Take your Christmas dinner to the next level with this Christmas gravy! Rich, smooth & meaty, this one’s also super easy to make.

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christmas gravy

You can’t have Christmas dinner without a proper gravy!

Our Christmas gravy contains a whole load of festive flavours, from roasted turkey to port & cranberry. It’s rich, smooth & meaty and is the perfect accompaniment to a classic Christmas dinner. It’s also super easy to make. Here’s how…

If you’re after more festive recipes to make this Christmas, take a look at out Christmas section. There’s a wide range of recipes, from starters like brie & cranberry stuffed dough balls to classic side dishes, main courses & desserts!

What You’ll Need

To make 1 litre of homemade gravy…

  • Turkey/Chicken Bones (1kg)
    Ask your butcher for a kilo of turkey or chicken bones. Or use a combination of both.
  • White Onions (4)
    Make sure to use large white onions. Don’t worry about peeling them!
  • Carrots (8)
    Use large carrots here. Like the onions, these also don’t need peeling.
  • Celery (A Whole Head)
    Give the celery a wash under cold water before using then roughly chop.
  • Goose Fat (2 tbsp)
    Used to roast the veg & bones for extra flavour. Feel free to use veg oil instead.
  • Port (200ml)
    The flavour of port is perfect for our Christmas gravy. Red wine can also be used instead.
  • Tomato Paste (1 tbsp)
    Used with the port to deglaze the tin of roasted veg & bones.
  • Fresh Herbs
    To flavour the gravy, we’re using thyme, rosemary & bay leaves.
  • Black Peppercorns
    Adding black peppercorns to our stock adds another layer flavour.
  • Cornflour (3 tbsp)
    Used to thicken our gravy. To use it needs to be mixed with cold water first, to make a slurry.
  • Butter
    Whisking in a small amount of butter at the very end gives our gravy a glossy finish.
  • Cranberry Sauce (1 tbsp)
    This adds a touch of sweetness to our gravy.
  • Balsamic Vinegar (½ tbsp)
    Half a tablespoon of vinegar helps bring out the flavours from the meaty stock.
  • Gravy Browning
    Adding this is optional but gives the gravy a dark, rich colour. You’ll only need to use a tiny amount.
christmas gravy

How To Make Christmas Gravy

The full, printable recipe card for this gravy can be found at the bottom of this post!

Step 1 – Roast Veg & Bones

Start by preheating an oven to 220°c/200°c fan (428°f/392°f).

Roughly chop the onions, carrots & celery & place into a large roasting tin along with the turkey/chicken bones. Add in the goose fat then cook in the preheated oven until well roasted, stirring occasionally. It’s important to get plenty of colour on the bones & veg, as this is what flavours our gravy! This will take around an hour.

roasted veg & bones

Step 2 – Deglaze Tray & Add In Stock

Turn your oven down to 150°c/130°c fan (302°f/266°f.

Next, place the roasting tin on the stove, over a medium heat, stir in the tomato paste then deglaze the tin with the port. Reduce slightly then add in chicken stock cubes, water, black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme & bay leaves.

Step 3 – Cooking The Stock

Place the roasting tin back into the oven & cook for 2½-3 hours, adding more water every hour, or whenever the stock needs topping up.

Once cooked, pass the stock into a large saucepan, through a sieve then place over a low heat. Use a spoon or ladle to skim as much fat off the top as possible.

Step 4 – Thickening The Gravy

Turn the heat up to medium-high then bring the stock to the boil. In the meantime, make a slurry with cornflour & cold water.

When the stock is boiling, whisk in enough of the cornflour to thicken the gravy then cook out for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly. Whisk in the butter, cranberry sauce & balsamic vinegar then season the gravy with salt & pepper. For a rich, dark colour, you can also add in a small amount of gravy browning at this point as well.

Pass through a sieve again then the gravy is ready to serve!

finished gravy

How To Reheat Gravy

To reheat, place the gravy into a saucepan, along with a splash of water. Place the pan over a medium heat & cook until the gravy is piping hot, whisking regularly to remove any lumps.

Cooking Gravy In An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas.

To cook our Christmas gravy in an Aga, roast the bones in the centre of the roasting oven then cook the stock on the bottom set of runners, in the baking oven, with a cold plain shelf placed two sets of runners above. Thicken the gravy on the boiling plate.

Equipment Used

Please note that these are affiliate links & I may make a small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. For more information, click here.

More Christmas Recipes To Try!

If you have enjoyed this Christmas gravy recipe, it would mean a lot if you could leave a review & rating!

Christmas Gravy

Take your Christmas dinner to the next level with this Christmas gravy! Rich, smooth & meaty, this one's also super easy to make.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: English
Servings: 1 Litre
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Large Roasting Tin
  • Sieve
  • Large Saucepan

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Turkey/Chicken Bones See Notes
  • 4 Large White Onions
  • 8 Carrots
  • 1 Head Celery
  • 2 tbsp Goose Fat Or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 200 ml Port Or Red Wine
  • 3 Chicken Stock Cubes
  • 8 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 8 Sprigs Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • ¼ tsp Black Peppercorns

To Finish

  • 3 tbsp Cornflour
  • 20 g Butter
  • 1 tbsp Cranberry Sauce
  • ½ tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Gravy Browning

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 220°c/200°c fan (428°f/392°f).
  • Roughly chop the celery, onion & carrots (no need to peel) & place into a large roasting tin.
  • Add the turkey/chicken bones to the roasting tray & add in the goose fat. Toss to coat then roast in the oven for an hour or until well roasted, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
  • Transfer the roasting tray to a stove set to a medium heat & turn the oven down to 150°c/130°c fan (302°f/266°f).
  • Deglaze the tray with the tomato paste & port & allow to reduce slightly.
    Pour in enough cold water to completely cover the bones & veg then crumble in the stock cubes & add in the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves & peppercorns.
  • Place the tray back into the oven & leave to cook for 2½-3 hours, topping up with water every hour.
  • Once cooked, pass the stock into a large saucepan through a sieve then place over a low heat & skim any fat from the top with a spoon/ladle.

Finishing

  • Once skimmed, increase the heat to medium-high & bring the stock to the boil.
  • In the meantime, combine the cornflour with 4 tbsp of cold water, to make a slurry.
  • Once boiling, gradually whisk the cornflour into the stock until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (you might not need all of the cornflour).
  • Cook out over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly then whisk in the butter, cranberry sauce & balsamic vinegar. If you'd like to give your gravy a dark, richer colour, whisk in a small amount of gravy browning as well.
  • Season the gravy with sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper then pass into a jug, through a sieve.
  • Serve immediately or leave to cool then store in the fridge. Kept, refrigerated, this will last for a couple of days.

To Reheat

  • Place the chilled gravy (it will have solidified) into a saucepan & add in a splash of hot water.
  • Warm up over a medium heat, whisking to remove any lumps then serve once piping hot. If the gravy is a little thick, add in some more hot water.

Notes

1. Cooking In An Aga – Roast the bones & veg in the centre of the roasting oven. Deglaze the tray on the boiling plate then cook the stock on the bottom set of runners in the baking, with a cold plain shelf placed 2 sets of runners above. When finishing the gravy, cook on the boiling plate.
2. Turkey Bones – Ask your butcher for a kilo of turkey or chicken bones. Or use a combination of both.
3. Roasting The Bones – Make sure to get a good amount of colour on the bones & veg when roasting them. This is where the gravy’s flavour comes from!
4. Port – If you haven’t got any port, use red wine. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one!
5. Skimming – Before thickening the gravy, skim as much fat off the top as possible.

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