To make Gravy

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    16 fl oz


Appears in

Great Cooks and Their Recipes

Great Cooks and Their Recipes

By Anne Willan

Published 1977

  • About

Despite the British reputation for eating beef, in Hannah Glasse’s time meat was not within the reach of all pockets. “A crown, take it or leave it!” sniffs a supercilious butcher to an impecunious customer.

Hannah Glasse’s gravy may not be as concentrated as French coulis but by our standards it is certainly a rich basic sauce.

If you live in the Country, where you can’t always have Gravy Meat, when your Meat comes from the Butcher take a Piece of Beef, a Piece of Veal, and a Piece of Mutton; cut them into as small Pieces as you can, and take a large deep Sauce-pan with a Cover, lay your Beef at Bottom, then your Mutton, then a very little Piece of Bacon, a Slice or two of Carrot, some Mace, Cloves, Whole Pepper Black and White, a large Onion cut in Slices, a Bundle of Sweet Herbs, and then lay in your Veal. Cover it close over a very slow Fire for six or seven Minutes, shaking the Sauce-pan now and then; then shake some Flour in, and have ready some boiling Water, pour it in till you cover the Meat and something more: Cover it close, and let it stew till it is quite rich and good; then season it to your Taste with Salt, and strain it off.

This will do for most Things.


  • 8 oz/250 g stewing beef, diced
  • 8 oz/250 g boned shoulder or breast of lamb, diced
  • 3-4 slices bacon
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • blade of mace
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • bouquet garni
  • 8 oz/250 g stewing veal, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 pint/ cups/600 ml boiling water
  • salt


  1. In a heavy-based pan spread the beef and lamb and top with the bacon, carrot, mace, cloves, peppercorns, onion, bouquet garni and veal. Cover and cook over low heat, shaking the pan from time to time until the juices run from the meat, 5-7 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle over the flour, stir to mix, and pour in the boiling water. Bring to a boil, stirring, then cover and simmer the gravy over low heat until it is rich and well flavored, 1-1½ hours. At the end of cooking it should be the consistency of thin cream. Season it to taste with salt and strain.