11/04/2011 10:59 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Make Pan Gravy

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Watch this video to learn how to make flavorful pan gravy with a few simple ingredients.

Video Transcript

I'm Chef John Reilly from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to make a pan gravy.

What we need first is a pan with a little bit of drippings, a little oil - something we've roasted in. We have some mirepoix: mirepoix is a typical combination of onions, carrots, and celery. We have stock: this is a nice roasted chicken stock we made previously. We have flour, salt, pepper and a little bit of oil.

Our pan is up to temperature, it's starting to sizzle, so we take our mirepoix and place it inside the pan. We're going to allow this to cook very nicely, very gently; we want to roast our vegetables at a nice even temperature, medium high. We want caramelization to take place nice and evenly; we don't want to see burnt edges, we want to see a little bit of a developed, caramelized color to our vegetables. It should take about three to five minutes to roast the vegetables off to get some good color on them. The smaller you cut them, the more surface space there is, the faster they'll begin to caramelize.

Now that our vegetables are lightly roasted, they have a great aroma to them, the color's starting to develop, and you start to notice the the pan is beginning to develop a little bit of a fond. That's some of the natural trappings from the vegetables, and also from what was roasted in here previously. Now we're going to take a little bit of flour and we're going to dust the pan with it. This is going to help us bind up our sauce.

Now it goes very quickly: we're going to pour in our broth, and we're going to stir, and we're going to work the pan and scrape it. We want that fond that's on the bottom, that isn't burned, we want that to reconstitute and go back into our sauce.

We're waiting to bring this up to a simmer and up to a good boil. We're going to allow it to cook down until we have the right consistency, the right thickness of what a gravy should be. Now it's come to a boil and it's simmered, it's getting just a little bit thick - it's just about ready to be finished. We're going to put in a little bit of salt and a little bit of pepper, to bring out the natural flavor.

We're going to check the consistency of our sauce. We'll put a spoon inside, and we'll take a look at it and see if the sauce coats the back of the spoon. See, it's just about the right thickness. Now it's time to strain our gravy. We pour this through our strainer into a bowl. Then we lift up the strainer and take our ladle, press on our vegetables, and squeeze out a little bit more flavor - now our gravy is ready to enjoy!