Authentic black pepper gravy should be peppery hot on the tongue but shy of meaty flavour. It’s also the colour of bed sheets that need a generous dose of bleach and a good boil. Personally, I like gravy to be brown meat colour, not the colour of unbleached linen. Add bouillon and gravy browning until you get result you want. That’s cooking for you in a nutshell: follow a recipe and then change the result to suit your taste and visual preference.
No pretty photos of sauce for this post: try as I might, they all looked like peppered wallpaper paste. This one is a stock from flickr.
Black Pepper Gravy
4 tablespoon fat from frying meat, margarine, or butter
4 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour
500 ml (2 cups) milk
1 teaspoon concentrated meat stock bouillon *
4 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
Salt to taste
Heat the pan drippings (or marg/butter) in a pan over medium heat and stir in the flour and all of the pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until it forms a soft, smooth and lightly browned paste. Add the milk very gradually at first, stirring after each addition until absorbed into the paste, also called a roux. Continue adding the liquid a splash at a time, stirring until it comes to a boil. Taste, and if the sauce resembles the flavour of white school glue more than gravy, add the meat stock bouillon. Season with salt and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Makes about 2 cups.
* Liquid concentrate bouillon is the easiest to use