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Beef Gravy Help

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    Beef Gravy Help

    My Gravy game is seriously lacking.

    I can make an OK Chicken Gravy and an OK Turkey Gravy.

    When it comes to Beef Gravy, the stuff in the can at the grocery store is better than what I can make. (Yuck)

    I am looking for an easy recipe to make a beef (brown) gravy for Poutine.

    We have great local cheese curd and I can make a great french fry at home.

    What I can't find is a pre-made beef gravy or make a beef gravy that is good enough to eat.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Steve

    #2
    I am in the same boat. Will be following this one.

    Comment


      #3
      This sounds like it's time for HouseHomey to enter the house.

      Comment


        #4
        My general approach to gravy .... I learned this from my grandmother. Except she used all the juices from whatever she had cooked and added stock to that to get the amount of gravy she needed. I am assuming that the person following this will NOT have juices from some meat they have cooked.
        • Add carrots, onion, celery to beef stock
        • Add 1/2 cup red wine per 1 cup beef stock
        • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
        • Cook at a simmer for 30 minutes, or so, to draw out flavor, etc from the veggies and reduce the alcohol
        • Strain out all the veggies
        • If you are cooking something on the smoker, you can put this under the meat you are cooking to gather drippings and smoke
        • To thicken, use corn starch. 1 tbsp per 1 cup of gravy.
        • Stir the corn starch into 1/4 cup cold water until smooth
        • Add the starch slurry to the gravy and simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened as you prefer
        • test/taste for salt and pepper and add seasoning as needed
        Last edited by ecowper; October 20, 2020, 02:35 PM. Reason: updated with some info on origin

        Comment


          #5
          Where are you getting the beef flavor from? What's wrong with yours? @ecowper's take is good, but also presuming you have homemade beef stock. The boxed stuff is crap.

          Comment


          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            If you are using store bought beef stock, get Better Than Bouillon, not the boxed stuff.

          • rickgregory
            rickgregory commented
            Editing a comment
            BtB can be really salty when reduced though, so I'd add some of it to the stock after you reduce. Honestly, though, if you're not using pan drippings from a roast or homemade stock, I'd very likely just a packaged gravy and perhaps adjust the flavors of that to suit. Given that gravy is basically reduced and/or thickened drippings or stock, I think the starting materials are key and if you can't use good ones, the packaged stuff is likely to be as good or better.

          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep, for sure you need to be careful about salt with BtB. But, generally, I don’t think you should add salt to gravy until the end when you are tasting and looking for done and right seasoning

          #6
          My approach is similar to ecowper's.

          My basic methodology is: Brown your meat, deglaze your pan, make your sauce.

          So after I brown the meat, I remove it and set aside. I will add onions, or shallots and garlic. Sometimes mirepoix scraping up all the brown bits. Then I will add my spices and or herbs to toast them. Sautee veggies until soft. Deglaze with red wine and reduce by half. Add stock and reduce some more. At this point you can add sautéed mushrooms or something else umami if you want. Thicken with a cornstarch slurry. If no cornstarch slurry, you can mix equal parts flour and butter and make a ball with your hand and add it to thicken, whisking as it simmers. That is more or less the method. The flavors you get by reducing are phenomenal. The variations are limitless.

          Comment


            #7
            ecowper's method is good. Save the drippings from any meat you cook and use them to make the roux.

            When I cook a roast I make the gravy from the drippings: heat and add flour or corn starch, add beef stock to desired consistency, and I add a little (1/2 - 1 tsp) of Kitchen Bouquet) to add a little color and richness.

            Comment


              #8
              It all starts with great beef stock/Demi. Absent that well...... i

              without great stock troymeister is on track for me.

              take meat scrap, grind pile beef, heck... buy some beef. The Beefyer the better.

              Hard sear the crud out of that beef!

              DO NOT remove it from the pan.

              add mirepoix that suits you

              add fresh thyme

              sautee and devolp color (I’d add more garlic here)

              dump at least a 1/2 bottle but preferably all of it and reduce it down about 90% or more,

              Add salt less stock and continue to reduce (making sure it’s not salty in the vent there was salt in your stock)

              finish it with butter n fresh herbs

              (I’m assuming that you cleaned it up in the process and added root veg/wine/herbs n such that made most sense to you n your plate)

              but really the key is the Demi/stock.
              Last edited by HouseHomey; October 20, 2020, 04:20 PM.

              Comment


              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                I make my own stock, but yeah, totally agree.

              #9
              L.B. Jamison's also makes some very good soup bases, as does Penzey's Spices.

              Just cruised my cabinets, an they all come in bout th same, at ~550 mg-650 mg per tsp, which makes 8 oz. liquid

              Jamison's does make a sodium-free version, if that is a health consideration.

              Generally, I makes my own stocks, bases, Demis, etc., but there are some decent products out there, fer when that isn't possible.

              Even Wyler's cubes, or granules makes a good gravy, in a pinch...store brand, too, btw...

              Th rest is all jus flour, an oil. Then seasonin(s). It do take some practicin to learn make a good roux, then sauces...

              Fortunately, flour, butter, bacon grease, etc. are all purty approachable, financially... Practice, practice, practice. Experiment with bases, stocks, et.

              If'n yer usin a Lectric range, the burner cyclin can def make yer experience more difficult, as it cycles over a very wide temp range.

              Likewise, a well seasoned CI pan can help to mitigate summa that swing, by even heat retention when th stove eye dips down in it's cycle.

              But...

              If yer workin on masterin a roux, white sauce, etc., repeatedly, why me? I'd use a SS pan, muticlad bottom...Don't haveta be $pendy one, but way easier than over an over cleanin a CI...

              Wail, this here's a start, but I'll answer as many more questions as any all might have... if I have an answer.

              Jus imagine walkin in to yer workplace, an havin part of yer prep sheet statin 20-30-50 (or more) Gallons of beef/chix/veg/pork gravy, dependin on th meal's requirements...scratchbuilt, not addin mix to water/stock...

              Also, there's always th omnipresent req's: Sausage gravy, Sawmill gravy, Red Eye gravy, as well as other roux-based products. White sauce, Alfredo sauce, cheese sauce. Ad Infinitum.

              This is one reason why large commercial / institutional kitchens have multiple steam jacketed kettles, an paddles / whisks big enough to bring down a pierced-orf Mastadon, though it might take a few swings, with a determined one.

              Hope this helps ya some, if not, or uncertain, please feel free to hit me up here, or via PM. An may th Gravy Force be witcha, Brother!
              Last edited by Mr. Bones; October 20, 2020, 07:49 PM.

              Comment


              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                Great advice bonesy ..... important to learn to make a slurry or roux, for sure.

              #10
              Outside of the above recommendations, if all else fails and you’re in a pinch for time, I use this. It’s the best packaged gravy I’ve found. They have other flavors as well, Country Gravy, Pork, Chicken etc..... Pioneer!
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • Panhead John
                Panhead John commented
                Editing a comment
                It’s not as good as a homemade gravy of course, but....for out of a package, Pioneer is the best I’ve found.

              • Mr. Bones
                Mr. Bones commented
                Editing a comment
                I use it in a pinch, or severe time crunch / sudden change of entre, etc. sit...

                It's jus fine, an far better than no kinda gravy...

                Never see th Pioneer brand here in th stores, mostly jus Williams, an store brand. Both are jus fine, make it, test it, doll it up, make it yer own Secret Receipt, even...

                Like anything outta th store, taste test it, make it what yer wantin it to be with whatcha got.

                That there's cookin ;D
                Last edited by Mr. Bones; October 20, 2020, 07:55 PM.

              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                In WA I can mostly get McCormick’s in the package. It works in a pinch. I doctor it up with some seasoning and wine and it turns out reasonable.

              #11
              You know after reading all the posts I realize a key issue for me is not hving a good stock to start with. I have typically used the grocery store brand canned stock. 🤦‍♂️
              Easy fix. I’ll start there.

              Comment


              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                Happy to post my approach to stock if you like. It’s not hard, just takes time.

              • Jfrosty27
                Jfrosty27 commented
                Editing a comment
                Mr. Bones. Flavor and texture are the issues for me. Just can’t seem to get it right.

              • rickgregory
                rickgregory commented
                Editing a comment
                For flavor, you really really want homemade stock. It's easier for chicken since you can pretty easily save the bones from various cooks in a freezer bag. For beef, I buy bones with some meat. For silkiness, get some t things with gelatin (ox tail etc) OR... bloom a packet of gelatin in the stock. Don't do that and reduce by 2/3 or anything but that gives you that mouthfeel.

              #12
              Damn you guys you reminded me I need to make a bunch of stock! Beef and chicken and shrimp.

              Comment


              • Mr. Bones
                Mr. Bones commented
                Editing a comment
                Combined? That'd make a truly Universal Stock! APS???

              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                Have you considered zucchini stock?

              • Panhead John
                Panhead John commented
                Editing a comment
                Mmmm....zucchini stock! Now yer talking!

              #13
              My go to for making gravy
              As others have mention, no good stock, no good gravy.
              I’ve tried the cornstarch method and gotten terrible results
              Bisto never fails
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                smokin fool weird, but if it works, go for it!

              • rickgregory
                rickgregory commented
                Editing a comment
                Cornstarch is finicky. I've found that you need MUCH less than you'd think and that you HAVE to use the slurry and stir it smooth to avoid lumps. If you add too little you can add more, but you can't really thin out a too thick gravy unless you have more stock and then you dilute any other flavors if you've incorporated those.

              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                rickgregory very true

              #14
              i use bacon to get the fat, remove the bacon, add flour for a roux, get it nice a smooth, then add good beef stock. Stir until nice and smooth and simmer down a bit. Its pretty simple and it tastes great (i think anyway).

              Its simple and doesnt require hours of prep.

              Comment


              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                Now you’re just showing off!

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