How to make brown gravy without using leftover meat fat

Updated April 17, 2017

Some dishes just aren't the same without lashings of gravy. While powdered gravy mixes will do in an emergency, it's easier than people think to make gravy from scratch. Brown gravy is a beef-based gravy made by using the pan drippings from the meat with which it will be served. However, this means you can't make the gravy until after your main course has finished cooking and the process of separating the fat can be time consuming. Make a rich gravy using a simple recipe composed of butter and flour, known as a roux, instead of meat fat.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.

Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the butter and stir until the flour completely absorbs the butter to create a roux, which will thicken the gravy.

Cook the roux for two minutes, stirring frequently. This eliminates the raw flour flavour from the mixture.

Whisk the beef stock into the roux. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently so there are no lumps.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking and whisking the gravy until it starts to thicken and is completely smooth. Add fresh-ground black pepper to taste.

Remove the gravy from the heat and allow to stand for five minutes before serving. The gravy thickens more as it cools.


Add mushrooms or onions to the gravy to enhance flavour. Melt the butter plus about 125 ml (1/2 cup) of vegetables into the pan. Saute over a medium heat until soft before adding the flour.

Things You'll Need

  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) butter
  • Small saucepan
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 250 ml (1 cup) beef stock
  • Black pepper to taste
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About the Author

Kimberly A. Smith has been a freelance writer for two years. She graduated from the University of California at Davis and the California Culinary Academy, then pursued a career baking wedding cakes. During her time at CCA, she received certification in nutrition and food safety. She currently attends the University of Oregon School of Law.