Gluten-Free Gravy

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This unbeatable Gluten-Free Gravy is velvety smooth and rich. For the best flavour make it with the drippings from your roasted meat and homemade stock. But if you are caught short you can easily substitute and I offer all the tips and tricks below.

Gluten-Free Gravy being poured out of a gravy boat over a plate of roast chicken and vegetables

My mother and father both made good gravy. It was an absolutely essential recipe in our household growing up because of the importance of our Sunday Lunch. Thick juicy rich brown gravy flavoured with fresh garden herbs would cook for hours on the hob over the course of the day. It was always the last element to be placed steaming hot onto the dinner table. Two magnificent gravy boats stood proudly at either end to be poured liberally over our roast beef and Yorkshire puddings.

The importance of Sunday lunch has not wavered into my adulthood and since I became gluten-free it has been of utmost importance for me to achieve a triumphant gravy that would pacify the whole family. This recipe is definitely the king of gravies.

Gluten-Free Gravy in a gravy boat on a wooden table

Why is this the best Gluten-Free Gravy Recipe?

  • Meat Drippings. Absolutely essential for the richest meatiest flavour.
  • Sweet Rice Flour – this makes for velvety smooth gravy. No graininess or thin wispy gravy here.
  • Homemade Stock – a stock cube and even shop bought stock doesn’t quite cut it here. For proper gravy use homemade stock.

Top Gravy Tip – Plan Ahead!

If you want to make proper traditional gravy then your only choice is to use the pan drippings from your roasted meat coupled with homemade stock.

It is perfectly possible to use the pan drippings of the meat you have just roasted and to make a quick gravy as the joint rests. However, this can be a bit of a slap dash effort when you’re also trying to perfect your roasties, organise the vegetables and rise those Yorkshires. So I have the best tip for you.

Make sure your dripping and stock game is always a week ahead.

The Meat Drippings

Save your meat drippings each week after your Sunday Lunch (beef, chicken, lamb or pork.) and keep them in little pots in the freezer, alongside your homemade stock. (I have a whole compartment dedicated to fat and stock).

This way you will always have drippings to hand and can make your gravy ahead of time.

This is especially useful at Christmas as you can make your gravy a couple of days before. Also making gravy ahead of time really allows the flavours to develop and gives a better sauce.

Homemade Stock

I recommend when your Sunday Lunch is over and done with you save the bones of your bird or joint and make your stock that evening for next week’s lunch. Store your stock in the freezer in the right quantities (for this gravy you need 800ml) so it’s easy to remove and use when you need it.

Top Tips

  • To make sure you achieve a good quantity of drippings (enough to help you out with your Yorkshire puddings and gravy) pour a generous amount of olive oil over your joint or bird before roasting. The more olive oil means the more meat flavoured fat at the end of the roast.
  • Chicken drippings and stock go with any roasted meats really as they are delicate in flavour. But don’t make a lamb or beef gravy if you are serving a different meat as that can be a bit of a flavour clash.

Gluten-Free Gravy in a gravy boat on a wooden table

What can I use to thicken gluten-free gravy?

The best flour to use for the smoothest gluten-free sauces is sweet rice flour.

Sweet rice flour (often called glutinous rice flour) is absolutely essential to make a beautifully smooth velvety gluten-free roux and produce a sauce with a silky mouthfeel.

It absorbs moisture very well so doesn’t clump and so is even easier to use than wheat flour. The flavour is pretty neutral with an ever so slightly sweet vibe which lends itself to the gravy perfectly.

For more information on Sweet Rice Flour, what it is, how to use it and where to buy it then have a look at my Ultimate Guide to Sweet Rice Flour.

If you want to know how to make the most delicious Gluten-Free Cheese Sauce using sweet rice flour then visit my recipe here.

How do you make Gluten-Free Gravy?

  1. Melt butter or dripping, then add diced onion and heat on medium for about 20 minutes until they are starting to turn brown.
  2. Add sweet rice flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the fat has absorbed all the flour.
  3. Whisk in a quarter of the stock, and as it starts to thicken pour the rest of the stock in slowly, whisking all the while.
  4. Add the bay leaf, thyme and stir in the redcurrant jelly, bringing the gravy up to a gentle boil.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and strain. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Top Tip

If the gravy is too thick for you, add some more stock or just water to get to your desired consistency.

A plate of roast chicken, vegetables and yorkshire pudding with homemade gluten-free gravy

How do I make gravy without meat drippings?

It’s easy. Maybe your meat didn’t produce very much or maybe you are making a veggie gravy. If you don’t have drippings or not enough then sub in some unsalted butter or ghee instead. For a vegan gravy, use vegan butter or olive oil.

How do you make gluten-free gravy browner and richer?

It’s difficult to gain a lustrous rich dark brown colour for your gravy using sweet rice flour so we need a little bit of help from our fine friend, the onion.

The Onion Method

Cook the onion in the drippings or butter for about 20 minutes until they are caramelised and just starting to brown, but not at all burnt. Then when you add your sweet rice flour followed by the stock the sauce will take on the rich brown colour from the onions.

It also gives your gravy further depth of flavour. I recommend straining off the onions at the end though for a lovely smooth sauce.

How do you make gravy without homemade stock?

So there are occasions when you just don’t have homemade chicken or vegetable stock to hand. At this point you have two options:

  • Use fresh stock from the butcher or the supermarket but I find these tend to be a little bland or oversalted so go carefully with them.
  • Use whole milk. Yes, this does create a completely different beast but one that is worth experimenting with if you are caught out at short notice. This gravy is obviously creamier and richer but absolutely delicious.

Top Tip

If you make your gravy with whole milk then add a few garlic granules to help with the flavour. If you are dairy-free or vegan then you can also substitute with almond milk which I have done on many an occasion and it works just as well.

How do you add flavour to gravy?

If you are using the drippings from the meat and homemade stock then most of your gravy flavour begins right there. However, if you are using shop bought stock or it’s lacking in flavour then try these tricks:

  • Add a couple of bay leaves, some fresh thyme or even some rosemary to liven up the flavours.
  • The gravy will also need a little sweetness to balance things out. Use a glug of white wine or masala which to make for a very sophisticated gravy.
  • Whisk in a teaspoon of Dijon mustard which just adds a little bit of depth to your gravy
  • Add a teaspoon of fruit jelly. Any good jelly works well here. Redcurrant jelly is easy to find at the supermarket and can usually be found with the condiments (not with the jams and preserves) or cranberry jelly which is lovely at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Check your seasonings. It’s amazing what a little extra salt and pepper can do to liven up your gravy.

Gluten-Free Gravy in a gravy boat on a wooden table

How do you re-heat gravy?

Gravy thickens the longer it stands so if you are re-heating then it’s best to do on the hob in a saucepan and whisk in a little extra liquid (stock or just water would be fine).

It turns out that making good gluten-free gravy is easy peasy, especially if you have sweet rice flour in your arsenal. Many of the other ingredients can be subbed or played with depending on what you have to hand or the different dietary needs of your guests. The lovely thing about gravy is that it usually tastes slightly different every time but always delicious.

Are you making a Sunday lunch and need more inspiration for some side dishes? Why not try:

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings
Braised Red Cabbage
Carrot and Swede Mash
Cheesy Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin
Cream Baked Roast Potatoes
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

And finally, a very special gravy treat

Ours was not a household for thin wispy gravy made delicately from drizzled juices. Our gravy was the crowning glory of the meal and did double duty as it provided the ultimate treat when our meat and veggies were done. My father would return to the kitchen to grab a loaf of thick farmhouse bread and cut huge slices for each of us to place on our dinner plates. We would then soak the bread in any leftover gravy, with perhaps an extra slug of mint sauce, wait until the bread was deliciously soppy before devouring greedily. It was a ritual and it didn’t matter how stuffed you were after lunch, the bread and gravy was a must and the bit we most looked forward to and tried to save room for.

Try using this delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread to mop up your gravy juices, or just another Gluten-Free Yorkshire Pudding.

If you make this Gluten-Free Gravy recipe then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own saucy creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Gluten-Free Gravy being poured out of a gravy boat over a plate of roast chicken and vegetables

Gluten-Free Gravy

This Gluten-Free Gravy is deliciously smooth, rich and full of flavour. Here are all the tips and tricks to get it just right.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 143kcal

Ingredients

  • 50 g unsalted butter or drippings from roasted meat
  • 1 onion chopped very finely
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 800 ml chicken stock preferably homemade
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly or apple jelly or cranberry jelly

Instructions

  • Melt the butter or dripping, then add the diced onion and heat on medium for about 20 minutes until they are starting to turn brown (but definitely not burnt).
  • Add all the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the fat has absorbed all the flour.
  • Pour in about a quarter of the stock, then switch to using a whisk, stirring all the time to smooth out the lumps. Once the gravy is beginning to thicken then pour the rest of the stock in slowly, whisking all the while.
  • Add the bay leaf, thyme and stir in the redcurrant jelly, bringing the gravy up to a gentle boil. If the gravy is too thick for you, add some more stock or just water to get to your desired consistency.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and strain. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Save your meat drippings each week after your Sunday Lunch (beef, chicken, lamb or pork.) and keep them in little pots in the freezer, alongside your homemade stock. This way you will always have drippings to hand and can make your gravy ahead of time.
  • To make sure you achieve a good quantity of drippings (enough to help you out with your Yorkshire puddings and gravy) pour a generous amount of olive oil over your joint or bird before roasting. The more olive oil means the more meat flavoured fat at the end of the roast.
  • Sweet rice flour is also called glutinous rice flour
  • If the gravy is too thick for you, add some more stock or just water to get to your desired consistency.
  • If you don’t have drippings or not enough then sub in some unsalted butter or ghee instead. For a vegan gravy, use vegan butter or olive oil.
  • If you don't have any homemade stock then you can use shop bought or even whole milk for a much richer and creamier gravy. Try to avoid a stock cube.
  • To add more flavour try adding fresh garden herbs, a glug of wine, dijon mustard or even some more salt and pepper.
  • If re-heating pour into a saucepan and whilst heating whisk in a little extra liquid (stock or just water would be fine).

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 166mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!

This recipe was originally published in November 2018. It was slightly modified to make the recipe easier to read and follow in February 2020.

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