Homemade Gravy

(recipe, Ina Garten)


At Barefoot Contessa, we made thousands of quarts of gravy for people to heat up and serve for dinner. Instead of the chaos that happens when dinner is ready and you still have to make the gravy, why not give yourself a break and make the gravy the day before? If gravy just isn't gravy to you unless it's made with pan drippings, do what I do: when I make a roast, I save the pan drippings in the freezer for the next time I'm making gravy and then I add them to the sautéing onions and butter. It's so much easier! (Just be sure to label the drippings well.)


  1. ¼ lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  2. 1½ cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
  3. ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  4. 1 tsp. kosher salt
  5. ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  6. 2 cups chicken stock, beef stock, or pan drippings, heated
  7. 1 Tbsp. Cognac or brandy
  8. 1 Tbsp. heavy cream (optional)


  1. In a large (10- to 12-inch) sauté pan, cook the butter and onions on medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Don't rush this step; it makes all the difference when the onions are well cooked.
  2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk it in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock and Cognac or brandy, and cook, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Add the cream, if desired, and serve.
  3. You can store the gravy, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Heat it slowly before serving.