I recently made slow roasted pork shoulder in the oven. I cooked the pork at 225F for 12 hours and after it was done roasting, I took the juices at the bottom of the pan and made gravy with it.

I did this by chilling the juices for a little while, and skimming the fat off the top. I got about 1.5 tbsp of fat out of that. I combined an additional 1 tbsp of butter and 2.5 tbsp of flour into it and cooked it until it was a dark brown. Then I added the juices into the roux along with some stock.

At first I tried the gravy and it tasted magnificent. Great mouth feel and concentrated meat flavor. But I noticed that it got thicker and thicker. So I added more stock into the gravy to thin it down. Eventually I got it to the thickness I liked by adding more stock. But tasting the gravy again, it had nowhere near the glory it had before the addition of stock.

Note that I don't really want answers that focuses on the pork roast or gravy making aspect. I only added that information as background information. I'm not too interested in fixing the already diluted gravy I have. I'm more interested in knowing if I could have done something else originally to lessen the thickening caused by the roux in my gravy.

  • I'd start with less your than you think you need to thicken it as you can always add more but can't take it away. That is the way I do it when making gravy or thickening with corn starch. Happy cooking!
    – haakon.io
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 22:28

3 Answers 3


I believe that rather than "diluting" your gravy with stock, you could instead use less roux (fat and flour) with the same amount of juices (and perhaps a bit of stock).

The extra tablespoon of butter, for example, meant you were "bumping up" the thickness of your final gravy to the next level. Here's some typical ratios from an earlier Question I had about what makes a white sauce "medium":

Medium refers to the thickness level of the final sauce, and is controlled by the ratio of roux (butter/flour) to [liquid]. For 1 cup of [liquid]:

thin = 1 tablespoon each flour/butter
medium = 2 tablespoons each flour/butter
thick = 3 tablespoons each flour/butter

So instead of using 2.5 tablespoons of fat and 2.5 tablespoons of flour, you could leave out the butter; a 1.5/1.5 tablespoon roux with the same volume of liquid might give you a texture closer to what you're hoping for.

  • 2
    +1 - This is the first answer that really addresses the revised question, which is mostly interested in decreasing thickening power of roux. And frankly the easiest way of doing it is to simply use less next time. I'd also note that roux proportions aren't set in stone, so if the butter flavor was important, it's OK to make a roux with a bit more butter than flour (that is, just decrease the flour). It will still work, but the thickening power would be lessened significantly.
    – Athanasius
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 3:09
  • Good clarification; it is really the flour that is the thickener here :)
    – Erica
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 8:35
  • the question is: how can you diminish the binding power of roux once you used it, so "using less" is not an option, nor an answer I guess. I guess,yes saliva would work, or any amylas, but would the fat be a problem? And the high temp?
    – Marc Luxen
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 17:14
  • @MarcLuxen The OP asked "I'm more interested in knowing if I could have done something else originally to lessen the thickening caused by the roux" -- changing the proportions in advance next time is certainly an option. You're of course welcome to flag it as "not an answer".
    – Erica
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 17:31

Starch is easily digested by many enzymes. Since you probably don't want to spit into your gravy, try mixing in a raw yolk and storing it for 2-3 days. I am not 100% sure it will work, but I think it's the best thing to try.

  • And then the yolk will thicken it a bit when you reheat it?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 23:11
  • 1
    Waiting 2-3 days doesnt sound very practical. Perhaps there's a faster acting enzyme?
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 23:32
  • @Jay I don't know. I've never done it on purpose, I've just ruined pies with a combined yollk-starch filling by not cooking the egg sufficiently.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 23:56

Flavor intensity can be very dependent on thickness/mouthfeel itself, so the fact that it got thinned could be the problem. Or, aromas got overdiluted - not much to fix that unless you have something (eg a second batch of too-intense gravy) that can add more of them. Or, it just got diluted out of balance on a five-basic-tastes level, in which case you just have to re-season it - salt or light soy sauce if it is missing salt, sugar or honey if not sweet enough, vinegar/lemon/tamarind... if missing acidity, soy sauce/maggi/marmite/nooch/MSG... if missing umami, caramel or dried herbs if you really are missing a bitter component ...

  • As the gravy cooked more, it became too thick. I thinned it with stock down to what it originally was when i first tasted it. So thickness is not the issue.
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 20:46
  • 1
    I'm less interested about fixing my current gravy and more interested in knowing about how to thin out my original gravy(the gravy that i haven't thinned with stock) without diluting its flavor.
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 20:49

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