Cajun-Style Red Gravy is one of the most delicious tomato gravies you will ever taste; made with a homemade roux never cornstarch, vine-ripened tomatoes, the Holy Trinity of celery, onions, peppers, Cajun spices and often served over grits, fresh hot homemade biscuits, fish, chicken, meatloaf, and even fried steak for a pure Cajun-Style comfort food experience.
There are many versions of this yummy Red gravy here in the South, such as Cajun Red Gravy, Southern Tomato Gravy, Creole Sauce, and piquant sauce. All will have slightly different ingredients, textures, thickness, and tastes. Depending on where you are located here in the South will depend on how you make your Red Gravy/Tomato Gravy.
Southerners sure are gravy lovers, and most are guaranteed to have down pat a 100% proper roux method for our beloved Southern gravies too. That’s the most important part of our Southern Gravy Tradition. This is when we bring out our well-seasoned hand-me-down cast iron skillet and show we mean business. Making Cajun-Style Gravy in cast iron is the best method. However, if you do not have one, a regular metal skillet will do.
Those of us that have hand-me-down well-seasoned cast iron skillets know our skillets are so well-seasoned. Those juicy red tomatoes don’t even scare our seasoned cast iron skillet one bit. Now if you have a newer cast iron skillet, I would recommend you not to cook up those vine-ripened tomatoes in your new cast iron skillet. My cast iron has seen over 60 years of frying up fatty meats such as sausage, bacon, and fried chicken and can withstand a little tomato acid and not blink twice.
Let me get one question out of the way for you.
Can I use a cornstarch thickener instead? Let me answer this politely, “Heck no, you can’t!”
There are a few basic differences:
- Appearance: Flour makes gravy look more opaque and dull in appearance. It may lighten or darken the color of your base depending on cook time, while cornstarch, when used correctly, yields a more transparent, clear, shiny sauce.
- Flavor: When all-purpose flour is used for a Cajun-style roux you add a nice tasting toasted nutty flavor you can’t get with cornstarch.
- Cooke time: Flour needs a longer cook time to lose its raw flavor and to thicken; cornstarch needs only a short cooking time to thicken. In fact, if you cook cornstarch too long, the sauce thins out again.
What you will need to make Cajun-Style Red Gravy
Three Tablespoons of rendered bacon fat or oil
1/4 of a cup of minced onions
1/4 of a cup finely diced celery
1/4 of a cup of finely diced green peppers
1/2 of a Cayenne pepper minced
Two cloves of garlic minced
One cup of diced vine-ripened plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon of Cajun Seasoning
1/2 of a teaspoon of thyme
Three tablespoons of all-purpose flour
One-8-ounce can of tomato sauce
One cup of chicken stock and +more
splash of Worcestershire sauce
hot sauce, to own taste, optional
Kosher salt to own taste
fresh ground black pepper to your own taste
Cajun-Style Red Gravy
- 3 Tablespoons of rendered bacon fat or oil
- ¼ of a cup of minced onions
- ¼ of a cup finely diced celery
- ¼ of a cup of finely diced green peppers
- ½ of a Cayenne pepper minced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup of diced vine-ripened plum tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon of Cajun Seasoning
- ½ of a teaspoon thyme
- 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1-8- ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of chicken stock +more
- splash of Worcestershire sauce
- hot sauce to own taste, optional
- Kosher salt to own taste
- fresh ground black pepper to own taste
- Place a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or metal skillet on a burner set to medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat or 3 tablespoons of oil in cast iron skillet let the oils heat.
- Add minced onions, celery, green peppers, minced cayenne pepper, and garlic in the cast iron skillet and cook for about 5 minutes stirring as needed.
- Next, add the diced vine-ripened tomatoes to the well-seasoned cast iron skillet or metal pan if tomatoes are out of season you may use canned diced tomatoes; I recommend using an organic brand. If you do not have a cast iron skillet you have used for 6+ years to fry fatty meats such as bacon, sausage, and fried chicken I would recommend you cooking tomatoes separately so your seasoning is not removed. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add Cajun seasoning, thyme, and all-purpose flour to the cast iron skillet, keep moving the four in the cast iron skillet to combine with the oil and vegetables constantly, cook for about 2-3 minutes to cook off raw flour taste and darken the roux, do not scorch the flour and oil mixture.
- Add 1-8-ounce can of tomato sauce, 1 cup of chicken stock, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce to own taste, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to the veggie and roux mixture; and cook on medium heat till joined and a thick creamy texture.
- Serve over hot grits, fresh homemade biscuits, fish, chicken, meatloaf, and even steaks for a pure Cajun-Style comfort food experience.