Brown Gravy

This quick and simple roux-based recipe is useful when serving mashed potatoes with steak or meatloaf, etc. It takes about five minutes to make and hold together well while plating. Depending on the entrée, you may want to jazz up the gravy with fried mushrooms of sautéed onions, etc. Have fun and experiment, but this recipe is the base to get you started. It also serves well on it’s own.

A rule of thumb for roux based sauces is the ratio of ounces of butter to tablespoons of flour is 1:1. The amount of liquid you apply will be based on how thick you want the sauce to be. For creamier sauces, add some cream at the beginning of step 4. Best to add cream first to let it’s fats cook with the roux.


  • 4 oz. butter
  • 4 TBL flour
  • 1 12 oz. can beef stock or broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium frying pan or better yet, a cast iron Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. When butter is completely melted, add flour and stir. I use a gravy whisk but a regular whisk will do. Note: from now until the end you have to continually stir the mixture.
  3. Cook the roux until is browns and achieves a nutty aroma.
  4. Add a small amount of stock. At first the roux will dry up and stiffen but don’t panic, just keep stirring. In a series of stages continue to add small amounts of stock as you stir. It’s important not to add too much stock at each stage or the gravy will end up lumpy. Just add a little stock and stir until the gravy achieves a smooth texture, then add more stock.
  5. Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally. It is best to use the gravy soon but not critical. If a skin forms over the gravy as it sits, you can stir it away. It may also be time to remove it from heat when that starts to happen.
  6. Left over gravy will form into a solid, even at room temperature, but that’s no big deal, as it will liquify again when you reheat it.