AskDefine | Define gravy

Dictionary Definition



1 basically the juices that drip from cooking meats
2 a sudden happening that brings good fortune (as a sudden opportunity to make money); "the demand for testing has created a boom for those unregulated laboratories where boxes of specimen jars are processed lik an assembly line" [syn: boom, bonanza, gold rush, godsend, manna from heaven, windfall, bunce]

User Contributed Dictionary



From greavie; probably from greaves, graves, the sediment of melted tallow < . See greaves.



  1. A sauce made from the fat and juices that come out from meat as it is being cooked; (countable) a type of gravy.
    onion gravy
  2. An unexpected piece of good fortune.


unexpected good fortune
  • Finnish: onnenpotku

Derived terms

See also


Extensive Definition

Gravy is an English sauce made often from the juices that run naturally from meat or vegetables during cooking. Ready-made cubes and powders can be used as a substitute for natural meat or vegetable extracts. Canned gravies are also available. Gravy is commonly served with roasts, meatloaf, rice, and potato dishes.

Thickened gravy

Gravies are often thickened with a starch, starting with a roux made of wheat flour, cornstarch/cornflour, or arrowroot. The liquids from cooked meat, the liquids from dissolved bouillon cubes/stock cubes, or stock are added gradually to the mixture, while continually stirring to ensure that it mixes properly and the thickener does not clump. In some recipes, the animal fat in the roux may be omitted as part of the base content. It may be replaced with cornstarch/cornflour alone (see cowboy roux) or is sometimes omitted entirely.

Types of gravy

  • "God's gravy" is a term used for juices naturally emanating from meat joints during roasting served unadulterated as gravy.
  • Giblet gravy has the giblets of turkey or chicken added when it is to be served with those types of poultry, or uses stock made from the giblets.
  • Onion gravy is made from large quantities of slowly sweated, chopped onions mixed with stock and wine. Commonly served with sausages and mash, chops, or other grilled or fried meat cuts which by way of the cooking method would not produce their own gravy.
  • White gravy is basically a bechamel sauce, with the roux being made of meat drippings and flour. Milk or cream is added and thickened by the roux. This may also be known as cream gravy, country gravy, milk gravy, or sawmill gravy. Sometimes little bits of meat are mixed into the gravy. This is the gravy typically used in biscuits and gravy and chicken fried steak.
  • Redeye gravy is a gravy made from the drippings of ham fried in a skillet/frying pan. The pan is deglazed with coffee or water. Coffee is the traditional method. A small amount of sugar is often added also. This gravy is a staple of Southern U.S. cuisine and is usually served over ham, grits or biscuits.
  • Tomato gravy is a gravy made from canned tomatoes, flour, and usually a small amount of fat. This is a Southern U.S. dish.
  • Vegetable gravy or Vegetarian gravy is gravy made with boiled or roasted vegetables. A quick and flavorful vegetable gravy can be made from any combination of vegetable broth or vegetable stock, flour, and one of either butter, oil, or vegan margarine. One recipe uses vegetarian Bouillon cubes with cornstarch (corn flour) as a thickener (Cowboy Roux), which is whisked into boiling water. Sometimes vegetable juices are added to enrich the flavor, which may give the gravy a dark green color. Wine could be added. There are also commercially produced instant gravy granules which are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.


A popular American dish is mashed potatoes and gravy. Gravy is also commonly eaten with pork, chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, meatloaf, American style biscuits, Yorkshire pudding, and stuffing. One Southern American variation is chocolate gravy eaten with American biscuits. In Australia, Canada and the UK, chips and gravy is seen as a popular dish. It is also common with traditional "Sunday Roast". Gravy is an integral part of the Canadian dish poutine. A Southern U.S. dish that has white gravy is chicken fried steak.
In British cuisine, the word gravy only refers to the meat based sauce derived from meat juices, stock cubes or gravy granules. Use of the word 'gravy' does not include other thickened sauces. One of the most popular forms is onion gravy which is eaten with Yorkshire Pudding and roast meat.
In many parts of Asia, particularly India, Malaysia and Singapore, the word "gravy" is used to refer to any thickened liquid part of a dish. For example, the liquid part of a thick curry may be referred to as gravy.

Cultural use

Gravy, and its perceived richness, have contributed to its use in several cultural contexts:
  • The idiom "gravy train", used to refer to any lucrative endeavor.
  • Also used as slang for extra benefits in the idiom "everything else is gravy."
  • Some descendants of Italian emigrants will call tomato sauce gravy.


See also

External links

gravy in Catalan: Gravy
gravy in German: Bratensauce
gravy in Spanish: Gravy
gravy in Hebrew: רוטב בשר
gravy in Dutch: Jus (saus)
gravy in Dutch Low Saxon: Stip
gravy in Japanese: グレイビーソース
gravy in Norwegian: Sjy
gravy in Swedish: Sky (matlagning)
gravy in Zeeuws: Jus
gravy in Chinese: 肉汁

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Colbert, Smitane, Soubise, Trinkgeld, allemande, bonus, bonus system, bounty, bourguignonne, bribe, brown sauce, buried treasure, consideration, cream sauce, discovery, donative, double time, egg sauce, espagnole, fee, find, finding, foundling, fringe benefit, gratuity, grease, honorarium, incentive pay, inducement, lagniappe, largess, liberality, marinara, mole, overtime pay, palm oil, paprika sauce, pepper sauce, perks, perquisite, perquisites, poulette, pourboire, premium, roux, salve, shallot sauce, solatium, something extra, sportula, sweetener, tip, treasure trove, trouvaille, trove, waifs, waifs and strays, windfall, windfall money, windfall profit
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