A recipe for a delicious, rich homemade gravy made without drippings. Leave the onions in if you want it chunky, or strain if you want it smooth.
Commercial gravy can taste great, but it often contains some rather questionable ingredients. Luckily, it’s very easy to make gravy at home, and you don’t even need drippings to make it.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great.
Chopped onion: I’m lazy, so I often use the food processor to chop onions.
All-purpose flour: See the discussion below about possible gluten-free alternatives.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the gravy could end up too salty.
Beef broth: Store-bought is fine – just check the ingredients list to make sure it looks OK.
Brandy: For the best flavor, use a high-quality brandy – one that you would gladly drink.
Heavy cream: I tried using half-and-half and it wasn’t as good.
How to make homemade gravy
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Cook the onions in butter until soft and golden. Then mix in the flour, salt and pepper.
2. Add the beef broth and the brandy. Cook, stirring, until the gravy thickens. This should take about 5 minutes.
3. Turn the heat off, stir in the heavy cream, and serve.
No drippings needed
I don’t use turkey drippings when making this recipe because I prefer to make it a day in advance.
And even though the natural choice would be to use turkey or chicken stock, I actually prefer to use beef stock. I find it makes a richer and more flavorful gravy. It also looks nicer when I make it with beef stock. It has a deeper color.
A chunky gravy
This is a chunky gravy that contains gently cooked, flavorful onions. If you prefer a smooth gravy, strain it before serving. But be aware that you will lose some of the flavor when discarding the onions.
It’s not gluten-free
This is one of the few recipes where I allow myself to use a small amount of all-purpose flour. So this is obviously not a gluten-free recipe, although it’s still low in carbs.
You might be able to use gluten-free all-purpose flour. Or maybe a sprinkle of coconut flour, which is an excellent flour substitute. But I haven’t tried these alternatives.
How to reheat homemade gravy
If you make it the day before, you might need to thin it out with a bit of water the next day. It tends to thicken in the fridge. So mix in a bit of water, cover, and reheat in the microwave on 50% power.
Keep in mind that it will only last for about 2 days in the fridge, in an airtight container. If you’d like to keep it for longer, you can freeze it.
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- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup beef broth, heated in microwave for 30 seconds
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- In a large sauté pan, heat the butter over medium heat (not higher), about 3 minutes.
- Add the onions and cook, stirring often, about 15 minutes, until the onions are very soft and golden brown.
- Add the flour, salt and pepper, mixing them in with a wooden spoon, then add the warm beef broth and the brandy, mixing with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring often, until thickened.
- If you want a smooth homemade gravy, strain the gravy to remove the onions. Otherwise, leave them in.
- Turn the heat off, mix in the heavy cream and serve. Or cover and refrigerate the homemade gravy until ready to serve. You might need to thin it out a bit with more heavy cream (or even just a little water) when reheating.