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Overhead view of a plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy.

All-Purpose Homemade Brown Gravy

All-purpose homemade brown gravy, made without pan drippings. All the flavor is from beef broth and a combination of spices. You won't believe there are no pan drippings.
Course Condiment, Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword all-purpose gravy, homemade brown gravy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Calories 145kcal
Author Joe


  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup celery, finely minced about an 8 inch stalk
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups beef broth, no salt or low-sodium like Swanson's
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp coarse ground Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper


  • Melt butter in a large skillet on low to medium-low temperature. Add the onion and celery and cook to soften 4 minutes.
  • Add the flour and use a whisk to mix with the butter. Let cook for two minutes while occasionally stirring.
  • Increase the temperature of your stove to medium and pour in about 1 cup of the beef broth while whisking. The flour will get pasty. Then pour in another cup and aggressively whisk back and forth to remove any lumps. Then add the remaining broth. The gravy should be smooth.
  • Add the rosemary, bay leaves, and thyme and stir in, (see notes). Reduce the heat to low and softly boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the gravy and add salt and pepper as desired.
  • Remove the herbs. Add the vinegar and grainy mustard. Serve hot over potatoes, rice or meats.


  1. I used no salt added broth and added about 1 teaspoon to the gravy. Also about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.
  2. You could make a sachet out of cheese cloth for the herbs. My newly planted rosemary and thyme broke apart and were hard to remove. If you have that problem, the gravy could be pressed through a strainer.
  3. Try this recipe using chicken or vegetable broth. 
  4. Store leftovers refrigerated and add a bit more broth to thin.


Calories: 145kcal