This foolproof method for smooth, silky, gluten free gravy works every time. Whether you're making it with roast beef or poultry, it's quick, easy, and produces gravy without lumps.
Maybe your family or friends have gathered for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or you've simply cooked a roast for one or two. This glossy, flavourful, gluten free gravy will top off your plates nicely.
Gluten free gravy needs only three ingredients:
- Flavourful, seasoned meat drippings
- Cold water
Why does gravy get lumps?
Gravy goes lumpy when the thickener (flour, cornstarch, or whatever) is added directly to the hot liquid. It cooks immediately into little "dumplings" that can only be eliminated by either straining the gravy or running it through a blender. With my method, the thickener is smoothly blended with cold liquid and stirred into the hot liquid. Then it thickens up right away.
Good, well-flavoured pan drippings from a roasted turkey, chicken, or beef make great gravy. If necessary, add a little water to the bottom of the pan early on in the cooking process, so you don't end up with dry drippings burnt to the bottom of the pan. A rack set in the bottom of the pan will keep your meat up out of the drippings while it cooks.
Gluten Free Gravy for Turkey, Chicken, or Beef
Whether you're making gravy for turkey, chicken, or beef, the process is the same.
- Measure the liquid.
- Combine starch completely and smoothly with cold liquid.
- Stir the cold starch slurry into the hot liquid. Bring it all to a boil, and that's it!
Recipe for Gluten Free Gravy
When the meat has finished cooking, remove it from the roasting pan and set it aside to rest a little and then get sliced.
Pour the drippings from the bottom of the pan into a pyrex 2- or 4-cup measuring cup (depending on the size of your roast and how much gravy you'll be making.)
Skim excess fat from the top of the drippings. Don't remove all of the fat. Some fat is good for flavour. Once the fat level is down to your liking, read the level of the total liquid. If this liquid is not as much as approximately ¾ the amount of finished gravy you want to end up with, then add some cold water at this point to bring it up. Obviously, if you add a lot of water to bring drippings up to the desired amount, the flavour will be diluted. If you have ½ flavourful drippings and ½ water, it should still be okay.
Now, pour this measured liquid back into the roasting pan. Set it on the stovetop over medium-high heat. It should come to a boil fairly quickly. As it does, you can stir in the flavourful bits that have become stuck to the bottom.
Meanwhile, measure cold water into the measuring cup.
Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch per cup of TOTAL liquid into the cold water. Whisk it well until it is smoothly combined.
Then, while whisking the hot liquid, slowly pour the cold cornstarch-water mixture into the boiling liquid. It should thicken up immediately. Turn the heat down to low. Keep stirring until the boiling settles down. Then keep the gravy warm over low heat for up to half an hour until you're ready to serve it.
Traditional gravy thickened with wheat flour benefits from cooking on low for about 10 minutes after it has thickened to cook out the flour taste. This isn't as important or necessary with cornstarch. I also prefer the slight translucent quality of cornstarch-thickened gravy over wheat flour-thickened gravy.
A Note about Seasoning
When I roast a chicken, turkey, or beef with my favourite recipes, they are already well seasoned. Then, making gravy is really just a matter of thickening the drippings. If your drippings are not already well seasoned, add some salt and pepper, Herbamare, or Spike with the cornstarch to the cold water.
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Is Cornstarch Gluten Free?
Yes, cornstarch is gluten free. It makes a great thickener for gravies and sauces that you would like to have translucent in appearance.
You might want to take the extra precaution of selecting cornstarch that has been labeled gluten free as a reassurance against cross contamination.
I also like to buy cornstarch that, as well as being gluten free, has not been genetically modified.
Gluten Free Thickeners
Cornstarch makes a shiny, translucent gravy that holds up well to heat. It was my preference for thickening gravy even before I was gluten free.
If you prefer an opaque gravy with a texture more like that achieved with wheat flour, use brown rice flour to thicken your liquid. However, you'll need to use twice as much, 2 tablespoons rice flour per cup of liquid.
For a paleo, grain-free option, use tapioca flour or starch. They're the same thing. Use the same amount as specified for cornstarch. Tapioca starch gives the gravy a translucent appearance.
You could also use arrowroot flour or starch. (Again, it goes by either name.) It makes an almost transparent gravy. Arrowroot flour doesn't stand up well to sitting on the heat for a long time or to reheating, though. Use a rounded tablespoon of arrowroot flour per cup of liquid.
The amounts in this recipe are given for cornstarch and are examples only. You can adjust them according to the amount of meat drippings you have and how much gravy you want to make. The important thing is to include 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for every cup of liquid.
It's easy to recalculate my recipes for different numbers of servings! Click on the number of servings, change it, and the ingredient measurements (but not the metric ones 🙁 ) will adjust accordingly! 🙂
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Gluten Free Gravy
- 1 ½ cups seasoned pan drippings
- ½ cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Measure pan drippings, adding some water if necessary to bring level up as desired. Return measured liquid to the roasting pan and bring to a boil over high heat on stovetop.
- Meanwhile, measure cold water. Whisk cornstarch into cold liquid until smooth.
- Whisk this cold slurry into the boiling drippings in pan, stirring constantly. The gravy should thicken up immediately. Turn down the heat, keep warm, and serve.