include other thickened sauces. One of the most popular forms is onion gravy which is eaten with Yorkshire Pudding and roast meat.

In gastronomy of Minorcamarker it is used since the British colonisation during the 17th century in typical Minorquian and Catalan dishes, as for example macarrons amb grevi (pasta).

In the case of meat served with potatoes, vegetables and gravy, in North America (except Quebec), the gravy is often poured onto the potatoes, whereas in Quebec or France the gravy is generally poured onto the meat.

In many parts of Asia, particularly Indiamarker, Malaysiamarker and Singaporemarker, the word "gravy" is used to refer to any thickened liquid part of a dish. For example, the liquid part of a thick curry may be referred to as gravy.

Cultural use

Gravy, and its perceived richness, have contributed to its use in several cultural contexts:

  • The idiom "gravy train", used to refer to any lucrative endeavor.
  • Also used as slang for extra benefits in the idiom "everything else is gravy."

See also


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