How to darken gravy :)

deborah_psFebruary 24, 2009

I didn't want this tip to get lost and didn't see it mentioned in Cindyloowhos question about her gravy.

My tidbit for the day on how to make gravy dark:

Put about 1 cup of flour into a dry cast iron skillet, on medium heat. Stirring constantly until it turns a nice nutty brown, being careful not to burn it. At first it will be a dusty caramel color...that's okay, but take it to the nut brown stage. Remove from the skillet as it will continue to brown from the residual heat. Store in an airtight jar.

When you want a darker color add a tablespoon to your gravy makings.

It loses most of its thickening power, so this is basically just to color your gravies.

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You can also add a teaspoon of vegemite!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 5:01PM
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When you make your roux, you can also add some Hungarian paprika. It really gives gravy a nice color.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 5:07PM
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I often keep a bottle of "dark sugar water" for coloring stuff. It has virtually no flavor, unlike vegemite!! and imparts a dark color.
I caramelize sugar until it's dark barown....almost black but just short of smoking.....then dissolve it in some water....carefully as adding water to hot sugar causes sputtering.
The sugar cooks off amost all of the sweet taste and leaves nothing behing but dark dark brown.
Keep a small jar in the refrig and add a couple of teaspoons as needed.
It also makes a light rye or wheat bread look darker.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 7:26PM
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And what is wrong with medium-brown gravy?


    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 7:44PM
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Thank you Joe. I was wondering the same thing. I never worry about the colour of my gravy, just the flavour.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Hmmm, well lets see, my reasoning is because sometimes not all my gravies turn out to be an appealing color?
Doesn't matter to me if you don't find this hint useful. I do.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 10:59PM
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I think it is a good idea. I'm used to making the cajun style roux with butter. This idea is great because it doesn't have to be frozen. I would guess that it would deepen the flavor some, as well as the color. But, I don't know as I haven't tried it yet.

I love chicken gravy (the kind I'm talking about is sort of grayish), but I do not like how it looks. This would help out the eye appeal. Sometimes all a dish needs is a little prettying up.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 11:11PM
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Excellent if you are making an authentic gumbo.

I'm with Ann and Joe I want flavor not color. My favorite sauces are mostly classic whites with flavors as needed. A stellar bernaise or buerre rouge could put me in an 8 hr food coma!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 11:40PM
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I have no doubt that your tip is useful to those who want a dark brown gravy. It also seems quite convenient.

And I would never want a dull white or, worse, gray gravy on my beef.

I did not intend to belittle your tip. I simply asked a question.

Is it traditional to have a dark brown gravy with meat? Is medium brown unacceptable by most people?

Maybe I'm hijacking this thread and I'm sorry.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 12:06AM
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Check here......This what I always have on hand.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gravy Master

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 3:38AM
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I like a good-coloured gravy, medium-brown. If it's gravy it has to be brown; if it's white sauce, it has to be white!! Like Gardenguru, I think there's nothing worse than a grey gravy!

Here's a real relic from the Ark, which I just found hiding in my collection - I've never tried it:

Gravy Browning
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups red wine

Melt the sugar in a heavy frypan over high heat, allowing it to froth up to a good brown colour, stirring constantly. Add the wine, boil for 10-12 minutes, add a little salt and allow to cool. When completely cold, bottle for future use. Only a little is needed to add colour to soups, stews, gravies etc.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 3:50AM
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Sands wrote: I'm with Ann and Joe I want flavor not color.

I'm greedy; I want both. Of course it depends on the gravy/sauce. I agree that I want my beef gravy to be brown. It's so easy to have the flavor AND the nice rich look; why not?

A white sauce is not supposed to look that way so that's fine, but a good clear, rich, dark beef gravy is a delight to my way of thinking.

I prefer beef gravy to be made with cornstarch so it is clear. Chicken gravy I like either way: with broth and cornstarch or with milk and flour.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 7:46AM
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Ann - Given your obvious talent and pride in the visual presentation of food, I have to say I'm a little more than suprised at your response. ;)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 8:26AM
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I believe that we eat first with our eyes and then with out tastebuds.
My burned sugar coloring has turned more than a few foods from "ho hum" to "yum".
We use food coloring to make things look more cherry or more minty, and I use burned surga to make a light rye bread look like it has loads of molasses in it even when it doesn't.
And I don't use cornstarch in my gravy, I reserve that for clear sauces. Cornstarch can "un-thicken" when the gravy is re heated or overcooked the first time.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 8:58AM
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You are right Foodonastump, I do enjoy putting together a nice plate and taking food photos, but if the truth be told, those that really know me, know that I care much more about flavour than presentation. I've always said, you can feed me on chipped plates or paper plates as long as the food tastes good. LOL!

There is room here for everyone's preference. So for those that do like to enhance the colour of their gravy, here is a link to Darken Gravy Tricks

Like Linda, I do not use cornstarch to make gravy. Cornstarch sauces/gravies are translucent. I like the appearance, flavour and the texture of gravy made with flour. And another personal preference is that I don't like a really thick gravy.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 9:44AM
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I prefer beef gravy to be dark brown. A medium brown turkey gravy is fine with me. I guess that's what I am accustomed to having. I add about a tsp of Kitchen Bouquet to the gravy to make it darker.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 10:26AM
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I've used dark soy sauce with good results, but more often than not I have enough brown bit in the pan to color the gravy. DW swears by Kitchen Bouquet and I have to admit that her gravy is pretty good too.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 10:32AM
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Don't like to get into this anymore. Have better things to do .
But I saw my Piasano in there. So I dropped in.

I really don't know what Deborah meant by making the Gravy Dark ?????
Maybe by Dark she means a Meduim to Darker Brown.
But I don't think your answer was meant to belittle.
I've had Gravy from Light Brown, to Medium Brown.
I like a combination of all, Color,Aroma and Taste.
I don't know what Grey Gravy is, Maybe for Cloudy Days ???

Hey Joe !!! Later, LOU

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I don't have a nice way with words; like other members,
To put my point across and not be the Villian.
Some day I'll learn.But not here.
I may even learn to spell " Color or Flavor "
Hey! Remember Abe Lincoln's Quote "You can fool some,etc."

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Don't know if everyone saw this. I put it in another Post.
Being this was mentioned here, thought I'd put it in,
In case someone missed it.
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I thought there was something wrong with me and I was the only one who used Corn Starch to thicken.

But I knew I learned this somewhere way back when,
so there had to be someone else doing it.

I also use flour, when I remove the Roast but I brown it first before adding any Liquids.
Like it was mentioned , remove the Carrots and Veggies,Brown the meat well and
Drink a glass of Chianti.

I decided to Google it, to see what came up AND
I swear by God, the first one that came up was this.
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I Googled: " Making Gravy for a Pot Roast "

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
use the drippings, and flour works but clumps, so mix equal parts corn starch and water, stir well. bring meat drippings to a boil, use a whisk and add the corn starch mixture slowly, stirring until desired thickness. Perfect Gravy every time. I make the gravy for all family get togethers.
5 months ago
Report Abuse
Asker's Rating: Asker's Comment: Thank you all... I made it with corn starch... salt pepper, it had great flavor! Is this what you are searching for? Rating: Good Answer
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Sometimes I even use Instant Potatoes to thicken Gravies and some soups.
Now that is a No, No !!!!!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 4:26PM
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Lou I've used a half and half mixture of flour and cornstarch to thicken gravy for years! The cornstarch helps to avoid any clumping of the flour and makes a lovely velvety gravy.

I mix them together in a glass jam jar, shake it up, put on the lid and keep it in my kitchen shelf, next to the stove.

And if I want to make the gravy a little darker, I add a teaspoon of Bisto or Marmite. Works fine.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 6:20PM
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Sounds Good. I'll try that next time I make my , 6 pound
Braciolle, Surf and Turf Roast.
PS: The flowers were for you.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 8:56PM
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