Guinness gravy is a rich, flavorful, homemade brown gravy that comes together in minutes. Featuring Guinness, this easy gravy is a great addition to your St. Patrick’s Day celebration. No pan juices required.
Easy Homemade Brown Gravy
This easy homemade Guinness gravy recipe is the shining star in my recipe for bangers and mash with Guinness gravy. It’s the best Guinness gravy (I know, bold claim) and it makes a great accompaniment for a variety of roast meats and vegetables.
While gravy can sometimes get a bad rap for being difficult, with complaints of lumpy or gelatinous results that leave people opting for a gravy free meal, I’ve never had those issues with this easy from scratch recipe.
Below I’ve shared all my tips for getting great results the first time and my tricks for fixing gravy that may have less than desirable results.
What You’ll Need
The most basic of gravy recipes are comprised of the roux (fat and flour) and stock. This one swaps out part of the stock for Guinness and adds a handful of seasonings and spices to create its unique flavor. If you are a from scratch cook, you’ll probably find most of them in your pantry.
- Salted butter – The fat that cooks the flour. Unsalted works too, use what you have on hand.
- All purpose flour – Thickens the gravy.
- Beef stock or beef broth – I recommend low sodium. Can also sub with Better Than Bouillon and water.
- Guinness Draught or Guinness Stout – Provides most of the flavor. Guinness draught is creamier while Guinness stout is crisper, but either will work in this recipe.
- Worcestershire sauce – Brings a bit of umami and depth to the gravy.
- English style yellow mustard – Adds a brightness, tanginess, and spice.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Kosher Salt
Recommended Kitchen Tools
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How to Make: Guinness Gravy
Making gravy is so easy, but it often gets complicated when people think it must have pan juices in order to taste good. It doesn’t. Sure you can add them for a flavor boost, but you can make a very good weeknight gravy without them.
- In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat then whisk in flour to create the roux. Cook for about 1 – 2 minutes until the flour starts to brown.
- Slowly add the Guinness and beef stock, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. You can do this in a slow steady drizzle or by adding 1/4 cup at a time, completely incorporating it before adding more. Add mustard, worcestershire, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder and whisk to incorporate completely.
- Bring to a boil, then drop heat to medium low, whisking occasionally. Gravy will thicken, but it’s doesn’t need to reduce. Taste and add more salt and pepper (optional) if desired. Drop the heat to low, cover with lid and keep warm until ready to serve. If it forms a skin on top while it sits, whisk it back in before serving.
Kitchen Skill: Making a Roux
The foundation of a delicious gravy in my “gluten welcome, butter encouraged, wheat allergy free, omnivore kitchen” is a butter and all purpose flour based roux. This roux is the thickening agent for our gravy, but is also the foundation for Veloute, Espagnole, and Bechamel, three of the five French Mother sauces.
There are four different kinds of roux: white, blonde, brown, and dark brown. These designations are based upon how long you cook it before moving onto the next step of adding the liquid. White is not cooked, blonde is cooked until it just starts to brown, brown and dark brown are both cooked longer to darken the color. White and blonde are the most common types, with blonde being the one used in this gravy.
To make a roux add together equal parts fat and flour. My standard ratio for weeknight gravy is 2 tablespoons of butter to 2 tablespoons of flour to 1 cup (8 ounces) of liquid. This ration makes a thick gravy that doesn’t need to be reduced.
How to fix an imperfect gravy
The most common gravy problems are lumps, gravy that is too thick, and gravy that is too thin. All of these can easily be solved with a little bit of kitchen know how.
- Preventing lumpy gravy – Use a whisk instead of a spoon to incorporate the liquid into the roux. The wires do a better job of breaking up the roux than a spoon.
- Fixing lumpy gravy – Grab a fine mesh sieve and strain the gravy. Use a spatula or a spoon to push the lumps through the sieve, then incorporate them into the gravy.
- Fixing thick gravy – Add more of stock or other liquid of choice. (If your gravy is too salty and too thick, add water to dilute the salt and thin the gravy at the same time.)
- Slowly fixing thin gravy – If you have the time, simply simmer it over a low flame stirring occasionally until it reduces and thickens.
- Quickly fixing thin gravy – If everything except the gravy is ready to be served grab a thickener an add it a little bit at a time. Using regular flour at this point will likely result in lumps try one of these instead.
- Wondra Flour – It’s a very finely milled flour that will melt into the gravy lump free. Shake in a little at a time until your gravy is just right.
- Cornstarch slurry – Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 3 tablespoon of water to create a slurry. Add this one teaspoon at a time, boiling it between additions to activate the cornstarch and let it thicken.
Gravy Recipe Variations
The best part about cooking at home is learning a base recipe and making all the swaps and substitutes to make it your own. Here are some variations you can make that won’t break the recipe.
- Swap the beer – Don’t have Guinness or don’t like it? Swap it for another Irish stout beer or dark beer of your choice. I wouldn’t go for a lager or pilsner here, as they won’t provide enough flavor once cooked.
- Avoiding alcohol? – You can remove the alcohol component by using an alcohol free beer (I like Athletic Stout) or swapping the beer for an equal part beef stock.
- Sub out the stock – While beef is my go to for Guinness Gravy, this recipe works with most any kind of stock: vegetable, seafood, chicken, or pork work too.
- Trade the worcestershire – Grab something that will provide that umami flavor, a touch of miso paste and soy sauce are a tasty option.
- Spice it up – Add more spices to the mix. Spices like cumin, garam masala, or chili powder can add new flavors to your gravy, or try adding dried herbs like oregano, rosemary, or thyme.
- Pan juices – If you have pan juices or even the liquid that accumulates on the plate while resting the meat, you can totally incorporate those too. Use them to replace part of the stock or to thin and/or season the gravy once it’s made.
This Guinness gravy is a delicious addition to any roast dinner. It tastes great with beef, pork, chicken, and turkey, or you can serve it with sausages and mashed potatoes like in my bangers and mash recipe.
A recommended serving of gravy is about 1/3 cup, but gravy lovers will tell you it’s closer to 1/2 cup or more. As written this recipe makes about 1 cup of gravy, which is about 2 – 3 servings. If you are serving a larger crowd, or simply want leftovers, you can double or triple this recipe.
How to Store and Reheat Brown Gravy
Guinness gravy, like most homemade brown gravy, can be refrigerated for 3 – 5 days in an airtight container. Preheat it in the microwave or stovetop, whisking occasionally to ensure it heats evenly and remove any lumps that may have formed.
If needed, you can freeze this gravy in a freezer safe container for up to six months.
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- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup low sodium beef stock
- 1/2 cup Guinness draught
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon English style yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat then whisk in flour. Allow it to cook for about 1 - 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Butter will foam up and subside, and the flour will start to brown.
- Slowly whisk in Guinness and beef stock. Add mustard, worcestershire, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Once the gravy thickens, drop the heat to low, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 418mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information based on a 1/3 cup serving, with 3 total servings in the recipe. Nutrition information isn't always 100% accurate.