A good splash of wine enhances your gravy, which is something you want to do. (photo by Robyn Mackenzie)

This year is going to be different. Maybe you’re only making gravy for two. Maybe you need a little extra gravy for some leftover sandwiches. Maybe just having more gravy in your life is gonna be your thing this year. Either way, teach yourself this simple gravy and you’ll be thankful.


2 Tbsp Butter (30g)

2 Tbsp Flour (30g)

1.5 Cups Turkey Stock (350 ml)

2 glasses of Beaujolais (or any $11 wine from somewhere nice and hot)

Salt/Pepper/Worcestershire sauce to taste

–  Make a roux.

Gently whisk equal parts butter and flour on Medium Low heat. Don’t take your eyes off the burner. Stir until blended for a light gravy. Keep cooking until it browns like nicely toasted bread for a deeper sauce. It should have the same light, pleasing aroma that all your other bread/butter combos do. Think croissants and pie.

– Deglaze.

After cooking your main bird, pour some of the stock into your roasting dish over medium heat and scrape off all those flavorful bits from the bottom. Skim off any fat you can. Or pour into one of these ingenious fat separators and let science skim the fat for you.

– Flambé.

In a separate pan, heat the wine until it reaches 99F and the alcohol begins to vaporize. You can keep letting it cook for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol or, if you can safely do this at home, light the alcohol vapor with the flame from your stove or a kitchen match.  (Be careful; it always looks really cool and is therefore very dangerous).

– Reduction.

Reduce 3 cups of turkey stock. (The store brand kind in a carton will help save time and make a more predictable dish; the homemade kind is more fun, if you can delegate the task.) This will cook them up fresh and provide a concentrated flavor.

– Monté.

This is optional: Some people get a little too good at skimming the fat, or they reduce a sauce to the point of losing liquid. To adjust for a little more body, just swirl a few slices of cold butter into your pan  

– Combine.

Strain the deglazed roasting juices and return them to the pan; add the wine; keep stirring! Whisk everything together over a low heat. The best part of gravy is that it’s nice and hot. Make sure it is the last thing to hit the table.

– Season.

A little salt and pepper and some Worcestershire sauce go a long way. So add them last and only after you’re certain the stock needs any seasoning.

A nice warm gravy boat is what’s ideal now—along with something delicious in your glass to toast your wine-enriched contribution to the feast, whatever its size.