Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

gravy in the British Isles and areas culturally influenced by them, is … well, gravy, a term fully comprehensible to those who use it, but something of a mystery in the rest of the world.

Ideally, gravy as made in the British kitchen is composed of residues left in the tin after roasting meat, deglazed with good stock, and seasoned carefully. (Many cooks incorporate a spoonful of flour before adding the liquid but this practice is frowned on by purists.) Gravy varies in colour from pale gold-brown to burnt umber, and in thickness from something with little more body than water to a substantial sauce of coating consistency. In French meat cookery, jus is roughly equivalent to honestly made thin gravy in the British tradition.