Deutsch: Soße / Español: Salsa / Português: Molho / Français: Sauce / Italiano: Sugo

Gravy is a sauce made from the juices of meats that run naturally during cooking, often thickened with flour or cornstarch for added texture. It is a staple in various cuisines, typically served with meats, potatoes, rice, and other side dishes to enhance their flavor and moisture.

Description

Gravy is a rich, flavorful sauce that plays a significant role in culinary traditions around the world. The base of gravy is usually the pan drippings left after cooking meat such as roast beef, turkey, or chicken. These drippings are full of concentrated flavors, making them an excellent foundation for a savory sauce. To these drippings, cooks often add stock, milk, or water and thicken the mixture with flour, cornstarch, or a roux (a mixture of fat and flour).

There are various types of gravy, including:

  • Brown Gravy: Made from beef or poultry drippings, thickened with a roux or cornstarch.
  • White Gravy: Often made with milk and pan drippings from sausage or fried meats, thickened with flour.
  • Red-Eye Gravy: A Southern specialty made from ham drippings and black coffee, typically served with country ham and biscuits.
  • Vegetarian Gravy: Made using vegetable broth, mushrooms, and other vegetables, often thickened with flour or cornstarch.

Historically, gravy has been an essential part of many traditional meals, adding both flavor and moisture to otherwise dry or bland foods. It is particularly popular in holiday meals, such as Thanksgiving in the United States, where turkey gravy is a highlight.

Application Areas

Gravy is used in a variety of culinary applications, including:

  • Roasted Meats: Poured over or served alongside roasted meats such as turkey, chicken, beef, and pork to enhance flavor and juiciness.
  • Mashed Potatoes: A classic accompaniment, gravy is often served with mashed potatoes to add richness and moisture.
  • Biscuits and Gravy: A traditional Southern breakfast dish featuring soft biscuits topped with a hearty sausage gravy.
  • Poutine: A Canadian dish consisting of fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in gravy.
  • Casseroles and Pies: Used as a filling or topping in dishes like shepherd's pie or chicken pot pie to add flavor and moisture.

Well-Known Examples

  • Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy: Made from the drippings of a roasted turkey, combined with stock and thickened with a roux or cornstarch.
  • Sausage Gravy: A creamy white gravy made from sausage drippings, milk, and flour, typically served over biscuits.
  • Bangers and Mash: A British dish where sausages (bangers) are served with mashed potatoes and rich onion gravy.
  • Roast Beef with Gravy: A classic Sunday roast where beef is served with a thick, savory brown gravy made from its drippings.
  • Poutine: A popular Canadian dish where French fries are topped with cheese curds and hot gravy.

Treatment and Risks

While gravy is a delicious addition to many dishes, it is important to consume it in moderation due to its potential high fat and calorie content. Some gravies, particularly those made from meat drippings, can also be high in sodium. To make a healthier version, one can use leaner meats, low-sodium broths, and thicken the gravy with whole-grain flours or cornstarch.

Similar Terms

  • Sauce: A broad term encompassing a wide variety of liquid or semi-liquid condiments and dressings, of which gravy is a specific type.
  • Jus: A French term for a light gravy or sauce made from the juices of roasted meat.
  • Roux: A mixture of flour and fat cooked together and used as a thickening agent in many sauces and gravies.
  • Demi-Glace: A rich brown sauce in French cuisine made from a reduction of veal stock and espagnole sauce, similar in some ways to gravy but more concentrated and complex.

Articles with 'Gravy' in the title

  • Pan Gravy: Pan Gravy refers to a kind of sauce made by adding liquid, thickening and seasoning the natural juices (juices of poultry or meat) resulting from cooking meat
  • Sawmill Gravy: Sawmill Gravy refers to the traditional gravy from the Southern part of the United States which is often served with biscuits, sausages, meat patties and eggs

Summary

Gravy is a versatile and flavorful sauce made from meat drippings, stock, and thickening agents. It enhances the taste and moisture of a variety of dishes, from roasted meats to mashed potatoes and beyond. With its rich history and widespread use, gravy remains a beloved component in many traditional and contemporary meals. However, due to its potential high fat and sodium content, it is best enjoyed in moderation.

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