Gravy From Drippings
Don’t know what to do with pan juices? Learn how to make gravy from drippings so you can make an easy from scratch sauce for your roasted meat. Make it for Sunday Supper or for holiday dinners.
The whole foundation of my blog is to make recipes from scratch. That means no packets or mixes.
When I see someone use a gravy packet, I die a little inside. Don’t they know how ridiculously easy it is to make homemade gravy?!
However, what do you do when you DO have meat drippings?
Luckily for you, I’m sharing my go-to Gravy From Drippings.
When I made my Small Pork Roast, I had drippings leftover in the pan.
Being the resourceful cook I am, I made some delicious small batch gravy.
Rather than trying to cram all of my knowledge about making gravy from drippings into one long post, I decided to post the pan gravy recipe on its own.
This guide is helpful for those who find themselves with meat drippings leftover and wondering what to do with them. You know you shouldn’t throw it away but don’t know where to begin.
Or maybe your recipe tells you how to roast your meat but doesn’t tell you how to make gravy from drippings. Now you’re on the internet looking, which brought you here.
Whatever the reason, I got you covered on making gravy from drippings.
What is pan gravy?
Pan gravy is a sauce made from meat drippings left behind in the pan. Drippings refer to the seasoned but not thickened juices extracted from the roasted meat.
You don’t want to throw away these fat drippings because there is so much flavor in them.
When you think of gravy, you often think about turkey drippings like with my Stuffed Turkey Breast, but you can also have chicken, beef, and pork drippings (which are delicious in sausage gravy recipe for 2).
Ingredients For Gravy From Drippings
To make this gravy recipe with drippings, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Pan drippings: Comes from roasting your meat
- Butter: You may not have enough drippings, so you’ll need to additional fat.
- Flour: Thickens your gravy by making a roux. You can also substitute cornstarch.
- Broth: Use broth that complements your meat (chicken broth for chicken and pork, beef broth for beef and lamb)
- Milk: Adds some creaminess
- Salt: The amount used will be determined by how salty your drippings and broth are
How To Make Gravy From Drippings
The best way to make your gravy recipe with drippings is to make it directly in the roasting pan. This allows you to scrape up all the good brown bits left behind from the meat, known as fond.
This means placing the roasting pan directly on your stovetop burner. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula so you don’t scratch up the bottom of your pan.
If you don’t want to (or can’t) heat your pan on the stove, transfer everything to a skillet and make it in there.
If you made my Instant Pot Pork Roast with Vegetables, you’d make your gravy directly in the pressure cooker.
Here’s how to make gravy from roast juices:
- Melt the fat from the drippings and butter directly in the roasting pan, scraping up any brown bits left in the pan.
- Stir in the flour to form a roux and cook for 1 minute or until lightly brown.
- Slowly whisk in your broth. Bring to a boil then cook until it starts to thicken.
- Stir in the milk. Taste and add salt as needed.
How To Make Gravy With Cornstarch
Sometimes you don’t want to make pan gravy with flour. Perhaps you are looking to make a gluten free gravy.
You can easily make gravy using cornstarch, but the process is slightly different than using flour.
Instead of making a roux, you make a quick slurry of water and cornstarch. Stirring in a slurry ensures your gravy isn’t lumpy.
If you added dry cornstarch the same way you do with flour, you’d be left with lumps.
Stir the slurry into the hot fat then stir in the broth. Bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, the gravy should thicken up.
How do you separate fat from drippings?
Normally if you have a large amount of drippings, you want to separate the fat before making gravy.
You can do this by transferring the drippings to a measuring cup and let sit for about 15 minutes or until the fat rises to the top. Skim off the fat with a spoon.
If you have the time and can let it sit overnight, the fat will actually solidify, making it so much easier to skim.
Add this fat to your pan for your gravy base. Add enough butter to equal the amount of fat called for in the recipe.
Since I focus on recipes for two, sometimes the amount of drippings is small.
I had about a tablespoon or so of drippings left in the pan from my small pork roast. With an amount so small, I didn’t skim off the fat. Instead, I added everything to the pan along with some butter.
Had I been making a larger meal, such as turkey for Thanksgiving, then I would take the time to skim off excess fat from the drippings.
- Pan drippings from roasted meat
- Up to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour* (see Note to substitute cornstarch)
- Up to 1 cup broth or stock, any flavor to match your meal
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- Salt, to taste (preferably kosher)
- Place meat drippings in a measuring cup and refrigerate 15 minutes.
- Skim 2 tablespoons fat off the top and place in roasting pan. Discard any remaining fat. If you don't have enough, add enough butter to equal 2 tablespoons total fat.
- Add enough broth to the liquid drippings to equal 1 cup.
- On the stovetop over medium heat, melt the fat and butter in the roasting pan, scraping up any brown bits left in the pan.
If you can't use your roasting pan, transfer everything to a skillet.
- Stir in the flour to form a roux (paste) and cook for 1 minute or until lightly brown.
- Slowly whisk in the liquid drippings mixture. Bring to a boil then cook until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the milk. Taste and adjust for salt.
Gravy will thicken as it cools. If this happens, reheat and stir in a little bit of broth to thin it out if needed.