How to make gravy with giblets

Nigella Lawson shares some of her favourite Christmas recipes

Merry Christmas! Christmas Day has arrived, and many of us will be sitting down today to tuck into a traditional Christmas dinner. Undoubtedly, a big jug of gravy will be gracing Christmas dinner tables up and down the country, so read on to find out how to make gravy with giblets.

Christmas dinner wouldn’t be a proper Christmas dinner without gravy.

While many of us make do with powdered or granulated gravy on normal days, Christmas is special and a roast turkey deserves a special turkey gravy.

When you buy a turkey in a shop, the turkey giblets may be packaged up inside the body cavity of the roasting joint.

Giblets are items such as the heart, gizzards and livers of the turkey.

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Some turkey roasting joints may also come with the turkey neck or kidneys too.

While giblets can add depth and flavour to turkey gravy, in the Telegraph Christmas dinner guide it states to avoid using the turkey liver for this purpose.

The Telegraph Christmas dinner guide states: “To make the stock for your gravy, cook the turkey giblets in water and add some chicken stock and/or vegetable cooking water to taste.

“Remember to take the liver out of the giblets before you make the stock.

“The liver will make the gravy taste bitter and weirdly metallic – but works well chopped up with breadcrumbs and chestnuts for the turkey stuffing.”

The BBC Good Food recipe for turkey gravy is as follows:


  • turkey giblets
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • pan juices from the roast turkey
  • 25g/1oz plain flour
  • salt and pepper

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1. Place the giblets in a saucepan and cover with 2 pints of water.

Add the bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and onion. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum.

Reduce the heat and then simmer for 45 minutes.

2. Strain the stock and measure 750ml /1 1/4 pints. Set aside.

3. Strain off the fat from the roasting tin leaving only the turkey juices.

Add the flour and blend with the juices over a gentle heat until it turns golden brown and it has a smooth texture.

4. Remove from the pan and pour in the hot stock.

Scrape the base of the pan with a spatula to mix in all the meaty sediment.

5. Return to the heat and boil for 3-4 minutes stirring all the time to remove any lumps and until the gravy thickens. Season to taste and serve.

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