Beef Gravy (Brown Sauce)
Furnish a thick and well-tinned stewpan with a thin slice of salt pork, or an ounce of butter, and a middling-sized onion; on this lay a pound of nice, juicy gravy beef, (as the object in making gravy is to extract the nutritious succulence of the meat, it must be beaten to comminute the containing vessels, and scored to augment the surface to the action of the water); cover the stewpan, and set it on a slow fire; when the meat begins to brown, turn it about, and let it get slightly browned (but take care it is not at all burned): then pour in a pint and a half of boiling water; set the pan on the fire; when it boils, carefully catch the scum, and then put in a crust of bread toasted brown (don't burn it) a sprig of winter savory, or lemon thyme and parsley--a roll of thin cut lemon-peel, a dozen berries of allspice, and a dozen of black pepper. Cover the stewpan close, and let it stew very gently for about two hours, then strain it through a sieve into a basin. Now, if you wish to thicken it, set a clean stewpan over a slow fire, with about an ounce of butter in it; when it is melted, dredge to it, by degrees, as much flour as will dry it up, stirring them well together; when thoroughly mixed, pour in a little gravy--stir it well together, and add the remainder by degrees; set it over the fire, let it simmer gently for fifteen minutes longer, skim off the fat, &c. as it rises; when it is about as thick as cream, squeeze it through a tamis or fine sieve--and you will have a fine rich Brown Sauce, at a very moderate expense, and without much trouble.
The Cook's Own Book, 1832