I'm new to the crockpot business and my last several roasts have horrible gravy. The meat juices coagulate and the gravy tastes and looks awful. The recipe I use looks fairly standard. Roast, carrots, onions, potatoes, onion soup mix, red wine.
Is it because I didn't brown the meat first in a fry pan? I had to put it in the oven to brown before I served it because it looked boiled!!!
Anytime you are cooking with meats, vegetables, any liquid, wine You need during the first hour while cooking removing the foamy stuffs coming up and usually sticking around the pot; you juice and later sauce will get a better aspect. It is due to meat protein coagulation if extrapolating on that coagulation You can understand that coagulating protein from meat and eggs become a process to CLARIFY a broth and make it a "CONSOMMÉ" But that another story
Sauce VS gravy A Gravy comes from caramelized natural juices resulting from sauté like the sticky brown spots in skillet used to sauté a thick piece of meat without adding liquid Then pouring liquid (DEGLAZING) and adding a LIAISON (flour) makes the gravy. Sauce are resulting from liquid used while long process cooking like a chicken stock that are further flavored and then receives a liaison