Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This excellent home-made ‘proper’ gravy needs to be made in advance, then frozen in readiness for Christmas dinner. It takes a little while to make, so do it when you have the time


  • 1 turkey drumstick (they are large!)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 litre hot water
  • 2 tbsp brandy or sherry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.
  2. Put the turkey drumstick into a roasting tin and drizzle with the vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes.
  3. Add all the vegetables to the roasting tin and roast for another hour, turning them once or twice. Make sure that they are well-browned – if not, cook for another 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven. Transfer the turkey to a chopping board and discard the skin. Strip the meat from the bones, then return 150g of the meat to the roasting tin. (You can use the rest to make turkey sandwiches!)
  5. Pour the water into the roasting tin and bubble up on the hob, stirring and scraping the base to remove all the sticky brown residues. Add the brandy or sherry and bubble up for a few moments more. Cool slightly.
  6. Transfer to a blender and liquidise until smooth. Pass through a sieve, pushing the mixture with the back of a spoon to release all the flavours. Season the gravy with salt and pepper. Cool quickly, then pack into a freezer container and freeze for up to 2 months.

Tip: Allow plenty of time for the gravy to thaw – take it out of the freezer 2 days before needed and thaw in the fridge.