Mum always used the scraped-up pan drippings, a sprinkling of flour, a spoonful of Vegemite (yeast extract) for colour and salt content and any available broth (or the water from cooking the vegetables) for the best gravy in the world. ‘You have to stay there and look after it until the flour is really browned,’ she says. ‘You can’t walk away from it.’
Heat pan on top of the stove, scraping any meaty, burnt bits of meat from the base of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. Sprinkle with flour, and stir and scrape over gentle heat to colour it a light golden brown, but be careful of burning. When it is really messy and grungy-looking, after about 5 minutes, add the hot broth, stirring quickly. Add Vegemite, if using, and thyme leaves and stir well. Adjust consistency according to how thin or thick you like your gravy. Continue to simmer and reduce in volume if too thin. Add more water or broth if too thick. Strain and serve in a warmed sauce boat.
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