Gravy Three Ways

From time immemorial, gravies and sauces have been used as a way to mask the flavor of cheap cuts of meats. Over time, sophisticated cooks around the world have elevated both gravies and sauces to a culinary art form. These three different gravies are examples of American and Canadian adaptations of classic gravies brought to North America by European immigrants.

Brown Gravy has endless varieties and is most often ladled over beef, turkey, and mashed potatoes. The French Canadians created their signature dish Poutine by combining French fries with chewy cheese curds, and covering it all with this light brown gravy.

White Gravy has been embraced by the American south and has spawned dishes like Biscuits and Gravy, Fried Chicken with Gravy, and from Texas, Chicken Fried Steak.

Sausage Gravy is joins the quintessential southern breakfast when drenching soft biscuits to make the iconic Biscuits with Sausage Gravy.

Gravy 3 ways brown gravy

North American Gravy 3 Ways

These three gravy recipes are only the tip of the iceberg of different gravies in the US and Canada, never mind the rest of the world. Each begins with a flour and fat (butter or oil) to create a roux that thickens a liquid (milk, broth, water) and then is flavored with herbs and spices. The recipes below are all easy to make and marry well with all kinds of foods.
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Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Sauce, Snack
Cuisine: American, Canada, North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon and whisk


I. Brown Gravy

  • 4 tbsp Cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tbsp water
  • 8 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • cup All-purpose flour
  • 3 cups Beef bone broth
  • 2 cups Chicken bone broth
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

II. White Gravy

  • ¼ cup Vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup All-purpose flour
  • cups Whole milk
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper, coarsely ground

III. White Sausage Gravy

  • 12 oz Bulk breakfast sausage (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • ¼ cup All-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Whole milk
  • tsp Dried sage
  • 1 pinch Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


I. Brown Gravy

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.
    Wisk in beef and chicken stocks and bring to a boil. Stir in ½ of the cornstarch mixture and simmer for about 1 minute to thicken slightly. Whisk in cornstarch mixture a little at a time until gravy reaches desired thickness. Salt and pepper to taste.

II. White Gravy

  • Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture turns light brown, about 1 minute.
    Slowly whisk in milk. Add pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings.

III. Sawmill Sausage Gravy

  • Place sausage in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Break sausage apart with a wooden spoon and cook until sausage is browned and cooked through. Transfer sausage to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon.
    Add butter to drippings left in the saucepan. Pour flour into saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture turns light brown, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
    Stir in sage, crushed red pepper flakes, and add sausage back into gravy. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings. Serve hot.


Calories: 619kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 922mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 807IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 2mg

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