Brown Gravy Recipe – No Drippings Needed!

Make this EASY Beef Gravy recipe in just 10 minutes with NO drippings needed! Learn 3 secret ingredients to add depth of flavor, plus a chef-inspired finishing technique to add a silky, velvety finish. 

Serve this gravy with mashed potatoes, steak, homemade rolls, buttermilk biscuits, country fried chicken, and more!

A spoon drizzling brown gravy over warm mashed potatoes.

Brown Gravy Recipe

Believe me when I say, I don’t kid around when it comes to gravy. After all, I plan on pairing this recipe with everything. Poutine, Fried Chicken, Mashed Potato Casserole, Roast Chicken, Pot Roast, Steak, the works. So when I decided to post this recipe, I knew that it had to be perfect.

And let me tell you, it is perfect. NO DRIPPINGS necessary! (But of course it’s an option.)

Let’s talk about what makes this the best brown gravy recipe.

Using a Roux vs. a Slurry for Gravy

There are 2 basic methods to make a nice thick gravy. Let’s take a look at each method, and why I chose to use a slurry for this recipe.

What is a Roux:

A Roux is a combination of fat (drippings), whisked with flour. Butter can also be used in leau of drippings.

What is a Slurry:

A Slurry is a combination of corn starch or flour + cold water. It’s added to a warm liquid to thicken it. The reason cold water is used is to prevent lumps from forming when added to the warm base.

Why I chose a Slurry for This Recipe:

When I make gravy, I love incorporating a chef technique called monter au beurre”, which is to add a swirl of cold butter at the end to create a smooth, velvety finish. Therefore, I chose to avoid starting with butter/flour base and decided to thicken the gravy with a slurry, as I didn’t want the butter to overpower the flavor of the gravy.

(Bonus: Corn Starch is gluten free if you are serving this anyone who may have an allergy or sensitivity to it.)

How to Make It

Add the chicken broth, beef broth, beef bouillon, onion and garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce to a medium saucepan. Stir to combine.

Showing how to make gravy by adding seasonings to beef and chicken broth.

Bring to a boil and whisk in cornstarch + cold water mixture. Decrease heat. Continue to whisk to ensure the cornstarch blends in smoothly.

Bringing brown gravy to a boil and decreasing heat and adding corn starch and water.

Let it simmer until it’s of desired thickness. Remove from heat and swirl in cold unsalted butter for a smooth, velvety finish. This is a technique that chefs use called “monter au beurre”.Swirling cold butter into brown gravy before serving.

How to Make Brown Gravy More Flavorful

Not only do these secret weapons add a nice depth of flavor to brown gravy, but they also help achieve a rich dark brown color.

  • Worcestershire Sauce: This is my top choice. You can’t taste it at all but it enhances the other flavors of the gravy and a rich element to it.
  • Soy Sauce: Soy Sauce is plentiful with ‘umami’, which is basically a savory characteristic that makes gravy so irresistible. Like the above choice, you can’t taste it when added in the right quantity. I recommend using low sodium.
  • Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning Sauce: I like to add a few drops of this in combination with either of the 2 options noted above to add just a hint of a darker brown color. You can find it in the aisle where they sell gravy packets. (Which we no longer need to purchase ever again. 😉)

3 bottles to make brown gravy more flavorful.

Other Optional Ingredients

  • Sauteed Onions, Shallots, and/or Mushrooms. Saute at the beginning, then add broth, etc.
  • Fresh Rosemary, Sage, and/or Thyme. Add at the end of cooking.
  • A splash of Dry Red Wine. Add with the broth.
  • A pinch of Dijon Mustard.
  • Ground Pepper.

How to Make it With Drippings

If you make anything that results in having  meat drippings at the end, whether it’s pork, chicken, or beef, be sure to save them for this gravy. You can always freeze them until you’re ready to use them.

To use them in this recipe, simply substitute them in for the beef or chicken broth.

Storage

  • Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 5 months.

A pot of brown gravy with a spoon scooping it out with rosemary and mashed potatoes in the background.

What to Serve with Brown Gravy

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A pile of mashed potatoes on a plate with a spoon drizzling brown gravy on top.

Brown Gravy Recipe

5 from 17 votes
This easy Brown Gravy Recipe can be made in 10 minutes with NO drippings needed! Learn 3 secret ingredients to add the best depth of flavor, plus a chef-inspired finishing technique for a smooth, silky finish!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cube beef bouillon, or 1 tsp better than bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 drops Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce, optional
  • 1/4 cup cold water + 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Add the chicken broth, beef broth, beef bouillon, onion and garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce to a medium saucepan. Stir to combine.
  • If a darker color is desired, add 2-3 drops of Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce.
  • Combine the cold water and corn starch in a small Tupperware with a lid. Shake to combine.
  • Bring gravy to a boil. Whisk in cornstarch mixture. Decrease to medium low. Continue to whisk to ensure that it blends in smoothly.
  • Let it gently simmer until its of desired thickness.
  • Remove from heat. Swirl in one tablespoon COLD butter just before serving. This adds a silky, velvety finish.

Video

Notes

This recipe yields 1 + 1/4 cups.

1 teaspoon of low sodium soy sauce can be substituted for Worcestershire sauce.

Low Sodium Chicken or Beef Broth may also be used, you can always season with more salt if desired.

To use meat drippings in this recipe, simply substitute them in for the beef or chicken broth. Any kind of drippings (beef, pork, chicken), may be used.

Optional Ingredient Additions

  • Sauteed onions, Shallots, and/or mushrooms. Saute at the beginning, then add broth, etc.
  • Fresh Rosemary, Sage, and/or Thyme. Add at the end of cooking.
  • A splash of Dry Red Wine. Add with the broth.
  • A pinch of Dijon Mustard.
  • Ground Pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 69kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 702mg, Potassium: 97mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 87IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg