Seriously, for me a good gravy is what makes a roast dinner. Forget thin and watery Jus or buttery demi-glace, it’s thick deliciously flavoured gravy we want. Growing up I was so spoilt by my  Mama who made the most incredible gravy; gravy so good you could drink it out of a mug like Bovril. It didn’t matter what we were eating the gravy was spectacular and made to the same formula. Meat Juices, a little stock, usually homemade, but in its absence an oxo cube and of course good old vegetable water. The vegetable water was always up for debate as it is now in our home. Which is best? for what it is worth I think different vegetable water suits different gravy, although I am always open to suggestions so feel free to jump in  in the comments section:

  • Beef: Cabbage Water
  • Lamb: Chard or Spring Greens Water
  • Chicken: Pea Water
  • Pork: Cabbage Water

Then then aside from the meat juices? Oxo cube? Gravy browning? Wine? well usually except this time we have been lucky enough to be sent some fabulous stocks and gravy from the award-winning Essential Cuisine We’ve tried the chicken, veal, beef and some gravy all of which is sublime. Our restaurant La Petite Bouchée currently resident in a very popular pub in Forest Hill use the beef stock powder for the Beef Carbonnade as well as their very delicious French Onion Soup.

Here’s our recipe for the best beef gravy ever… whisks at the ready ?


  • Meat juices
  • 2 heaped tsp of essential cuisine beef stock
  • 500ml of cabbage water
  • 3 tsp of cornflour mixed with water.
  • A sprig of thyme
  • A dash of red wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Place the meat juices in a saucepan and add the beef stock powder. mix together into a paste and then add the water. Whisk until completely combined. Bring to a gentle simmer and carefully stir in the cornflour and water mixture until thickened just the way you like it. Check for seasoning and then liberally pour over your roast beef.