How to Make Delicious Beef Gravy from Drippings

What tastes better spooned over mashed potatoes or smothered on a roast beef sandwich than rich, savory beef gravy? Using the concentrated flavor of meat drippings to make gravy is simple and significantly boosts taste. Read on to learn all about creating amazing homemade beef gravy starting with the tasty drippings left in your pan.

What are Beef Drippings?

Beef drippings are the delicious cooked juice and fat that come out of beef as it braises, roasts, or pan-fries. Quality beef has sufficient marbling – the thin ribbons of fat within the lean meat that melt during cooking. This renders out the beefy-flavored drippings.

Drippings collect in the bottom of roasting pans, cast iron skillets, instant pots, and any vessel used to cook beef. Don’t throw them out! Drippings lend incredible flavor and richness perfect for gravy-making.

Why Make Gravy from Beef Drippings?

Using drippings to make gravy utilizes a highly-concentrated source of savory beefiness. Drippings add much more flavor than just using plain broth or water as your gravy base.

Drippings also reduce the need for extra fat. The rendered beef fat contributes body, thickness, and lubricious mouthfeel to gravy.

Finally, making your own gravy is simple, inexpensive, and lets you control the ingredients. It tastes far superior to pre-made gravy from a package or jar.

So for maximum beef flavor and the creamiest possible gravy, start with tasty drippings strained from beef roasts or steaks.

Tips for Collecting Beef Drippings

Follow these handy tips to capture every drop of delicious drippings from your beef:

  • Roasting – Place beef on a rack in a roasting pan to allow juices to collect below.

  • Braising – Use a lidded Dutch oven or heavy pot to contain released drippings.

  • Pan-frying – Choose a skillet that will hold all the drippings. Cast iron works wonderfully.

  • Cooking ahead – Freeze extra drippings in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

  • Reducing – Simmer drippings to condense flavors and make a concentrated base for gravy.

Saving your drippings prevents wasting any of that beefy essence. You’ll be glad you did when gravy time comes!

How to Make Gravy from Beef Drippings – Step by Step

Making gravy from beef drippings is surprisingly easy. Follow these simple steps:

1. Prepare your drippings

After cooking beef, carefully pour off drippings into a heatproof bowl or measuring cup. Let sit 5 minutes so fat separates from juices.

2. Skim the fat

Use a spoon to skim off most of the solidified fat from the top of the drippings. Leave about 1-2 tablespoons fat rendered from the beef.

3. Make a roux

In the hot pan with a bit of reserved fat, whisk in 2-3 tablespoons flour until browned and fragrant.

4. Whisk in drippings

Gradually whisk in 1-2 cups reserved defatted drippings. Scrape up browned flavorful bits stuck to the pan.

5. Simmer the gravy

Add seasonings of your choice. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

6. Finish and serve

Add extra broth for thinner gravy if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve piping hot.

The flour-fat roux gives gravy its thick, rich texture while drippings supply concentrated beefy flavor.

Helpful Tips for Great Beef Dripping Gravy

  • Chill drippings so fat solidifies and is easier to remove.

  • Use all-purpose flour for the roux – don’t substitute corn starch.

  • The more fat you leave, the richer the gravy. But you can reduce for health.

  • Add spices, herbs, Worcestershire sauce, or Kitchen Bouquet to boost flavor.

  • Splash of wine, lemon juice or vinegar brightens up gravy.

  • For a smooth gravy, strain out any bits through a fine mesh sieve.

  • Keep gravy warm in a double boiler while preparing the rest of your meal.

Once you get the basic method down, adjust drippings, fat, and seasonings to your tastes.

Common Problems When Making Beef Dripping Gravy

Gravy is lumpy – Make sure to whisk flour thoroughly into fat before adding drippings. Strain finished gravy to remove lumps.

Gravy is greasy – Let drippings cool completely so fat firms up for easier removal before making roux.

Gravy is bland – Use more drippings and less broth for amplified beefiness. Boost seasoning with lots of black pepper.

Gravy is too thick – Whisk in additional hot broth until reaching desired consistency.

Gravy curdled – If gravy separates, quickly whisk in a bit of milk or cream to emulsify.

Don’t worry about the odd lumpy batch as you’re learning. Even imperfect homemade gravy still trumps anything from a jar!

Uses for Beef Dripping Gravy

Rich, meaty gravy made from beef drippings enhances all sorts of foods. Some tasty options:

  • Roast beef – Spoon gravy over sliced roast beef for French dip sandwiches or a hot beef open-faced sandwich.

  • Potatoes – Smother mashed potatoes, fries, cubes, and wedges with gravy.

  • Biscuits – Let warm homemade buttermilk biscuits soak up flavored gravy.

  • Chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken – No Southern meal is complete without creamy gravy for dredging bites of crispy fried meat.

  • Vegetable sides – Pour gravy over sautéed green beans, Brussels sprouts, peas, and root vegetables.

  • Gravy fries or poutine – Fries topped with gravy and melty cheese curds is a Canadian specialty.

Boost flavor of almost any savory dish with a ladle of homemade beef gravy. Get creative pouring it over meats, vegetables, eggs, rice, pasta – anything goes!

Make Ahead Beef Dripping Gravy Tips

Since gravy is a frequent accompaniment at holiday meals and Sunday dinners, make-ahead gravy can be a blessing. Here are some storage tips:

  • Refrigerate fresh gravy up to 5 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

  • Freeze gravy in airtight containers up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

  • Freeze drippings themselves for later gravy-making up to 6 months.

  • Make gravy base using drippings and roux. Freeze up to 3 months. Add broth when reheating to complete.

  • Prepare turkey or chicken gravy ahead too using the same make-ahead steps.

Achieve gravy zen by freezing batches ready for quick reheating, no last-minute hassle required.

How to Make Beef Gravy from Drippings – An Easy Summary

Follow these steps for stellar homemade beef gravy every time:

  • Save drippings after cooking beef roasts, steaks, etc. by pouring into a heatproof bowl.

  • Refrigerate drippings so fat solidifies. Scrape off fat, reserving 1-2 Tbsp.

  • Make roux by whisking flour into hot fat leftover in pan. Cook 2-3 minutes.

  • Whisk in 1-2 cups defatted drippings and any brown bits in pan.

  • Simmer gravy about 5 minutes until thickened.

  • Season with salt, pepper and any other seasonings of your choice.

  • Add extra broth if gravy gets too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  • Serve hot – Use on meats, biscuits, potatoes, vegetables and more!

With this easy method, you can stop wasting flavorful drippings and start transforming them into delicious homemade gravies your whole family will love.

How to Make Gravy From Drippings | EASIEST METHOD EVER!

Leave a Comment