How to Make Meat Stocks and Gravy

by Annabel Warne November 27 2020

There really is nothing like homemade gravy made from a proper meat stock. And it’s not as difficult or time-consuming as you might imagine. Want to know how to make your own stocks and gravy? Read on!

Is anything more make or break for a roast dinner than gravy? We don’t think so! A rich, meaty gravy is what turns a good roast into a great one, making every mouthful a joy to eat. And yet, the art of making gravy seems to be a dying one. Many people never treat themselves to the real thing, taking the granules shortcut time and time again instead. If you’re looking for a zero-effort option, ditch the granules and packet mixes and opt for Potts’ readymade gravies. But if you’d like to experience the happiness that is proper homemade gravy, just follow our guide!

It starts with the stock

bone stock

A full-flavoured meat stock is your starting point for a flavour-filled gravy. It’s no wonder so many chefs call meat stocks “liquid gold” and consider knowing how to make them a vital cooking skill.

To make your stock, you can either buy free range lamb bones, venison stock bones or chicken marrow bones and carcasses, or use leftover bones and carcasses from roast dinners.

Chicken stock is an ideal base for turkey gravy for Christmas, whether you use leftovers from a roast or buy raw bones and carcasses. Don’t waste your turkey carcass after Christmas either! Adapt the recipe you used for your chicken stock to create a turkey stock for post-festive soups and meals. Remember, you can keep most stocks for up to a week in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer.

A Christmas ham bone makes an excellent stock for soup and sauces too, as do the bones from our roasted lamb leg joints, venison haunches, and beef rib joints

Meanwhile, the leftover carcasses from roasted game birds also make delicious stocks for gravies to serve with the next one you cook.

Making stocks from our raw bones

If you’d like to make a rich and tasty gravy from our raw lamb or venison stock bones, brown them in a hot oven before simmering in a pan with vegetables and herbs.


  • 2 kg lamb or venison stock bones
  • 3 onions (unpeeled and halved)
  • 1 head garlic (unpeeled and halved through the middle)
  • Large bouquet garni made with fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh parsley and bay
  • 2 leeks, halved
  • 2 carrots, halved
  • 1 stalk celery (including leaves), roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  2. Place the bones in a roasting tin with the onions and garlic and 1 cm of water then roast for around 45 minutes until brown.
  3. Transfer the roasted bones, onions and garlic to a large stockpot and fill with 4-5 litres (7-9 pints) of cold water. Cover and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the bouquet garni, leeks, carrots, celery, salt and peppercorns.
  5. Gently simmer, covered, for 4-6 hours, skimming off the froth that forms and topping up the water as required.
  6. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the ingredients.

Want to use our chicken bones or carcasses instead? Just go easier on the garlic and onions – 1 bulb and 2 onions will be plenty. Using leftover bones from your roast? You can use the same recipe, minus the roasting stage.

How to make gravy

Real gravy is made from the meat juices in the roasting tin, thickened into a roux, then mixed with homemade stock. No granules or gravy powders are required and it takes just 15 minutes!  


  • juices from the roasting tin
  • 30g/1oz plain flour
  • 570ml/1 pint homemade stock


  1. Remove your joint or roasted bird from the roasting tin, cover and set aside to rest.
  2. Pour the juices into a glass jug and allow to stand for a few minutes until the fat rises to the surface then skim this off and set aside.
  3. Heat the roasting tin over a low heat and add 2 tbsp of the reserved fat.
  4. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Gradually stir in the meat juices and the stock until you have a smooth gravy.
  6. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, whisking continuously.
  7. Once your desired consistency is reached, pour into a gravy jug and serve.

Gravy flavour ideas

Make your gravy even tastier with a few extra ingredients!

  • For Christmas turkey, chicken or game bird gravies, try adding 3 mashed cooked chestnuts to the pan while making your roux and 3 tbsp cranberry sauce while adding the stock.
  • For beef or wild venison gravies, replace 200ml of the stock with your favourite red wine for a rich Bourguignon style gravy.
  • For lamb or wild venison gravies, add some sweetness with 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly.

Tell us your gravy secrets!

Got any more tips or secrets for gravy you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them! Tag us in your posts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


Stock image by by Kadir Celep on Unsplash