Mr. Math Tutor and I both grew up on good, old-fashioned Southern food, and the favorite for both of us was rice and gravy - as in, roast beef, rice, and gravy; or cubed steak, rice, and gravy; or even "just" rice and gravy. Ga'hoole Girl clearly has our genetic material as she loves any meal with rice and gravy. We were concerned, though, about Wild Man until just a month ago. He would eat meat as long as the gravy was scraped off, and he would eat rice without gravy. He didn't like gravy. I tried calling it "sauce" for a while, but he didn't buy it. About a month ago, though, I made roast beef, rice, and gravy, and he decided to try the gravy. And, he liked it!! Two nights ago, I made wild turkey breast (nothing like free meat) with rice and gravy, and he was happy again! I no longer have to worry that he was switched at birth (although I don't know how he could have been since I was a paranoid new mother and wouldn't let him out of my sight!). He's really part of the family.
My gravy isn't much different from that of my mother and mother-in-law. "First you make a roux" as they say in New Orleans. That means that you mix some oil and flour (start with 2 Tbsp of each) and cook on the stove until lightly brown (actually, you cook till it's as brown as you like - we like it almost burned, but it's taken trial and error (and plenty of thrown out gravy) to regularly get it right). At this point, Mr. Math Tutor adds a handful of onions and then adds the liquid. I leave out the onions and start adding liquid. Start with a small amount of water, broth, or bouillon, stirring till smooth, then gradually adding more until it is as thick as you like. For 2 Tbsp each of oil and flour, you will need about a cup of liquid. I like to use canned broth for my gravy so I don't have to worry about whether I've cooked the gravy for long enough in the meat to get a good flavor. As I've mentioned, Mr. Math Tutor adds onions before the liquid. I sometimes add onion soup mix or minced onion or garlic after the gravy is made. Then, you put the gravy and meat together to cook and meld their yummy flavors for 30 minutes or more. Serve with meat over rice, mashed potatoes, or bread. Does it get any better than this?