Curtis Stone shows you how to make a pan sauce with the flavours in your roasting tray. No more packet sauces full of preservatives!

This cooking tip is incredibly easy to do, you don’t need to buy packet sauces that are full of salt and a variety of other colourants, flavourants and preservatives. You can make your own recipe! It’ll work whether you are roasting chicken, lamb, beef or pork.

The drippings from your roast are lying on the bottom of the roasting tray, they’re pretty concentrated too so have a whole whack of flavour in them. Instead of sending the roasting tray directly to the sink rather extract all that flavour first to make your sauce or gravy.

If you didn’t roast any onions along with the meat you can add some chopped onion or shallots, a bit of pepper and some herbs to add more flavour to your sauce. Curtis Stone uses a bay leaf in his example but you could use sage, thyme or rosemary, depending on what it is that you’re cooking. You can pour in some chicken stock, a little red wine or vinegar and de-glaze the pan over a low to medium heat, it will still be quite hot after being in the oven for a while. The de-glazing process also lifts anything that is stuck to the bottom of the pan so it will make it easier to clean later.

Allow the sauce to reduce if you’d like a jus or if you want a thicker texture to your sauce, add a little flour or butter. I cannot stress the little part enough, if you put in too much flour you will end up with a stodgy porridge type thing that nobody will want to touch.

One final word of warning, the roasting tray has been in the oven for at least 35 minutes or more, depending on what you were roasting. It is going to be hot so use a dish cloth or mittens when you touch it, believe me when I say that I’m talking from experience.

Now you know how to make your own pan sauce!