How To Make Great Gravy

How To Make Great Gravy

As we’re coming up to Christmas, here’s my take on how to make great gravy to accompany your turkey.

I’m a real fan of reduction techniques. In cooking, reduction is the process of thickening and intensifying the flavor of a liquid mixture such as a soup, sauce, wine, or juice by simmering or boiling.

Reduction is performed by simmering or boiling a liquid until the desired volume is reached by evaporation. This is done without a lid, enabling the vapour to escape from the mixture. Don’t over do the reducing process.

While reduction does concentrate the flavours left in the pan, reducing too much will leave you with a sticky mess!

Here’s my Christmas Gravy Recipe


Ingredients: (Serves 4 people)

2 x dessert spoons of original “Bisto” Gravy granules
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 x Knorr Chicken Stock Pot
I x Litre of Boiling Water
250 ml White Wine (dryish wine like Pino Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc – avoid sweet wines)
1 x teaspoon demerara sugar
Salted butter


Put the gravy granules into a large saucepan, chef’s pan or frying pan. Boil one litre of water in a kettle, pour over the gravy granules and then stir the mixture until all the granules have dissolved. Leave the mixture to settle.
Melt some butter in a small frying pan and gently fry the onion until it softens and turns light golden in colour. Add the onion (scrape any butter from the pan into the saucepan), chicken stock pot, white wine, and sugar to the gravy mixture in the sauce pan.
Turn on the heat and return the mixture to boiling, then turn down the heat to simmer and stir until everything is mixed together.
Cover the saucepan with a lid and gently simmer for five minutes.
Now we come to the reduction:
Take the lid off the saucepan, turn up the heat and let the mixture boil away.

Tip No. 1. Do not leave the mixture unattended. It might seem to take a while to notice any reduction, but as soon as it starts, the reduction can accelerate quite rapidly.  As the reduction process starts to thicken your mixture, you will need to taste it.

Tip No. 2. If you want to keep the skin on your lips and keep your tongue doing its job, use a wooden spoon for tasting and blow the tasting mixture for some time until it cools. It is up to you to decide at what point to stop the reduction. It depends how thick you want it and you can adjust the flavours. I don’t have to add salt, but some people like to add some pepper, a little more sugar or some wine. Just make sure that after adding anything that you maintain the boil.

Tip No. 3. When you’re done, pour the mixture into another container and allow it to cool. If you leave it on the cooker, the reduction will continue and you could end up with a mixture thicker than you intended.

The beauty of this recipe, is that you can make it in advance and add the juices at the last minute (see below).

As we’re particularly interested in rotisserie cooking, we don’t have meat juices left over in a roasting dish. But then, we don’t have the problem of getting rid of all the fat and leaving just the juices. When you take your meat off the rotisserie, you need to allow it to rest for about twenty minutes. If you can, rest the joint on a carving tray that has grooves for collecting juices. What you’ll find is that during the resting period all those lovely juices will drain from the joint in to the collecting grooves.

While your meat is resting re-heat your pre prepared gravy mixture and add the meat juices gradually to your gravy mixture, tasting each time you add to get it just to your liking.

Post Script: This method can be used with gravies for all types of meat. Keep an eye on our blog page for other gravy and sauce recipes to come.