Sous vide cooking produces some of the most flavorful meat juices and drippings that are perfect for making rich, delicious gravy. The gentle cooking process extracts all the natural flavors from the meat while retaining nutrients and moisture. This results in concentrated sauces and stocks that have an incredible depth of seasoning.
Using sous vide drippings as the base for gravy is highly recommended for home cooks looking to maximize flavor. The drippings contain the pure essence of the meat, without any burnt bits from high heat cooking methods like grilling or roasting. This makes an ideal ingredient for building gravy that has a silky texture and robust, meaty taste.
Some key benefits of using sous vide drippings for gravy:
- Intensified meaty and savory flavors from the drippings.
- Naturally thickened texture from the gelatin released during sous vide.
- Clean, pure broth without charred sediment from high heat.
- Versatile ingredient that allows endless seasoning possibilities.
- Easy way to get restaurant-quality gravy at home.
Overall, the flavorful drippings produced by sous vide are perfect for making phenomenal gravy with minimal effort. Utilizing these natural juices elevates everyday gravy to new heights!
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How to Collect and Store Sous Vide Drippings?
Before you can transform sous vide drippings into gravy, you first need to properly collect and store the valuable juices. Here are some tips:
- Place sous vide bags in a bowl or pan when removing meat to catch all drippings.
- Pour drippings into a fat separator to divide the fat from the liquid.
- Transfer clarified drippings to a storage container, cool, and refrigerate up to 5 days.
- Alternatively, freeze drippings in ice cube trays or muffin tins for longer storage.
- Scrape off and reserve any fond (browned bits) from the sous vide bags.
- Combine drippings from different meats like beef, pork, or chicken for more complexity.
- Avoid adding vegetables, herbs or marinades to bags, which can make cloudy drippings.
- Skim excess fat after chilling to get clear, concentrated drippings.
Proper cooling and storing allows you to save these flavorful sauces to make quick gravies anytime.
How to Make Gravy from Sous Vide Drippings?
Sous vide drippings pack an intense meaty punch, so you only need a few tablespoons to create a hearty gravy. Here is a basic recipe to get you started:
1. Basic Recipe for Sous Vide Gravy
- 3-4 tbsp sous vide drippings
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat drippings in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in butter until melted.
- Add flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly.
- While whisking, slowly pour in warm milk. Bring to a simmer.
- Continue cooking 5-10 minutes until gravy thickens.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add more milk to adjust consistency.
- Pour gravy over meat, or serve on the side.
This easy recipe produces a rich, savory gravy with the concentrated flavor of sous vide drippings. For a smoother texture, strain the gravy after simmering.
2. Variations of Sous Vide Gravy Recipes
To make the gravy your own, try these tasty variations:
- Add minced garlic and onions when cooking the flour for an aromatic base.
- Whisk in cream or cream cheese instead of milk for extra richness.
- Simmer mushrooms in the drippings first, then make gravy.
- Deglaze pan with wine or stock after searing meat, and use liquids for gravy.
- Mix cornstarch with cold water; use slurry to thicken instead of flour.
- Finish with fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary, or sage.
- Stir in spices like paprika, cayenne, nutmeg, or smoked paprika.
- Swap out milk for broth or stock for a meatier taste.
Endlessly customize your gravy to match the flavors of your meat or personal tastes. Sous vide drippings make the process easy and delicious!
Can You Use All Types of Sous Vide Drippings for Gravy?
While most sous vide juices work beautifully for gravy, there are a few considerations depending on the type of meat:
Beef – Produces rich, beefy drippings perfect for gravy. Cook roasts like prime rib or tenderloin beyond medium rare to extract more gelatin.
Pork – Creates flavorful, mildly fatty drippings. Avoid using marinades or acidic rubs that make cloudy drippings.
Chicken – Makes light, savory drippings well-suited for gravy. Supplement with extra chicken stock.
Fish – Not recommended, as fish drippings are too thin. opt for a cream or wine based sauce instead.
Lamb – Imparts delicious, gamey notes to gravy. Strain well to remove excess fat.
Duck – Excellent for gravy with its naturally fatty drippings. Skim fat before using.
The key is using an appropriate level of drippings based on the meat. A good rule of thumb is 2-3 tablespoons per cup of liquid for average gravy thickness. Always cook at least to medium doneness for the best results.
What Are the Benefits of Using Sous Vide Drippings in Gravy?
Drippings produced from sous vide contain all the great flavors and nutrients of the meat, making them a prime ingredient for gravy. Here are the main benefits:
- Intensified savory flavors – Sous vide concentrates and infuses the natural meaty taste into the drippings. This adds incredible depth and savoriness to gravy.
- Improved texture – Gelatin released from collagen in meat thickens gravy for a rich, velvety mouthfeel.
- Added body – The viscosity of sous vide drippings helps gravy coat foods better without being gluey.
- Cleaner flavor – No charred bits muddying the pure flavor of the meat like in oven or grill drippings.
- Versatility – Most meats produce high quality drippings to use in either meat or vegetable gravies.
- Simplicity – Just a few ingredients needed beyond the ready-made drippings.
- Eye appeal – Gravy has a darker, richer color from concentrated drippings.
For home cooks, sous vide drippings check all the boxes for fast, gourmet gravy making. Harness their potential today!
What Are Some Common Mistakes When Making Gravy from Sous Vide Drippings?
While sous vide drippings make gravy-making easy, there are a few mistakes to avoid:
- Adding too much fat to the gravy, resulting in a greasy or gritty texture. Be sure to separate and skim fat from drippings.
- Not cooking roasts long enough to release gelatin, reducing gravy thickness. Cook roasts to at least medium doneness.
- Using acidic marinades or spice rubs that produce cloudy drippings and off flavors. Drippings should be pure.
- Letting fond from the sous vide bag burn in the pan when making a roux. Cook gently to preserve meaty flavors.
- Over-reducing or over-simmering, causing drippings to lose structural integrity. Use a delicate hand.
- Thin, watery gravy from over-dilution with stock or milk. Add liquids gradually until desired consistency.
- Lackluster flavor from not seasoning properly with salt, pepper and herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Adding cold milk or cream that cools down the gravy and prevents thickening. Liquids should be warm.
With sous vide drippings, little effort is needed for great gravy. Avoid these pitfalls, and you will have rich, meaty gravy in no time!
Pairing Suggestions: What Foods Go Well with Sous Vide Gravy?
Gravy made with sous vide drippings has a versatility that pairs excellently with:
- Roast beef – For traditional Sunday dinners, match with a prime rib roast and roasted vegetables.
- Chicken fried steak – Smother chicken fried steak or pork chops in creamy pepper gravy.
- Mashed potatoes – Heaping spoonfuls of mashed potatoes need a pool of gravy for dipping.
- Biscuits and gravy – Flaky, buttery biscuits beg for sausage gravy made with sous vide drippings.
- Turkey – Giblet gravy enriched with turkey drippings is ideal for holiday meals.
- Pot pie – Use drippings-based gravy as the base for chicken or beef pot pies.
- Casseroles – Braise meats first, then utilize the drippings in the creamy gravy in dishes like turkey tetrazzini.
- Pasta – Toss pappardelle or rigatoni with a meaty mushroom gravy.
With the right pairing, gravy made with sous vide drippings elevates everything from down-home to gourmet dishes. Drizzle it over meat, vegetables, breads, pasta or grains for next-level flavor.
In summary, sous vide drippings provide an easy starting point for phenomenal homemade gravy. Collect drippings properly, use quality meats cooked well-done, avoid common mistakes, and savor the results on your favorite foods. With this versatile ingredient and basic techniques, you can become a gravy master!