Gravy is a savory compliment for mashed potatoes, whether beef, turkey, chicken or pork gravy. The art of making gravy lies in the mix of flour with drippings and in the temperature. Find the right balance of drippings and flour, cook it at the right temperature and your gravy will come out smooth, creamy and just sweet enough.
Mix the flour and water a half hour before you take the meat out of the oven. Put 3 tbsp. of flour in a 1-cup measuring cup and fill with water to the 1 cup line. Stir to dissolve the flour into the water. The consistency should be paste-like. Set it aside.
Take the meat out of the oven and transfer to a platter. Cover the meat with a aluminum foil tent to keep it warm.
Pour the drippings from the cooking pan into a heatproof measuring cup. Wear oven mitts to avoid being burned. Place the cooking pan over a burner turned to medium heat. Slowly pour in water while scraping up the remaining drippings from the pan with a wooden spoon. Add just enough water to get all the drippings.
Pour the scraped drippings and water from the pan into the measuring cup with the other drippings. You need one cup to make the gravy. If you don’t have a cup of drippings with liquid, add beef broth or chicken broth to make the cup, depending on the meat you are serving. If you don’t have broth, use water.
Pour the drippings into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium high. Bring the dripping just to a boil.
Stir the flour and water mix again to remix. Pour about 2 tbsp. into the drippings and stir. If the flour mix blends in immediately and the drippings continue to bubble, slowly pour in about 1/3 of the flour mix, continually stirring while adding in the flour.
Turn down the temperature to medium and continue adding the flour mix, a little at a time. Continue stirring while you add the mix. When you see the gravy begin to thicken, lower the temperature and stop adding the flour mix.
Look at the color of the gravy. For beef gravy, the color should be dark brown, as should pork gravy. Chicken and turkey gravy should have a golden hue.
Taste test the gravy. If it is too sweet and thin, turn the temperature up slightly and add a little more of the flour mix. If it is dry tasting or bland, add a little more broth or water and a pinch of salt and continue to simmer.
Turn the temperature off when the gravy is just right and allow it to sit for 5 minutes while you get the rest of the meal ready to serve. Stir before serving.