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6 July 2016

Gravy mix from scratch

I don't tend to make up many dry mixes in the kitchen, you know those concoctions that are supposed to be "time saving". I don't make up cake, scone or muffin mixes because I like gathering my baking ingredients; it's a comforting part of the process for me. I don't make up biscuit mix, hot chocolate mix or any toppings because it's too much of a temptation when they're sitting on the pantry shelf. Overall, I don't think they save much time at all.

There's one exception to this though - I like to have gravy mix pre-made so I don't have to gather ingredients in that short window of time between the roast vegetables and meat being ready and me serving up a hot meal. My gravy mix makes an excellent dark, flavoursome gravy when made with pan juices and it cuts the making time in half. I make it up in one cup lots and that generally sees me through two to three weeks.

My main mix is for plain gravy that I serve with roast pork but I also make one with homegrown rosemary for roast lamb and another with homegrown sage for roast chicken.  These mixes really depend on your taste and what you have growing in the herb patch.  I grow all my herbs and dry some of them. When I have dry rosemary and sage, I pulverise them in the mortar then add my other ingredients.

This plain gravy mix recipe will do any number of other dishes such as sausages, meatballs, steak, chops or casserole. The added bonus is that if you're trying to cut back on salt, you just reduce the amount or don't add it at all.

To make one cup of plain gravy mix:
  • 1 cup of plain/all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika - or more or less depending on your taste
  • Salt and pepper to your taste
Mix ingredients together and store in a clean, dry jar.

To make a herb mix, simply make up the plain mix above and add your ground, dried herbs to the mix. About 2 teaspoons of the chosen herb will be enough, but taste it in your cooking and adjust it to your taste when you make your next batch.  You could also add any spices you like such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli, onion or celery salt. Experiment and see what suits you.

To make the gravy: 
  1. Add 2 tablespoons of the mix to pan juices in a frying or roasting pan.
  2. Stir the dry mix into the juices over a medium heat and allow to brown.
  3. Add 2 - 2½ cups  cold water, or more for a thinner gravy.  Mix the water in to the mix immediately to avoid lumps forming. Stir until the gravy is the right thickness, add more water to thin it down or allow to evaporate if it's too thin.

I like these simple mixes because they don't have the preservatives or artificial additives that the commercial mixes have, they cost a fraction of the price you'll pay in the supermarket and they're easy to make and store.  Do you regularly make any totally from scratch sauce or gravy mixes?


  1. Thanks for this recipe Rhonda, it's a great shortcut that saves time and money. I am the same when baking . I don't make up bulk lots of anything and as we don't eat a lot of "baked goods" I rather use the process of making it up fresh as needed. Have a wonderful Wednesday

  2. What a good idea Rhonda, I have no idea why this has never occurred to me. Thank you.

  3. In Summer when I'm cooking nachos and tacos more frequently I make up a spice blend to replace the Old El Paso packet seasonings.

    I use a ratio of 8 plain flour : 8 smoked paprika : 2 sea salt : 2 cumin : 1 chilli flakes. 3 Tbsp of the mix browned with 500g beef mince, 1 diced onion, two handfuls of black beans soaked a few days before and a tin of diced tomatoes makes the mince. I serve it with an avocado, cherry tomato and coriander leaf salad dressed with lime juice, grated cheese, a dollop of sour cream and tacos or plain corn chips.

    It's one meal my kids are guaranteed to inhale without a fight!

    1. Oh, I like the look of this. I'm going to try it. Thanks Anna.

    2. The ratios..are they TBS as you only write the numbers. Many thanks

    3. You are most welcome Rhonda ☺️
      Alex, you can use any measure you like depending on how much you want to make, teaspoons for a small amount or cups for 10 years supply 😂

  4. Oh what a great idea Rhonda. I've never done this before but I'm going to now! Thanks.

  5. Is water without pan juices okay to use? eg BBQ cooking.

    1. Without pan juices it will make a sauce/gravy but it won't taste of meat. It will taste of paprika with salt and pepper. I know this is old fashioned and the food police will probably beat down my door but can you save pan juices or some dripping from a roast, bacon or pork chops. If so, store it in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge until you need it. It should store at least a week or two. To make up the gravy then, add a tablespoon of dripping/pan juices, add the gravy mix and make it up as per the instructions above.

  6. Rhonda this is so helpful! Making gravy has always been a struggle of mine, and you make it sound so simple. I am doing this on the weekend xo

  7. Thanks Rhonda. I find home made mixes are a time saver, but it maybe I am just a slow cook! It is good to have an alternative to packaged gravy.

  8. At last our main event meat dishes will finally have a side dollop of gravy to do it proud. Conjured up a few batches for the pantry in record time this morning.
    PS.: we actually make small quantities of homemade premixed treats for when the weather reaches 37oC and one struggles between lethargy and that sugar craving.
    Thank you for a great post.

  9. I really found this interesting.
    I only ever make "Gravox" style gravy, because I am basically lazy, but you have inspired me to maybe start making "proper" gravy again,.. I am sure it would be much tastier.....Thanks for the inspiration Rhonda.
    Cheers Jane.

  10. I love this simple recipe, will definitely be adding it to our meals.

  11. I love it ! Thanks for the recipe, I would never have thought it was so easy. And that plate of meat and veg looks heavenly !

  12. Hi Rhonda, great suggestion... I however use a slurry of cornstarch/cornflour and water to thicken my pan drippings...adding it to the hot pan liquids a little at the time. Depending on how much pan juices I have it usually takes about a table spoon starch (or two) to do the job.

  13. I made this today and used it for roast pork this afternoon. It made making the gravy hassle-free and it was so tasty and a beautiful rich brown colour. Just lovely. Thanks Rhonda.


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