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The accepted answer to this question states that you shouldn't expect a roast to generate much in the way of juices left behind in the pan, and that accords with my experience (which admittedly has always been very small roasts).

But if that's the case, why do (British) gravy recipes very commonly expect you to have significant quantities of meat juices to start to make gravy with? For example, here ("up to 200 ml meat juices") and here (unspecified amount of juices and "2 tbsp meat fat").

It feels like I'm missing something obvious that these recipe writers expect readers to understand. Any thoughts?

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  • @moscafj Thanks for the edit but I think 'much juices' is correct here. The term 'meat juices' is what I commonly see to refer to the liquid, and I've never seen 'meat juice' so even though it sounds odd I'd prefer to keep it as it is. :)
    – dbmag9
    Jan 18 at 20:46
  • It's "many juices" or "much juice"...but, whatever you like.
    – moscafj
    Jan 18 at 21:28
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They may or may not assume a significant amount of pan juices and there are quite a few ways to get more than “just a bit”. Including low-quality meat, bad temperature control and other ways to extract the water from the meat. Unfortunately most are also ways to get dry meat, especially in lean cuts.

Fattier cuts are usually cooked a bit longer and to hotter temperatures in comparison, which will give the collagen time to “melt” and also create more juices as a side effect. The drippings will also contain more fat, than can be used for the roux to thicken the gravy.

There are also lots of recipes that “top up” the pan juices with stock, water or wine (your links both add stock), and small but concentrated amounts of pan juices can bring a lot of flavor to a gravy - just add liquid and boil all bits off the roasting pan, don’t just pour the liquid out of the pan. And finally there are also many ways to “cheat”, from simple box mixes to separately cooked sauces or jus made from bones and scraps.

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    It’s notable that the recipes the OP is looking at are British, a cuisine (historically) without much appetite for rare meat. “Roast at low heat until grey and safe” leaves you with plenty of juices for gravy, and an acute need for said gravy.
    – Sneftel
    Jan 18 at 21:20
  • @Sneftel That’s not the only cuisine with that attitude!
    – Stephie
    Jan 18 at 21:27
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Meat drippings are more evident in fatty cuts than in leaner cuts. Also, a lot of grocery stores sell meat that have been soaking in water for a long time, making them seem heavier. These factors go into play when wondering whether or not to expect meat drippings.

At my house hold, we used to buy meat from a local butcher. Stir-frying the meat didn't produce much liquid, which was optimal. Nowadays, we buy meat from big-brand grocery stores, and when we stir-fry the meat, boy does the added water flow!

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  • They don't "soak it in water" the water is actually injected into the meat on a conveyor belt with a myriad needles.. EU rules specify a maximum 10% added water… so that's what they all do. That's why EU meat won't fry properly.
    – unlisted
    Jan 18 at 20:04

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