The Paul Kelly song How to Make Gravy is an Australian anthem, but it's light on detail. I've filled in the gaps – just don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for that extra tang.
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
6 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1.4kg beef blade roast
2 brown onions, peeled and cut into eighths
50g butter, softened
4 tbsp plain flour
½ tsp Vegemite
350ml beef stock
150ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato sauce
pinch of salt
1. Combine the garlic, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper and rub all over the beef. Place the onions in the base of a roasting pan and place the beef on top. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 40 minutes, then rub all over with the softened butter.
2. Heat your oven to 220C (200C fan-forced). Place the beef in the oven and reduce the heat to 180C (160C fan-forced). Roast the beef for an hour for medium-rare, basting with the butter halfway through cooking. Remove the beef to a warm plate to rest. (I often rest a roast in the microwave, turned off. It saves on having to tent the meat with foil.)
3. Place the roasting pan over two burners on your stovetop at medium heat. If there is a lot more than four tablespoons (80ml) of fat in the base of the pan, remove a little with a spoon. The amount of fat in the pan will depend on how fatty your roast is, but you do not need to be exact.
4. Stir the flour and Vegemite into the fat and onions and keep stirring for about two to three minutes until the fat and flour mixture (a roux) is lightly browned. Stir in the stock and red wine a little at a time, as well as any resting juices from the beef, removing lumps from the roux as you stir. Add a little extra stock, wine or water if the gravy looks too thick (it will thicken more as it cools off the stove).
5. Stir through the tomato sauce and a pinch of salt, then pass the gravy through a sieve to remove the onions and any remaining lumps. Serve with the sliced beef.
Serve with my cheesy vegetable hash.
Adam's tip: A rough ratio for a pan gravy is two tablespoons each of fat and flour to about one cup of liquid (stock, wine or water), although a little more fat is totally fine. It's best to estimate these proportions and adjust to your liking.
Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.