I'm following a recipe that required an hour of simmering, first 30 minutes covered, then 30 minutes uncovered. I guess I didn't get the simmer correct as by the end of the hour; the liquid should have boiled down into a thick tomatoey gravy. However, I still have a lot of liquid left. The sauce consists of chopped tomatoes, white wine and red wine vinegar.

How do I get down to a thick gravy without cooking for over two hours?

  • 1
    Please define "gravy", it means different things to different people.
    – Dan C
    Jul 17, 2016 at 22:33
  • That's a fair point, in this instance it would have been juices of a chicken, chopped tomatoes and a white white and red wine vinegar mix, so boiled down to a thick tomato sauce...
    – Jarede
    Jul 17, 2016 at 22:50
  • @Jarede can you put your sauce description in your question, too? Jul 18, 2016 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


There are two ways to thicken gravy:

  • simmer down
    Requires time, patience and a wide pot to get a large surface area for optimum evaporation. Simmering down results in very concentrated flavours (including salt, so be careful with salting in the beginning).
  • use a thickener
    This is often something starchy like flour or corn / potato starch that binds the liquid. Note that the flavours won't be as concentrated, sometimes even a bit dulled by the starch.

So try your sauce and depending on the flavour level you have reached now, you should simmer longer, use starch or do both sequentially.

(If your guests are hungrily gnawing at the tablecloth already, whip out the starch, adjust the seasoning and serve asap ^_^)

  • +1 for mentioning the salt. I have ruined many a sauce that way.
    – Jolenealaska
    Jul 18, 2016 at 8:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.