• Your protein and gravy guide (and where they work best on your menu)

Your protein and gravy guide (and where they work best on your menu)

Have you ever spent hours perfecting a dish for your menu and found yourself stumped on the gravy? After all, what's a juicy cut of medium-rare rib-eye without an excellent sauce to go with it? Delicious sauces and gravies have come to be standard in Aussie pubs and clubs, but they take time to perfect.

Let’s face it; you’re not always going to have the liberty of time to make a gravy from scratch. To put it into perspective; you’re preparing for service on Friday night and there's a big game on, so you're expecting to reach capacity. Though your staff are competent to handle pressure, there's simply not enough time in the day to boil down 10 kilograms of celery, carrot and chicken carcasses until it reaches a thick consistency, with optimal seasoning. Even if you did have the time, what would happen if all your effort didn't result in the vibrant and wholesome flavour you were after?

We spoke to Operations Manager Harrison Glasgow from White Rhino on the Gold Coast about the types of gravy on the market for chefs and the main differences between each kind.

With Harrison’s help, we’ve put together four types of meat and a list of gravies that go with each, to help amplify the flavours of your meals and keep your customers coming back time and time again.

Gravy for chicken

Gravy being poured over the chicken

There are many ways to make tasty chicken gravy, but the best ones usually boil down to the lengths that are taken to reduce the stock. Don't have the time? Superior's range of gravy products enables you to perfect a delicious gravy, regardless of amount time.

Gravy from roast chicken:

If you’re roasting a whole chook or spatchcock, take the chicken off to rest once it’s golden brown and put the pan over a gas stove on low heat. Depending on the size of the pan’s base, add a reasonable amount of boiling water (around two cups) and let it sit until it’s reached a low simmer. Slowly pour in a roux made of water Gravox’s chicken gravy and mix as you go. You’ll start to see the gravy thicken as the heat increases. Once it’s reached optimal consistency, you can taste and add the chicken liquid concentrate for extra flavour if needed.

Chicken schnitzel:

"The chicken schnitzel, chips and gravy trio has to be one of the most popular picks on our menu at White Rhino," Harrison tells. “But without pan drippings to help create your own sauce, you have no choice but to go for a ready-made gravy as an accompaniment, like Knorr’s chicken gravy mix,” he added, explaining the sauce has to have the right amount of a real chicken flavour and just the right about of salt to intensify the flavours of the dish.

Gravy from chicken carcass:

“Many restaurants and pubs will buy whole chickens and fillet them in-house to save money, but it leaves kitchens with a whole bunch of carcasses after the job's done,” says Harrison. If this is the case within your kitchen, “you can put these to good use by eliminating wastage and saving some extra dollars,” he adds. “It's as easy as boiling these bones in a large soup pot with boiling water, diced carrots and celery until reduced to a nice flavour.” If the gravy has reached your desired flavour but is too thin or bitter (as is often the case with chicken bones), add a rue of chicken stock powder and water to heighten its flavours.

Gravy for lamb

Lamb shanks with gravy underneath and mash potato is pictured

Australians love lamb and have access to some of the best lamb produce in the world. Gravy is an essential component of any lamb dish, be it roasted or stewed, so it pays to know what kind of gravy works with the style of meal you're offering. After all, your goal is to keep your customer's bellies full and their smiles wide.

Roast lamb:

Roast lamb simply isn't roast lamb without gravy. The good news is, it's quite easy to perfect, as long as your roast has left caramelised pan bits, juices and fat at the base of the pan. Take the same road as you would with gravy from roast chicken by adding water to the baking dish and bringing to a boil before adding the rue. “Gravy from lamb can often come up a little bitter, in which case, you can add some beef stock powder,” says Harrison, or for that old fashioned gravy taste, Knorr’s Rich Brown Gravy Mix to heighten its flavours.

Lamb shanks:

For slow-roasted stewed lamb shanks, you'll want a lot of the moisture to come from the vegetables within the pot such as tinned tomatoes, celery and carrot. For this reason, try to avoid liquid-based gravies that take away from the creaminess of the lamb. For lamb stews, opt for a powdered gravy that adds thickness to the stew and complements the flavours of the vegetables and lamb nicely.

Gravy for beef

Freshly cooked beef with a cup of gravy on the side is pictured

Beef is, and always has been, a meat that loves an excellent sauce accompaniment. Along with the many ways to prepare and serve beef, comes many ways to prepare and serve gravy with it.

Roast beef:

Many Australian pubs and RSLs offer Sunday roast specials that can attract some big numbers and while you'd love to provide your guests with some homemade gravy to go with your perfectly cooked roast beef, time is short. For those busy Sundays where your team members are getting pulled in every direction, try our ready-made beef gravy option from Maggi Golden Roast Gravy Mix; it’s rich, tasty and already prepared so you and your team can stress less!


“It's no secret that steak and gravy are friends, but when barbecued on the grill, you lose a lot of the drippings and juices to the flames beneath,” says Harrison. There are some great gravy options from our long list of ready-made or gravy based products that will allow you to offer your guests a gravy side without having to spend hours boiling a beef bone broth.

Gravy alternatives

In this image, there is a gravy alternative using vegetables

With food allergies on the rise and vegetarianism and veganism becoming more prevalent in Australia, venues need to be able to offer every patron an alternative for every possible requirement. The good news is, you don't always need meat products and flour to create a flavour explosion with your gravy.

Gluten-free gravy:

For gluten intolerant patrons, try substituting corn flour for wheat flour as a thickening agent in the rue. “You’ll probably find the sauce to appear a little more gelatinous than wheat flour gravy…but you’ll achieve a very similar taste,” says Harrison. You could also try Maggi Gluten Free Supreme Gravy Mix for that really gravy taste.

Vegan gravy:

“100 per cent vegetable-based gravies are actually a lot simpler to make than most meat alternatives,” says Harrison. “All you need to do is drop your vegetable scraps and aromatics such as herbs, spices and garlic into a pot of boiling water and let it do its thing until it's reduced to a nice flavour.” With the absence of rich meaty flavours, you could add more depth of flavour and umami with salt alternatives such as miso paste or a mushroom soy sauce and add a wheat flour rue to thicken as desired.

Vegetarian gravy:

Ever been to a pub and felt compelled to take the jug of mushroom sauce for your steak to your lips and sip from it? We’re here to tell you that a tasty mushroom sauce is easy to replicate for your own restaurant or pub – “it just involves a lot of fat,” says Harrison. “Sweat some sliced button mushrooms with butter and add garlic and diced onion when you see a pool of moisture at the bottom of the pan. Throw in half a cup of good cooking wine and half a cup of full cream milk and take off the heat once it’s brought to a simmer.”

Apple sauce:

“For crispy-skinned pork belly, the last thing you want to do is douse it with piping hot gravy to spoil its crunch,” says Harrison. On top of this, “pork belly is already rich as it is, so you don’t necessarily need a rich sauce to accompany it.” Try pairing your pork belly dishes with hot apple chutney to cut through its richness and add some depth of flavour.

Want more tips and tricks on how to transform your restaurant or pub dishes with outstanding gravies and sauces? Superior Food Services have the answer! Give us a call today.