Over the years we have tried many approaches to making gravy to accompany the perfect roast. Then we discovered this approach from Jamie Oliver that works every time, so that now the gravy becomes at star alongside the roast instead of just some brown liquid.
2 Carrots, peeled
2 Celery sticks, topped and tailed
2 Onions, unpeeled
4 Garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tbs Plain flour
150ml Dry white wine (or Red wine if cooking beef)
1 lt. Boiling water
Salt and black pepper
Your choice of fresh herbs
Preparation and cooking
Start by choosing a large roasting tray with deep sides, large enough to hold the meat joint. Roughly chop the carrot and celery and pile into the centre of the roasting tray. Quarter the onions and scatter over the unpeeled garlic cloves, and the herbs.
Place the meat joint on the pile of vegetables so that it acts as a trivet raising the meat off the bottom of the roasting tray. Cover the meat with some oil or melted fat and generously season with salt and black pepper. Cook the meat for the appropriate time usually at 180°C to 200°C. If the cooking time is less then 90 minutes, then cut the vegetables into smaller chunks approximately 5-6cm. If the cooking time is greater than 90 minutes, cut the vegetable chunks larger. Remove the meat when cooked to a carving board.
Take the roasting tray and pour off an excess fat / oil, so that you are left with a couple of tablespoons of oil, together with the juices and vegetable trivet still in the tray. Place the tray over the heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until well combined. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, then add half the water and all of the wine. Use white wine for poultry or white meat, and red wine for game or beef. Use the wooden spoon to squash the vegetables and the garlic cloves, so that all the flavour comes out into the gravy. Combine well and stir over the heat for a few minutes for the gravy to thicken. Adjust the amount of water to achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and black pepper.
Strain the gravy through a metal sieve, using the back of the spoon to push the liquid through and ensure any vegetable pieces are squashed through the sieve. You should be left with a very rich smooth gravy that will shine alongside any roast meat.