How to Make Gravy (recipe plus video!)

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist Sauces and Dressings, VideosComments: 33

Guest Videoblog by Richard, Mr. Healthy Home Economist

Making gravy is arguably one of the most important tasks when creating a delicious holiday meal for your family.    With Thanksgiving upon us in only a few days, I thought it would be helpful to show how to make gravy the traditional way.

My husband, Richard, is the chief gravy maker in our home and he is incredible at it!   He is so good at making smooth, tantalizing gravy that when my enormous family gets together for Thanksgiving or Christmas, he ends up the designated gravy maker for the entire brood of 30 or so people.

I also thought it would be important to show that Men Make Real Food Too to inspire all the husbands and boyfriends of Real Foodie gals to get into the kitchen and make some awesome, yummy dishes for your sweetie!   There is nothing more romantic, I can assure you!     I remember when Richard and I were dating, one of the things that really got my attention was that he was such a fantastic cook!   So, teach your sons how to cook ladies and your future daughter in laws will thank you!

The Traditional, Welsh gravy making method Richard uses in this video requires the use of soaked flour in order to reduce the phytic acid content of the wheat and thereby improve the digestibility and nutrient absorption of the gravy considerably.   You will find that using soaked flour improves the smoothness of the gravy’s flavor.    The gravy is also considerably lighter on the stomach when made this way.

You may also use sprouted flour instead of soaked in this recipe, but in Richard’s experience, the soaked flour leads to a better result.

Making gravy is more of an art than a science and does not lend itself well to a written recipe.   Generally speaking, though, you can use this rule of thumb:  approximately every 2 cups of meat juice will require 1 cup of freshly ground flour soaked overnight in 1 cup of plain yogurt.    So, if you get 5 cups of juice from your Thanksgiving turkey, you will need to mix/soak 2 1/2 cups of flour with 2 1/2 cups plain yogurt the night before so that it is ready on Thanksgiving morning to make gravy when the turkey comes out of the oven.

With that, let me introduce you to my husband and Real Foodie Partner in Crime, Richard!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


More Information

The Healthiest Way to Thicken Gravy

Comments (33)

  • Ali Naomi

    What a great video! It's so good to see Mr. Pope. It was so good to see you, Sarah, at the conference. I'm really looking forward to your upcoming blogs addressing some of the topics from the conference. I'm glad you had a safe trip home and may God bless you and your family!

    November 18th, 2010 2:27 pm Reply
  • Mother Rimmy

    Wonderful video. Perfect for this time of year when we're all making holiday food!

    November 18th, 2010 2:59 pm Reply
  • FloridaSusan

    Interesting how traditions differ. My mother's family (of Dutch and British descent) has _never_ used milk in our gravy, and we always include the chopped giblets.

    So, now do a video of gluten-free and dairy-free gravy! It can be done and can be very tasty. I use kuzu root powder to thicken mine.

    November 18th, 2010 3:28 pm Reply
  • Grandma Judy

    I have never used milk or flour either, but make my gravy (we call it sauce) the way I learned while living in France. I make sure that the stainless steel roasting pan has browned bits in it. (I may have to remove some of the juices during roasting time to do this). I then place the pan on the stove top on medium heat and deglaze with dry white wine. Then I add about a quart of homemade chicken/turkey stock and any saved turkey juices. Then I strain it and add arrowroot to thicken. Very very tasty!

    November 18th, 2010 3:50 pm Reply
  • Grandma Judy

    Oh, I forgot. Sometimes, if I want my "gravy sauce" a little creamier, I add a little cream at the end. Very yummy.

    November 18th, 2010 3:53 pm Reply
  • Tara

    Fabulous!!! Thanks Richard. I'm so going to make it like this with the soaked flour. Was it just a couple of cups of whole wheat soaked in some water? Now I'm wondering if a sourdough starter would work the same way as a soaked flour.

    November 18th, 2010 4:47 pm Reply
  • Joyce

    Would Kefir work as well as yogurt for soaking the flour? I've never used milk in gravy before, but it seems that would give it some body.

    November 18th, 2010 4:51 pm Reply
  • kitchenrecovery

    brilliant. That is how I make gravy, but never would have imagined that soaked flour would work. I'm so gonna try that! Tara, I'm also wondering if sourdough starter might work just as well. many ideas! Thanks!

    November 18th, 2010 6:47 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Joyce, yes – kefir works fine instead of yogurt as does water and a couple T of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar if dairy free. You can use arrowroot to thicken instead of flour. Of course you can add the giblets also if you like but I prefer to use them with the bones for making stock.

    November 18th, 2010 7:07 pm Reply
  • Janetlynda

    What kind of flour was used; white? Whole wheat? Spelt?

    November 18th, 2010 7:49 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Janetlynda, I used organic spelt.

    November 18th, 2010 7:57 pm Reply
  • elizabeth

    He sounds like an Aussie? thanks for sharing

    November 18th, 2010 8:35 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Elizabeth, yes, an Aussie! He said from the Southern Hemisphere but didn't say where!

    November 18th, 2010 8:51 pm Reply
  • sunnsalt

    Like 'Florida Susan' I don't use milk, either except when I'm making biscuits and gravy just for me. My husband is English and they just don't 'do' milk in gravy.

    November 18th, 2010 11:50 pm Reply
  • Deb

    I am an Aussie and have never heard of putting milk in 'gravy'.

    November 19th, 2010 2:16 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Have you watched the video? My husband learned this from his Mother who is from Wales.

    November 19th, 2010 3:02 am Reply
  • Melissa

    Growing up, we never had fried chicken without "milk gravy", as my mom called it. She learned it from her grandmother who is German. There's nothing like milk gravy made from the drippings of fried chicken! yum.

    November 19th, 2010 3:57 am Reply
  • Shady Lady

    If I want a creamy milk gravy like this, but we're GF, how would we you suggest we make it?

    November 19th, 2010 6:12 pm Reply
  • Sarah Faith

    Love your hubby's accent!

    Never thought of using soaked flour for thickening! Smart! I bet it would work in pot roast gravy, chowders, etc too! I always just throw in some regular raw flour and wince, but this is a great idea.

    November 19th, 2010 6:48 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Shady Lady, you could try coconut milk and arrowroot, but I have never tried this myself.

    November 19th, 2010 10:19 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Sarah Faith, yes the milk adds a creaminess that is divine. So much more satisfying than without I think. Also, the flour is soaked in yogurt which adds even more creaminess!

    November 19th, 2010 10:20 pm Reply
  • sarah

    What a cute hubby!

    November 20th, 2010 12:48 am Reply
  • Abigail

    I have never heard of soaking flour, but if it works i will give it a try. I usually just make gravy with vegetable stock and cornflour (there are vegetarians in my family), but it tends to be a bit artificial tasting and also a bit claggy from the flour.

    November 21st, 2010 5:11 pm Reply
  • Joyce Handy

    When making turkey gravy in our family, we take all the "throw-aways" like the neck, giblets, etc and simmer them for several hours the day before to make a nice stock (it seems like we never have enough turkey juice to make the amount of gravy that my family likes to have!) Strain, and then on Thanksgiving add the stock to the meat juices and proceed as Richard did. One more tip about lumpy gravy; if you have a Vitamix, put the soaked flour and milk in your Vitamix container, and just zip it around on high for a few seconds, then add to the gravy. Then, if your gravy still turns out lumpy, you can once again just put your hot, cooked gravy into your Vitamix container (they are BPA free) and turn it on for a few seconds until all the lumps are blended out. This tip is for those of us like me with kids, a dog and lots of distractions who end up with lumpy gravy despite our best efforts, lol! Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 23rd, 2010 7:30 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Here's a great idea from cook extraordinaire Monica Corrado on how to make GF grain & gluten free (& GAPS friendly) gravy. "You will thicken your 'not gravy' by gelatin instead of flour, by rapidly boiling stock down to achieve a thickened sauce that is gravy-like! (This is called "reducing" the stock…viola' you have achieved a "reduction sauce"!)
    First, deglaze the drippings on the pan with about 1/2 cup of orange juice (you may use wine if preferred). Bring to a boil and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the drippings. You may also just scrape them with a wooden spoon without the o.j….that works too. Add about a quart of chicken stock to the pan. Bring it to a boil and, as always, SKIM THE SCUM and discard. You may add thyme and sage or other spices that you love or are "Thanksgiving-like" at this point. (Do not add salt yet!) Boil the stock until it is reduced by about one half. Add 1-2 teaspoons of good quality gelatin (such as Bernard Jensen's Bovine Gelatin) to aid in thickening. When you have achieved the thickness you desire, taste and add sea salt as needed.


    November 24th, 2010 4:38 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    And a belated congrats to you, Sarah, for your well-deserved award at the conference! It was great meeting and talking with you in the shuttle!

    November 24th, 2010 4:40 am Reply
  • Carla

    I used this method a couple of times now and it is wonderful! Simply wonderful! So good and satisfying, creamy and good. Yum!

    November 24th, 2010 8:54 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Hey Sarah! Thank you for this great video! Is it possible to use milk instead of water and some tablespoons of lemon juice or cider or does it have to strictly water?

    August 20th, 2011 5:02 pm Reply
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  • Sue in CA

    I will try this.

    But for about 30 years now I’ve been making my Thanksgiving gravy using all the vegetables that I add to the turkey roaster … onions, celery, garlic, carrots and the juices, to my vitamix blender and blend it all smooth. The vegetables create a bit of thickness and then I might add some milk with cornstarch to thicken it more. Recently, I’ve started adding chia seeds which also thicken it. My kids and grand kids can’t wait to have Thanksgiving gravy and then turkey/vegetable/ gravy casserole from leftovers.

    February 3rd, 2012 6:57 pm Reply
  • Francesca

    Thank you for ALL your very valuable information. It is (not putting it lightly) saving our health.

    I would like to know how you would enrich the color of your chicken gravy. If you were a gluten free household.

    Thanks and keep up the amazing work!

    April 6th, 2012 3:23 pm Reply
  • MVR

    Can I use stock in place of juices?

    September 4th, 2013 7:31 pm Reply
  • Amanda in CA

    Yum can’t wait to try this! My mothers side is Welsh and my husband who is from FL his mother is British Jamaican will appreciate this! Going to use the leftover juices from a pot roast that has chicken broth I hope there is enough fat!

    September 15th, 2013 11:56 pm Reply

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