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Au jus gravy is a type of sauce typically made from beef stock or beef drippings. It’s commonly used to enhance the flavor of roast beef, but it can also be used as a dipping sauce or to top other dishes as a sauce. If you don’t have any au jus, several substitutes will work just as well. Here are some of the best au jus substitutes.
What Is Au Jus?
Au jus is a French term that literally means “with juice.” In the culinary world, it refers to a sauce made from the natural juices that are released when meat is cooked. Typically, au jus is made by simmering meat to produce a stock or broth. Once the juices are released, they are strained and seasoned to taste.
Although it is most commonly associated with roast beef or a delicious french dip sandwich, au jus can be used as a dipping sauce for other types of meat or even as a base for gravy. Whether you’re looking to add a bit of flavor to your next meal or simply want to impress your dinner guests, au jus is a versatile sauce that takes your dish to the next level.
Substitutes for Au Jus and Au Jus Mix
If you happen to have au jus gravy mix on hand, you can 100% use that. That is a quick option when you don’t have your own beef drippings to use. But if you are out of the au jus gravy mix as well, then any of the suggestions below will work for you!
Beef Stock Powder Sauce
If you have beef stock powder on hand, you can easily make a quick and tasty substitute for au jus. Simply mix the beef stock powder with water according to the package directions. Once it’s mixed, you can thicken it with cornstarch or another thickener as you would any other sauce. Depending on your beef stock, you might need to add some seasoning to create some depth to your dish.
Another easy substitute for au jus gravy is bouillon cubes. These come in several flavors, including beef, chicken, fish, and so on. I’m a big fan of Better Than Bouillon brand. It’s a type of bouillon paste that creates a wonderful base for soups. It doesn’t use all the crappy
Simply dissolve the bouillon cube or paste it in hot water according to the package directions. Once it’s dissolved, you can use it as is like a broth, or you can jazz it up by adding some other ingredients. Food.com has a great recipe, French Dip Au Jus
Beef Broth or Stock
If you have some beef broth on hand, you can use it as a substitute for au jus gravy. Simply heat up the beef bone broth and add a thickener like cornstarch or flour. I recommend season this makeshift gravy as it might be bland if the beef broth is store-bought. This is one the closest ways to having real au jus. I have a recipe below that you can try that uses beef stock.
In the future, you can make beef stock or any other stock ahead of time and freeze it in small freeze-safe containers. Whenever you need some, you can just pop one of those containers out! This is what we do, and it’s a great way to have delicious stock when a recipe needs it.
Chicken Broth or Stock
If you don’t have any beef broth on hand, chicken broth makes an excellent substitute. Simply make a roux and add the chicken broth, and ta-da, you have au jus gravy. You may need to add a little extra seasoning to compensate for the different flavor profiles of chicken broth.
What Is The Difference Between Stock And Broth?
Stock and broth are both liquids that are used for cooking. They are similar in many ways, but there are also some important differences. Both stock and broth are made by simmering water and other ingredients like vegetables, meat, and herbs/spices. This process extracts flavor from the ingredients and results in a savory liquid that can be used.
Stock is typically made with bones and can be more concentrated, while broth tends not to have bones. As a result, broth has a more simple flavor than stock. The broth is also usually seasoned before it is eaten, while stock is typically used as an ingredient in other dishes.
These differences make stock and broth suitable for different purposes in the kitchen, yet they can almost be used interchangeably if needed. Stock is a great foundation for soups and sauces, while broth can be enjoyed on its own as a flavorful beverage or used as a base for soup or stew.
**Bone broth has become quite popular and is a broth made with bones for additional health benefits and robust flavor.
Quick and Easy Homemade Au Jus Recipe
- 4 tablespoons butter or oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef broth or chicken broth plus 1/4 cup broth if not using the wine
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch of onion powder
- ¼ cup red wine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Place butter or oil in a small pot on medium heat. Whisk in flour until well blended. Continue to mix for a few until the mixture turns to light golden color. Add garlic and onion powder.
If using wine, add it in this step and cook for an additional minute until the alcohol cooks off. Then add the broth of your choice and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until the au just has thickened. Season to taste!
My Final Thoughts On An Au Jus Replacement
Several substitutes will work just as well if you’re out of au jus… Beef stock powder sauce, bouillon cubes, beef broth, and chicken broth are all good options. If you use chicken broth, you may need to add a little extra seasoning to compensate for the different depths of flavor. I hope you find something that works and that your dish is wonderful.