Home-made Beef Gravy

When preparing meat and gravy, you always have to decide whether you want most of the taste to be in the meat or in the gravy.  It is very simple really: all the flavor that goes into the gravy, will go out of the meat. You can’t have both, unless you cheat a little by using other meat to flavor your gravy. And that’s exactly what this recipe is for, or for cases when you just want the gravy and don’t need the meat. Of course you can buy gravy in the store, but home-made is so much better and really not that hard to make. If you make a lot, you can also freeze it. This gravy has a very full beef flavor and is great with potato or pasta dishes.


I’m not providing exact proportions, but as a rule of thumb you will get 1 litre of gravy for each kilogram of beef (2 cups for each pound of beef).

tough beef such as chuck


(clarified) butter


shallot, chopped

bay leaf

garlic (optional), minced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

flour for dusting

corn starch for binding


Dice the meat (1 cm or 1/2 inch). Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and dust with flour. The salt and flour will help to brown the meat, which will add more depth to the flavor of your gravy.

Heat butter, preferably clarified, in a pot over high heat and brown the beef.

Add shallots, garlic (if using), thyme, and bay leaf, and stir for a minute until the shallot is translucent.

Add the marrowbone and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to get all the tasty brown bits from the bottom.

You can use red wine instead of water at this point to make a fabulous red wine sauce.

As soon as it boils, lower the heat to simmering, cover the pot and simmer for 4-5 hours.

After 4-5 hours, all of the taste will be out of the meat and in the stock.

Strain and let this reduce over low heat in a wide pan until it is concentrated to your liking.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed.

Put the gravy into a container, let it cool down and refrigerate overnight or until a solid layer of fat has formed on the top.

Break away a piece of the fat so you can pour out the lean gravy underneath.

Save the fat for another use (it is a great start for a simple pasta sauce).

The gravy you have now obtained can be used straightaway or frozen.

It is nice to finish the gravy by binding it with corn starch. Put a suitable amount of corn starch in a bowl (about 1 Tbsp for 500 ml/2 cups).

Heat up the gravy in a saucepan and add a few tablespoons of the hot gravy to the corn starch.

Stir well until there are no more lumps.

Add this mixture to the hot gravy and stir to incorporate. Cook for a minute over medium heat and your gravy is ready to be served.

10 thoughts on “Home-made Beef Gravy

  1. This is a great idea, Stefan, and tasty way of insuring a good gravy whenever you roast beef. I use a similar method when I roast a turkey, using one raw and one smoked turkey wing to make soup a day or two before the dinner. I use that soup for my dressing, to baste the bird, and to make the gravy. Having the gravy pre-made is one less thing to worry about come serving time, as I’m sure you know when you’re serving your beef roast.


  2. When I used to cook professionally, one of my favorite jobs was as a saucier. To this very day, one of my favorite things is rice pilaf and gravy. A good gravy (sauce) takes a dish to the next level. Nicely done!


    1. Thanks, Richard.
      We had the beef fat left from the top of the gravy with orechiette, cauliflower and grated pecorino and it was divine. I didn’t take any pictures, but I will definitely make it again and blog about it.


  3. I just read your post on “Homemade Beef Gravy” It is quite a coincidence as I was looking for a site that featured “Sous vide cooking”. I just ordered my first sous vide machine from Anova and it is on its way from Texas. In the meantime I had bought a whole beef tenderloin and was trimming it and vacuum packaging it with a little olive oil garlic thyme and pepper in 1 inch steaks. There was quite a bit of trimmings left over as well as the small end which was cut up to use in a stir fry. Well the trimmings were fried up as I have a Golden Retriever who was watching me intently as I cut up the tenderloin. I just couldn’t throw those morsels away. Not with her looking. After frying I added about 2 cups of water and simmered for a while. I strained the broth and put it in the fridge. Today I read your post and decided to do the same, lift the fat off and freeze. Thanks from Northern Ontario, Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

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