Gravy can refer to a lot of different things depending on where you live in the world. In the United States alone, gravy has a different meaning in some states. In the southern parts, gravy refers to a sauce whose ingredients range from sausages and flour. However, for Italians, gravy can be a pot of ragù that is made every Sunday.
We will look at the more general meaning of gravy. In that light, the gravy would refer to a sauce that goes well with a roasted dish – roast chicken, turkey, beef, etc. Another similar dish is jus. It refers to a light gravy or a broth and originates from France. It is believed to improve the flavor of meat dishes.
We will explore the differences between these two delicacies below.
Au Jus Gravy vs Brown Gravy: What’s The Difference?
Gravy is made with the residual stuck to the utensil being used. Salt and pepper are added for more taste along with cornflour or any other thickening agent of choice, in order to thicken the mixture. Some herbs and butter may also be added to enhance the taste and richness. The building blocks include the juices of the meat being roasted. The gravy can also be flavored with additional ingredients such as vegetable extracts, gravy salt, gravy browning, or cubes.
Brown gravy is made from the juices of roasted fowl or meat. The residual meat drippings are prepared on the stovetop with a combination of vegetables. Water or flour is added to thicken it as it is prepared on high heat. There are many different types of gravies.
Although Jus starts from the same ingredient, it is not very thick. No thickening agent is used as Jus is usually very consistent and refined. Jus, like gravy, contains meat residue from the roasting pan. It is not as thick as gravy and takes longer to prepare as viscosity takes time. It is usually prepared and served at restaurants and not so much at home.
The term ‘Au Jus’ means ‘with juice’ in the French language. The term is associated with dishes that have the potential to have delicious juices stuck to the roasting pan. The juices secreted by the meat are served together, and that is why many dishes have the French phrase ‘Au Jus’ accompanying their names.
Jus can be prepared by mixing the juices from the meat and boiled. It can also be preserved for about 6 months by freezing. Keep in mind that this may impact the taste. However, in America, Jus is prepared differently. The juices from the meat are not taken; it is prepared separately.
Sometimes, the juice is extracted from the meat and also mixed with other liquids, red wine as an example. There is a trade-off between the moistness of the roasted meat and the amount of Jus that is extracted. This is because Jus only surfaces when the meat is cooked for a long time. However, if it is cooked for too long, the meat may become tough.
This is why it is recommended to supplement the jus’ flavor with beef stock and vegetables.
We can go on about these gravies, but the truth is, it all boils down to your preference. It is not always Au Jus vs Brown Gravy, it can be different gravies, too. You can think of gravy as a thickened Jus. They are used differently in different parts of the world. Mostly though, they are used with meat. Jus is made by skimming off the fat from the juices of the meat, while the gravy is mostly the same but just thickened.
Both are excellent ways of finding new purposes for the juices and residual meat remaining in the roasting pan. Not only do they add flavor, but they also make sure that no food is wasted. The phrase ‘au jus’ is used as a noun in the United States; a beef steak with jus will be called ‘beef with au jus’. However, in other parts of the world, such as Europe, it would be called ‘beef au jus,’ which literally translates to ‘beef with juice.’ The pronunciation of the world is ‘zhoo’ and it is now up to you as to how you want to use the word.