Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
There are two basic types of meat gravy: thickened and unthickened. The unthickened gravy, in the case of red meats, is often referred to as "au jus". This is simply a cooked mixture of meat juices.
Thickened gravies are usually made starting with a roux (a mixture of fat and flour, corn starch, or arrowroot). The liquids from the cooked meat are added gradually, while continually stirring the mixture, to ensure that it mixes properly and the thickener doesn't clump. Alternatively, the thickening agent can be added to the meat juices which are then cooked, causing the gravy to thicken.
A popular American dish is mashed potatoes and gravy. Gravy is also commonly eaten with meat, American style biscuits, Yorkshire pudding, and stuffing. In the UK chips and gravy is seen as a popular northern dish.
Today, completely vegetable-based pseudo-gravies, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, are also made.
Some Italian Americans use the term "gravy" to refer to pasta sauce (usually tomato sauce). In many cases they do not use the word "sauce" at all when talking about what is typically referred to as "pasta sauce," using the term "gravy" exclusively.
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