Have you ever wondered what to do with the scrapings left on the surface of the pan after searing a steak or roasting chicken? I used to be in the same situation, facing the dilemma of wasting the leftover meat juices or crusts and not knowing how to be productive. However, this uncertainty ended once I learned about the wonders that one could do and potions that one could craft with the meat drippings. Many people often discard them as waste and never know the art of finishing with a delicious sauce for dipping the meat. But believe me (or better, Frost), taking the less-traveled road here makes all the difference
What Are These Drippings?
Meat drippings are the liquids, solids, or semi-solids that are left behind after you have finished cooking your meat. As you take out your steak or bacon, you may notice some crusty brown bits stuck to the surface of the pan. These are molten fats and juices, sometimes passionately called ‘fond,’ that often contain the seasonings and herbs that you used for flavour while cooking
Why the Drippings?
‘Why the leftover juices when you could just buy a sauce from the market?’ you ask
There are a whole plethora of reasons that convinced me (and hopefully you) to stick with the drippings for my sauce. It is economical, quick, and tasty. You do not have to waste any extra money on buying sauce when you have the perfect ingredients at home. Most often, the sauces available in supermarkets also constitute the same meat drippings
It only requires a few minutes, and you do not have to start afresh or dirty other clean dishes. You can simply add more ingredients to the already-hot pan and finish off the meat cooking experience with a perfect sauce that you can dip it in before munching
Another major perk is that meat drippings usually contain lots of monounsaturated fats that are delicious and good for the immune system. This ideal combination makes for a mouthwatering as well as nutritious gravy
How Do I Make the Sauce?
Now you are familiar with the benefits, but how exactly will you make this sauce?
The good news is that there is room for great flexibility here. Depending on your disposition, you can add, or experiment with, a range of ingredients. You can use flour, butter, or cream for thickening and wine, vegetables, or fruit juice for flavour. Here I am sharing some methods that I use to make gravy from drippings of each meat
Beef drippings are the most well-known ones when it comes to making sauces. They taste heavenly when used with steaks like ribeye or sirloin. Once you have completed cooking the steaks, deglaze the pan by adding a cup of chilly water or wine. It dissolves the bits stuck to the bottom and makes a manageable fluid. Next, add a blending ingredient like two tablespoons of mustard to help the thickening agent mix well with water or wine.
For the thickening agent, dissolve three tablespoons of cornflour in some water and pour it slowly into the pan while stirring. Alternatively, you can also use some olive oil or a chunk of butter for thickening. Make sure you whisk it, so the thickened liquid has the right consistency
Once you have the mixture in the pan ready, you can add herbs and vegetables like grilled onions and garlic, as per your taste. Let the sauce cook on slow heat for about ten minutes, then serve hot with steak!
Chicken gravy prepared from the drippings of the roast will leave you yearning for more. As you let the roast rest for a couple of minutes after taking it off the heat, you can efficiently brew this magic potion.
To ensure that drippings are only caramelized and not burnt, pour a cup of water or broth, and wait for them to rise to the surface. You can easily scrape the stuck ones with a rubber spatula. Store your liquid in a jar while you prepare a thick mixture. For the mixture, add the dissolved flour or butter as you did with beef dripping and let it simmer. Then add some of the liquid from the jar. Using healthy vegetables would also be an excellent idea for chicken gravy. When it is ready, you can pour it over the turkey, rice, or even the salad
If you have some drippings in the pan after cooking smoked bacon or loin, making your own gravy would be the perfect way of utilizing them. The primary method of preparing sauce is the same as described for beef; add thickening agents and emulsifiers like mustard or honey accordingly. You can also include apple cider vinegar and red wine for a luxurious and tasty sauce
A common cause of concern is the presence of lumps in pork drippings. Do not worry if you see lumps because you can easily dissolve them with a wire whisk. Moreover, if the pork drippings left in the pan are too few, increase the quantity of chilly water or wine while making the broth
Serving the Sauce
Whether it is the Thanksgiving dinner or barbecue night, your family and friends would love this sauce. You can serve it in several enticing ways, but the trick is to do it while still hot. It is vital because saturated and unsaturated fats that are the main constituent of the sauce begin to solidify at cold temperatures. To prevent your sauce from thickening too much or become chewy, devour it while still hot
The most renowned way of serving it is by pouring it over the meat in a free flow. It will spread out over time, so this technique is quite fun. Besides, you can also pour all of it into a pot so people can directly dip the meat in this delicious, savory sauce
Using meat drippings to make your sauce is super convenient and inexpensive. Follow the methods listed above for a yummy sauce that perfectly blends with your meat and bursts in streams of flavour as you taste it. Remember that you have the flexibility of experimenting with new spices and herbs, so have fun while you are at it!