1 qt. juices from roasting beef
1 tbs. butter-and-flour roux OR 1-2 tbs. flour
To a quart of gravy, put a table-spoonful of thickening [roux] or from one to two table-spoonfuls of flour, according to the thickness you wish for the gravy; stir it quick; add the rest by degrees, till it is all well mixed; then pour it back into a stew-pan, and leave it by the side of the fire to simmer for half an hour longer, that the thickening may thoroughly incorporate with the gravy, the stew-pan being only half covered, stirring it every now and then; a sort of scum will gather on the top, which it is best not to take off till you are ready to strain it through a tamis [cheesecloth strainer or colander].
Take care it is neither of too pale nor too dark a color; if it is not thick enough, let it stew longer, till it is reduced to the desired thickness; or add a bit of glaze, or portable soup to it; if it is too thick, you can easily thin it with a spoonful or two of warm broth, or water. When your sauce is done, stir it in the basin you put it into once or twice, while it is cooling.
The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner, MD, New York, 1829
Comment: Words change over time. This recipe calls for starting out with “a quart of gravy,” then describes how to turn this into….gravy, at least as we know it today. The beginning fluid we would call stock, or broth, or cooking juices. And the further thickening agents he calls “glaze” and “portable soup” are known as glacé or double-condensed broth respectively. Where he came up with “cullis” is equally puzzling as this term is normally used in books of the period to refer to the thickened scum which forms on the top of the broth, which Kitchiner says should be strained off and thrown away. If this doesn’t sound good as a food product at least it may come in handy in your next Scrabble game.