This classic peppered gravy recipe is the perfect sauce when you are craving a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal, just like grandma used to make.
I love this simple recipe because it is so easy to make, using only five simple ingredients that I suspect you already have on hand! So throw away those gravy packets because the flavor of this homemade gravy is so versatile you'll look for ways to use it on just about anything.
What is it?
Peppered gravy is a classic white gravy that uses a milk base to create a creamy texture, rather than a stock base like brown gravy. With an assertive peppercorn flavor, it is very similar to sawmill gravy, which is a sausage gravy seasoned with black pepper. The main difference is that peppered gravy doesn't include ground sausage, making it a great choice to slather over meats like pork chops.
You will occasionally hear it called black pepper gravy, or white pepper gravy. The only difference is whether you use black pepper or white pepper in the recipe. Similarly, this can be called a country gravy, which typically uses the same ingredients. However, I find peppered gravy is typically a little more assertive in its use of ground pepper.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butter - In true southern style, you can substitute bacon grease or meat drippings.
- All-purpose flour
- Milk - Whole milk and 2% milk would be my top choices, but you can use any type of milk.
- Salt - I recommend table salt.
- Ground pepper - Since ground pepper is the primary flavor in this gravy I strongly recommend using fresh ground pepper. This recipe works with black pepper or white pepper. White pepper will give it a creamy white look, while black pepper will showcase black speckles throughout the gravy.
Customize this recipe by adding fresh herbs and seasonings for extra flavor. Fresh thyme or a bay leaf would each be a perfect addition, or add some crushed red pepper flakes to craft a flavorful gravy with a kick.
How to make it
Make this peppered gravy recipe by first creating a roux by melting your butter in a saucepan or large skillet over medium-low heat (you can use medium heat, you just have to watch it more closely so the flour doesn't burn), then whisk flour into the melted butter. Let it cook for a couple of minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste.
Add the milk to your roux a little at a time to ensure it blends smoothly. You will want to whisk continuously while adding the milk to ensure lumps don't form. Once all of the milk has been added the salt and pepper can be added to the gravy as well.
Simmer the gravy for a few minutes. It will thicken as it simmers. Once it has reached your desired consistency it can be served immediately in a gravy boat or small bowl.
Homemade Gravy FAQs
The secret to making lump-free creamy gravy is to add your liquid into the roux a little at a time while whisking. It is important to ensure you have completely incorporated the milk into the flour and butter mixture before adding more. If too much liquid is added it doesn't incorporate well and lumps form.
If you weren't able to prevent lumps from forming in your gravy, don't fret. All you need to do is grab your strainer and pour the gravy through it. The lumps will be separated out.
Yes, you can freeze this gravy for up to three months in a freezer-safe airtight container.
Gravy is most easily reheated in your microwave. Place it in a microwave-safe bowl and reheat for 45 seconds at a time, then stir. Repeat until it is heated through. When reheating, you often need to add a little more liquid to it because it tends to thicken up in the refrigerator.
Gravy gets too thick if it is simmered too long, or if it sits out too long. Thinning it back out is easy. Just dribble a small amount of milk into it and stir it in.
If your gravy is too thin it means you did not simmer it long enough. Put it back on the stovetop and simmer until it thickens to your desired consistency.
More Delicious Gravy Recipes
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Peppered gravy recipe
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat and sprinkle in flour. Whisk to form a roux. Continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture slightly darkens in color.
- Drizzle a little milk into the flour mixture while continuing to whisk to ensure it incorporates smoothly. Repeat until all of the liquid has been added and stirred into the sauce.
- Bring the gravy to a gentle simmer, while frequently stirring to prevent the bottom of the pan from scorching. Add salt and pepper.
- Simmer for 5 minutes, or until thickened to your liking. Then serve immediately.