WHEN LIQUID HITS THE SMOKING HOT RESIDUE AT THE BOTTOM OF A PAN, IT CREATES THE BASE FOR INTENSIVE, SAVOURY GRAVY. NOW JUST LET HEAT – AND TIME – DO THE REST.
How it works
A Sunday Roast wouldn't taste half as good without it - fresh gravy has dyed-in-the-wool fans the world over, and its strong savoury character is the result of correct technique. The principle behind a good gravy is that it bundles all of the cooking flavours in the meat, bones, and vegetables used in a meal – and a few other additions besides. Deglazing the pan or pot used to fry meat with water, wine and stock removes the browned residue from the bottom, dissolving them to form an aromatic stock as the basis for a sauce. Left to simmer uncovered for a long stretch, the mixture will lose water to evaporation, intensifying the flavour of the remaining liquid as it reduces. Why would you need to add any more flavouring?
Heat oil in a pot and fry the stock bones along with bacon bits, vegetables and seasoning on a high heat for around 30 minutes. Once the bottom of the pot is covered with browned residue, it’s time to deglaze. Pour liquid into the pan – this is often wine at first, but may vary according to the recipe you are using – and use a wooden spoon to scrape the dark spots from the bottom of the pot. Leave the sauce to reduce somewhat and then pour in more liquid; repeat until all of the liquid in the recipe has been added.
Pour the sauce in the pot through a sieve into a saucepan and simmer on a low heat if you want to improve the consistency; now is the time to taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary. The concentrated sauce – also called jus – can be frozen and reheated prior to serving. To finish the sauce, whisk in around 50 g of cold butter cut into cubes; this is called monter au beurre and gives the sauce more body and an attractive sheen, as well as adding a creamy note.