Wondering what to do with the beef drippings left in your roasting pan? Try making this quick, delicious classic French gravy known as au jus. This delicious and easy au jus recipe is made from a boneless prime rib roast and it is the perfect sauce to pour over the roasts or used as a dip for sandwiches. This is a classic recipe made with just a few ingredients but it is loaded with so much flavor. Make this as an addition to your next holiday meal or roast and you will be hooked.
I love this simple French sauce recipe because it makes use of natural drippings from your beef roast and because it adds so much flavor to the roasted meat.
This au jus recipe is a classic version of au jus because it only uses the standard ingredients of au jus which are pan drippings, beef stock, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
If you prefer a more decadent sauce, you can certainly add a little butter or red wine. I do hope you try it out this way first to see how amazing this French sauce can be when it is made with just simple ingredients.
Au Jus Is French For "With Juice"
Au jus is a French term that means "with juice."This simple big on flavor sauce is made from the natural juices (pan drippings) of cooked meat, typically beef. Au jus is commonly served alongside dishes like roast beef, prime rib, or French dip sandwiches.
Making au jus starts by roasting or searing beef until it's cooked to your desired level of doneness. As the meat cooks, it releases delicious drippings that are full of flavor.
These pan drippings are the base for the au jus sauce. When making this sauce you will want to skim or pour off any excess fat from the pan while keeping all those tasty browned bits at the bottom before adding additional items and simmering.
This process allows all those rich flavors from the fond and juices to infuse into your sauce. Some popular additions to this French gravy are garlic, thyme, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, or black pepper to add even more flavor.
You can choose to strain out any solids from your sauce by using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. This step is optional. Now you have perfectly seasoned au jus ready
Gravy Or Jus?
I love a delicious sauce with meat and a sauce made from pan drippings is the best. Two popular choices are gravy and au jus. There are two types of sauce that fit this bill, gravy and au jus.
Here is a little more about their similarities and differences:
Gravy: Gravy is made using meat drippings (chicken, turkey or beef), flour or cornstarch for thickening, broth or stock, seasonings and sometimes milk or cream.
Au Jus: Au jus is primarily made with meat juices made from the drippings in the roasting pan. These juices are cooked and reduced down with stock or broth and sometimes wine or butter are added for richness. No thickener or flour is used for this type of simple sauce. This au jus recipe is a great gluten-free sauce if you are looking to avoid flour.
Au Jus Ingredients
Beef pan drippings. This is any and all of the drippings that were left behind in the roasting pan after cooking the meat.
Beef stock. You can also use beef broth or water.
Worcestershire sauce. This adds to the nice umami flavor of this au jus recipe. If you do not have this, soy sauce is a great substitute. About a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
How To Make Beef Au Jus
- Place the roasting pan with the drippings onto the stovetop over medium-high heat and add beef stock. Stir and scrape down the drippings for a couple minutes.
- Strain The Drippings: Once you have scraped all the good stuff off of the bottom of the pan, go ahead and strain the drippings by pouring it into a fat strainer or through a sieve into a large clear container.
- Skim the fat: Now you can separate the fat from the drippings by using a fat strainer or a spoon. Here is a more formal write-up on how to separate fat from drippings if you need it.
- Pour drippings into a small saucepan on the stove and add Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce).
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the jus is reduced to by half.
- Taste for seasoning: Once the jus is reduced, you can taste for any additional seasoning like salt. If you prefer a more rich au jus, you can add a little butter. You only need about a tablespoon.
How to strain the fat from the au jus
When making an au jus or any sauce that is made from pan drippings, you will have lots of fat that has rendered from the meat into the pan. When you make a pan gravy like this one, you want to remove as much of the fat as you can so you are left with a clear sauce.
Here are three methods to strain fat from the sauce:
- Use a fat separator: A fat separator is a kitchen tool that is made specifically for separating fat from stock. There are many varieties of these available to buy and they make this process very easy. If you find that you make lots of sauce or gravy from pan drippings, this is a great item to have on hand.
- Skim the fat with a spoon: Another really easy option for separating fat from stock is to pour the liquid into a large clear container and allow the fat to rise to the top naturally. After this happens, you can use a spoon to separate the fat off of the top.
- Use a meat syringe: I like to use a meat syringe to extract the fat away from the stock. It is the same process as using the spoon to do this except it suctions the fat away from the stock. I find this is a little more precise than the spoon method.
So no matter what tools you have in your kitchen, there is a way to make this delicious au jus!
To store the au jus, it's important to let it cool down completely to room temperature.
It is best to use an airtight container with tight-fitting lids or tight fitting plastic wrap. This will keep the au jus fresh for longer a longer time.
Au Jus can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
Freezing au jus is so simple and a great way to have a quick sauce ready for another night.
To freeze au jus, make sure it has cooled completely.
Add the Au Jus to freezer-safe containers, resealable plastic bags, or ice cube trays. You can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.
Ways to use this au jus recipe
Here are some more ways to use this delicious sauce:
As a dip for pot roast sandwiches
A dip for Philly cheesesteak sandwiches
For a French dip or sliced roast beef sandwiches
Served alongside fries
This is a prime rib au jus recipe but you can make this delicious sauce from other beef roasts too. You can make this au jus from pot roast, sliced beef roast, or any other beef roast that leaves behind some pan drippings.
You can also add red wine or butter for a richer au jus if that is what you prefer. I have included recipe quantities below for this.
Can you make au jus without pan drippings?
Technically au jus is made from pan drippings but if you wanted to make a sauce for a sandwich you could still pull off making this French sauce.
To do this just bring some beef stock to a boil then simmer down by half. Add the other ingredients listed in the recipe for a deeper richer flavor.
While this will not be as amazing as a traditional au jus, it will still taste delicious.
Yes. Classic au jus is made with just pan drippings and some beef stock.
Classic au jus is a French sauce that is made from beef pan drippings and beef stock. It can be made richer with the addition of butter or red wine.
Yes. Au jus is a type of French gravy that is lighter than American gravy since it does not have any flour.
More French Recipes You Will Love
If you love this au jus recipe, you may also like these:
Au Jus Recipe: Easy and Delicious
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- 1 cup Beef stock For the Au Jus
- 1 Pan with drippings from a beef roast
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
- While the prime rib is resting, place roasting pan with drippings still in it over a burner on the stovetop over medium heat.1 Pan with drippings from a beef roast
- Add beef stock and stir well making sure to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan.1 cup Beef stock
- Pour the liquids from the pan into a fat strainer and strain the fat. You can also skim the fat off of the top of the liquids with a spoon.
- Pour liquid into a small sauce pan and add Worcestershire sauce then bring to a simmer over medium heat.1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Allow the juices to simmer until reduced by almost half.
- Serve au jus with your favorite roast or sandwich.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here