Southern Tomato Gravy

Southern Tomato Gravy


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bacon or sausage drippings, or butter or oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons flour (use the amount equal to the drippings)
  • 1 29 ounce can whole tomatoes and the juice, blended until homogenous in a blender (see note)
  • 1 to 2 whole tomatoes, seeded and chopped into small dice along with any juice
  • salt and pepper to taste (use lots of pepper)
  • a little sugar or brown sugar to taste, optional
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or milk or as much or you wish


In a large frying pan, heat the bacon drippings until hot, using 2 tablespoons if you’d like your tomato gravy on the thin side, 3 tablespoons if you’d like it a little thicker. Add the flour, 2 tablespoons if you’ve used two tablespoons of drippings and three tablespoons if you’ve used three tablespoons of drippings. Whisk, forming a roux. Cook for a minute or two, whisking until it becomes a blonde color.

Add the blended tomatoes, all at once, stirring. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juice. Simmer for several minutes until gravy is thickened to your liking.

Add salt and pepper to taste and sugar to taste if the sauce seems acidic. Remove from heat and add cream or milk.

Serve over good bread, rice, grits, biscuits, chicken or meatloaf, with an additional grinding of pepper over the top.


There’s no need to make a fuss skinning just the two fresh tomatoes added to supplement this Tomato Gravy, but if you’d like to make this with all fresh tomatoes, you’ll need about two pounds and you will want to skin and deseed them. Cut a small shallow X on the bottom of each tomato and drop them into boiling water for about a minute. Scoop them out and plunge them into very cold water. The X will lift up a bit and the skin peels easily off. Deseed them over a strainer placed in a bowl so you save all the juices for the Gravy. You may need to add a bit of tomato juice to get the desired consistency.

Keywords: Bacon, canned tomatoes, milk, Southern Cooking, Tomatoes, Vegetarian Meal

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