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Making Gravy

Surely one of the best loved of all sauces, gravy is made from the juices left in the pan after roasting meat, chicken, or fish. It may be thickened with flour or cornstarch or simply skimmed of fat and seasoned.

Choosing the right pan to make gravy
When planning to make gravy, use a roasting pan that encourages sticking. The browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan add intense flavor to the sauce. Avoid nonstick pans.

Making gravy in the roasting pan
Transfer the roasted meat from the pan to a serving platter. Traditionally the pan is tipped so that all the fat and drippings collect in the corner; then, all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the fat is spooned out and discarded, while the browned bits in the bottom of the pan are retained.

Alternatively, pour all the pan juices into a large measuring cup, then spoon off some of the fat from the surface and return it to the pan. Pour off and discard the remaining fat, and reserve the juices. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk a little flour into the fat, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pan as you whisk. Then cook until a smooth paste forms and the flour begins to smell toasty, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the reserved pan juices and/or other hot liquids, such as stock or canned broth, or cider, beer, wine, or other spirits. Simmer the gravy until it has thickened and no longer tastes floury, about 10 minutes. Strain the gravy, season with salt, pepper and/or herbs, and keep warm until ready to serve.

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