The basis by which all gravies are measured should be
the stock used to form the body of the sauce. You can
thicken wine with roux and call it gravy, but you're
missing the point. Gravy needs to possess the flavors
extracted from the meat that was cooked in the first place.
Usually, you remove the meat from the saute or roasting
pan, and then you de-glaze that pan (remove any
caramelized bits left from the cooked meat) with some
kind of wine, vinegar, stock, or even water. This creates
the start of the pan-sauce, or gravy. Once reduced
somewhat, it's time to add the broth or stock, usually
derived from the same type of animal, although these days
most stocks are interchangeable with their service to the
main course, even with many fish items. (I love seafood
with a meat glaze, but that's just me.)
Then comes the thickening part. If you're a purist, which
I am most of the time, cooking down, or reducing the sauce,
is the best way to concentrate the flavors. When you've
used bones in your stock that contain gelatin, you can
achieve a certain natural glossiness from that stock after
it's been boiled for some time. The gelatin concentrates
and naturally makes the stock more viscous, eliminating the
need for thickening agents.
2 quarts of turkey stock. Next stop, the Nutmeg State.
The pickins will be the foundation of dinner on Tuesday.