How To Make a Meat Sauce Using a Simple Roux Method

Brush up on your French with this great technique! Hint: it’s pronounced Roo!

Learn how to make an easy thick meat sauce

Rouxs are the basic way to thicken a gravy or sauce. Flour mixes with fat, in this case the fat from the ground beef, and then cooks, creating almost a gooey, glue like consistency. You add liquid to thin it down and then you heat it to a simmer to cook our the raw flour taste and thicken it to just the right gravy consistency.

Normally, you first melt some fat, then add flour and cook. Then add in the liquid and the other ingredients.

However, the way we’re showing you today makes a fantastic meaty gravy and is faster and easier. We think it prevents lumps better than a normal roux method as well. This is the typical method that you would use when making the meat filling for a Shepherd’s Pie. You can also use it anytime you have a recipe that involves cooking bits of meat or vegetables in a pan, like when making a hamburger dip, pot pie, sausage gravy, stroganoff or any meaty dish where you want meat in a gravy.


In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat add oil.


Oil in pan

Cook onion and carrots (or other aromatic vegetables, but add garlic only for the last 30 seconds) until tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Carrots and onions in pan


Add in the ground beef and season with salt and pepper.

Ground beef is added

Add the garlic and thyme or other herbs/seasonings and stir.

Got some thyme to spare?


Once the meat is fully cooked, skim away the excess fat. Our waistlines don’t need that!

Skim the fat


To the meat, add tomato paste (optional) and flour. Stir until incorporated.

Making the roux

Cook for about 1-2 minutes to dissolve the flour.

All cooked up


Add in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce (optional). Stir.

Adding beef broth


Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until very thick, 2-3 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs and your thickened mixture is ready!

All thick and ready

Simple Meat Sauce Using a Roux

Yield: 6 Servings

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth (low sodium)
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce


  1. In medium sauté pan, on medium-high heat, heat oil. Add the onions and carrots and cook stirring occasionally until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and stir. Immediately add in the ground beef, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally and cook the meat through, about 7-8 minutes. Drain excess fat.
  2. To meat, add flour and tomato paste. Stir until incorporated and cook for 1-2 minutes to dissolve flour. Add in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until very thick, 2-3 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Lyndsay Burginger

It’s always entertaining when Lyndsay’s in the kitchen. She’s even been known to belt out Broadway show tunes while making dinner (a handy whisk as her microphone, of course). She currently writes for her international food and travel site, Lyndsay's Travel Kitchen . Lyndsay is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.