Learn how to make Homemade Brown Gravy from scratch. So easy, this gravy can be made without drippings as it is thickened with flour.
The flavor comes from beef broth/stock whilst the rich texture comes from some butter and a splash of heavy cream.
The perfect gravy for serving with your beef roast, pork chops or sausage and mashed potatoes.
What is brown gravy? Why not just call it gravy.
Brown gravy is the classic gravy that you would serve with a roast dinner.
It is traditionally made with roasted meat drippings and thickened with flour.
In the UK it is just called gravy, but I like to call it brown gravy so it isn’t confused with the white gravy typically used in biscuits and gravy and chicken fried steak.
Can you make gravy without pan drippings?
Yes! This simple brown gravy recipe is made without drippings. Instead of dripping we use butter to add the richness. Then by adding beef stock or beef broth, you can get a deep beefy flavor without any beef drippings or juice.
I like to add a splash of heavy cream at the end. It adds a wonderful roundness to the gravy. But don’t add too much we want this to be a brown gravy!
How to thicken homemade brown gravy
The key to thickening gravy is a mixture called a roux.
A roux is just a mixture of fat and flour. This is cooked over low heat to give it a deeper flavor. This thick paste is the basis of your gravy. Once the roux has been cooked you slowly add in beef stock/broth. Don’t add any salt at this stage, we are going to simmer the gravy and this can concentrate the flavors. If you add the salt in the early stages your gravy could end up too salty.
Help my gravy is lumpy!
Firstly don’t panic! We can solve this and no one at the table will know!
Just continue to whisk and cook your gravy as directed and when you are ready to serve, pour it through a fine mesh strainer/sieve into your gravy boat. The lumps will be removed and everything will taste great.
Because you have removed a bit of the flour your gravy might not be quite as thick as normal, but it will still taste good.
Next time you make gravy try adding the beef broth a little more slowly at first and whisking between each addition. This should help to eliminate the lumps.
But even Delia Smith has admitted to having lumps in her gravy at one time or another, so you are in great company!
How to make gravy from scratch
- Melt your butter in a saucepan
- Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes making sure not to burn the mixture.
- Add in half a cup of beef broth and whisk as it thickens drastically.
- Add another half cup and whisk until the mixture starts to thin.
- Slowly whisk in the remaining of the broth.
- Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce, some better than bouillon and a pinch of pepper.
- Simmer the brown gravy for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in your splash of heavy cream
- Check your seasonings and serve.
What is Beef Better than Bouillon?
Beef better than bouillon is an intense beef base, you can replace it with the beef paste or half a crumbled beef stock cube. It adds great beefy depth and saltiness to your gravy helping to replace the flavor missing from drippings. You can leave it out but you will find you need to add more salt to your brown gravy.
Meals that go with Gravy
Brown gravy is so rich and delicious that it will enhance so many different meals.
These are my top 10 foods that are great with gravy!
- Toad in the Hole (Seriously good!)
- Sausage and Mash
- Hamburger Steaks with fried onions
- Roast Chicken with the works (including Yorkshire pudding)
- Beef Dip Sandwich
- Chicken Schnitzel and Mash
- French Fries (drizzled over UK style or poutine/jazz fries style)
- Beef Manhattan
- Seared Steak with mash and peas
- Pork Chops
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Easy Homemade Brown Gravy (no drippings)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp AP flour
- 1 1/2 cup beef broth/stock
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp beef – better than bouillon – See note 1
- pinch pepper (Black or white)
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- salt to taste
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes until well combined and golden brown.
- Whisk in 1/4 cup of the beef broth, the mixture will become a very thick paste. Gradually whisk in 1/4 more broth. Once the mixture has thinned slightly you can gradually whisk in the remaining broth.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce, the beef base, and the pepper.
- Bring to a low simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened and glossy.
- Add the heavy cream, taste and season with salt if needed.
- Beef better than bouillon is an intense beef base, you can replace it with the beef paste or half a crumbled beef stock cube. It adds great beefy depth and saltiness to your gravy helping to replace the flavor missing from drippings. You can leave it out but you will find you need to add more salt to your brown gravy.