Is there anything better on a bitter cold winter’s night than a pile of homemade mashed potatoes smothered in rich, creamy beef gravy?
Half of my life I relied on those little packets that you mixed with water and simmered until thickened. I knew that there had to be a better way. So, years ago I started experimenting and tried to solve the mystery of making “brown gravy”. Though my recipe still uses products and isn’t made from “beef drippings”, as that isn’t always on hand depending on what you’re making, you can at least have a bit more control over what’s in there and what you want in there. Those packets truly are a “mystery”.
What exactly is that stuff any ways??
I don’t think we really want to know! 😀 So here’s a simple, easy, and delicious way to make brown beef gravy from semi-scratch! I start with a can of Campbell’s Beef Consommé. Beef consommé is simply much richer, more flavorful, clarified, and purer than plain, regular beef stock (made from bones) or beef broth (made from meat.) Consommé is usually made from both as well as the addition of vegetables for extra flavor. And since you can buy consommé by the can, you can make the exact amount of gravy that you need.
I brought in my thyme plant for the winter, so I have fresh thyme on hand. But if you don’t have it, or it isn’t available at your local grocer’s, you can certainly sub dried. If you don’t care for it, you can leave it out entirely. But thyme is my favorite of all herbs, so I love it in there, myself. You could also use oregano, rosemary or basil if you prefer, which would also lend wonderful flavor.
One of my favorite things to use for flavor also, are Superior Touch’s bouillon bases. They, too, are also made from real meats and need to be kept in the refrigerator vs. those horrid little dried cubes and gravel. I gave up on those little rocks years ago and never looked back. Their product is more expensive than regular dried bouillon, but friends, you get what you pay for. And it makes a huge difference. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend that you do. Trust me, you’ll thank me. 😉
Also, always, always, always use real butter! Pleeeeaaaase don’t use margarine or “fake butter” of any kind. If you think butter is bad for you, next time you’re at the store, do this. Pick up a box of margarine and a box of butter. Look at the ingredient list on the back. The ingredient list for butter? Cream. That’s it. Just cream. And salt if it’s salted butter. Nothing else. What’s in your box?? 😉
Along with the herbs, the rest of the seasonings for this gravy are up to you as well. Add or not, and adjust to your own liking. Sometimes I add just a tad of red wine, and sometimes not. Start with the foundation of the roux (butter and flour), the consommé, and the beef base. Then just go from there! Have fun with it! 😀
This gravy is super easy to make and so very good! I haven’t purchased one of those packets in years, and never will again! I hope that this encourages you to keep a few cans of consommé on hand so that you can make this whenever you want to, as well. Not only heavenly on homemade mashed potatoes, but of course wonderful to have with a nice beef roast on Sundays, too. 😉 Perfect wintertime comfort food! 😀
Take care all, bundle up, it’s freezing out! And I’ll see ya’ll later! ~Kelly