Make-ahead gravy

Prepare this traditional accompaniment to roast dinner before the main event – use off-cuts and plenty of onion to add flavour and colour

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 10 mins
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 166
  • fat 6g
  • saturates 1g
  • carbs 15g
  • sugars 7g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 11g
  • salt 0.5g


  • 1kg chicken wings, halved with kitchen scissors
  • the turkey neck, if you have it, cut into pieces
  • 3 large carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 2 onions, unpeeled and chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • small handful thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 vegetable stock cube


  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the chicken wings into a roomy roasting tin with the turkey neck (if using), carrots, onions, celery and thyme. Scatter over the sugar, toss in the oil and roast for 50 mins until brown and lightly charred.

  2. Get the kettle on. Put the roasting tin on a low heat, stir in the tomato purée and flour, and cook until sticky. Splash in the balsamic vinegar, then pour over 1.5 litres water to just cover all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Crumble in the stock cube and use a potato masher to mash all the ingredients together to release the flavour.

  3. Simmer everything for 20 mins until you have a tasty thickened gravy, then strain it through a sieve, pushing down hard on all the mushy veg. Cool and chill for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

  4. Heat the gravy to serve, adding roasting juices from your turkey, if you like.

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