Prep Time: 20mins Cooking Time: 4hrs Serves: Makes 450ml

For some people the gravy not the Turkey is the centre of their Christmas Dinner. If you are one of those people and nothing but perfection will do this is the way to go. The cacao adds the depth of flavour and glossiness that will elevate your gravy and make all the effort worthwhile.



willie's cacao recipes


2 organic or free-range chicken or duck carcasses or 4 kilos of fresh beef or lamb or venison or pork bones 

Roughly chopped: 4 carrots, 2 sticks celery, 4 large onions 

450ml red wine with 2 litres of water if you are using chicken or duck or 1 bottle of red wine for red meat gravies 

4 black peppercorns 

2 bay leaves 

Few sprigs of fresh thyme 

4 tsp grated cacao. Willie suggests Venezuelan Black100% Carenero Cacao

Optional for lamb and venison graviesl:1-2 tbsp of quince or redcurrant jelly



Preheat the oven to 180°C 

Roast the bones / carcasses until sizzling and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and place in a large pan with the carrots, celery, onion, red wine, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme. 

Add enough water to cover the ingredients, and simmer gently for 4 hours. For the first 2 hours or until the scum is clean looking, skim off the scum every 30 minutes 

Strain the stock and return to a clean pan. 

Reduce to 450ml by boiling fairly rapidly until rich and concentrated

Remove any fat from the surface. Add the grated cacao and stir until melted into the gravy. Season with salt and pepper.

At this point you can also add redcurrant or quince jelly to your lamb or venison gravies

Willie Recommends

Mole Negro

Prep Time Cooking Time
2 hrs + 2 hrs


Prep Time Cooking Time
40 mins 1 hr 40 mins

Alternative Recipes


Prep Time Cooking Time
5 mins 5 mins


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