Consistently good gravy

Gravy

Serves 4–6

  • roast chicken

  • roasted vegetables

  • 1 heaped dessertspoon plain flour

  • 1 wineglass red or white wine, or cider, or a good splash of port or sherry

  • 1 litre organic stock

To make your gravy

When you come to make your gravy, your chicken will be covered and resting and you'll have your tray of chicken juices and vegetable trivet in front of you. Using a spoon, carefully remove 90 per cent of the hot fat from the tray by angling it away from yourself and scooping off the fatty layer that settles on top.



Put the tray back on the hob over a high heat. Add the flour, stir it around and, holding the tray steady with a tea towel in one hand, use a potato masher to mash all the veg to a pulp – don't worry if it's lumpy. You can rip the wings off the chicken and break them up into the tray to add more flavour at this point.



When everything is mixed and mashed up, add the alcohol to give a little fragrance before you add your stock (the alcohol will cook away). Keep it over the heat and let it boil for a few minutes. Pour the stock into the tray, or add 1 litre of hot water. Bring everything in the pan to the boil, scraping all the goodness from the bottom of the pan as you go. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until you've achieved the gravy consistency you're looking for.



To serve your gravy

Get yourself a large jug, bowl or pan and put a coarse sieve over it. Pour your gravy through the sieve, using a ladle to really push all the goodness through. Discard any veg or meat left behind. At this point you've got a really cracking gravy, and you can either serve it straight away or put it back on the heat to simmer and thicken up.

Nutritional Information

Consistently good gravy

How to nail it every time

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Making your own flavoursome gravy is super easy – all you need to get going is meat and veg
Serves 4–6
25m
Super easy
Method

There are two things that make a good gravy: a vegetable trivet, which is the layer of vegetables in the bottom of your roasting tray that your meat sits on; and the juices from a roasted piece of good-quality meat. As long as you always use a vegetable trivet and buy good-quality meat, your gravy will taste like heaven whether you use water or stock. Follow my method for making gravy and you'll never look back.

To make your gravy
When you come to make your gravy, your chicken will be covered and resting and you'll have your tray of chicken juices and vegetable trivet in front of you. Using a spoon, carefully remove 90 per cent of the hot fat from the tray by angling it away from yourself and scooping off the fatty layer that settles on top.

Put the tray back on the hob over a high heat. Add the flour, stir it around and, holding the tray steady with a tea towel in one hand, use a potato masher to mash all the veg to a pulp – don't worry if it's lumpy. You can rip the wings off the chicken and break them up into the tray to add more flavour at this point.

When everything is mixed and mashed up, add the alcohol to give a little fragrance before you add your stock (the alcohol will cook away). Keep it over the heat and let it boil for a few minutes. Pour the stock into the tray, or add 1 litre of hot water. Bring everything in the pan to the boil, scraping all the goodness from the bottom of the pan as you go. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until you've achieved the gravy consistency you're looking for.

To serve your gravy
Get yourself a large jug, bowl or pan and put a coarse sieve over it. Pour your gravy through the sieve, using a ladle to really push all the goodness through. Discard any veg or meat left behind. At this point you've got a really cracking gravy, and you can either serve it straight away or put it back on the heat to simmer and thicken up.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 140
    7%
  • Carbs 14.1g
    5%
  • Sugar 4.2g 5%
  • Fat 3.0g 4%
  • Saturates 1.0g 5%
  • Protein 7.1g 16%
Of an adult's reference intake

Related recipes:

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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  • roast chicken

  • roasted vegetables

  • 1 heaped dessertspoon plain flour

  • 1 wineglass red or white wine, or cider, or a good splash of port or sherry

  • 1 litre organic stock