We just finished Thanksgiving. I made a LOT of gravy. I poured it on every meal for the past week and now it's gone. I still had a little leftover turkey and roasted some veg to go with it. I was all set to just serve that for a quick supper and call it good.
But it wasn't good.
It's cold and rainy this week. And there is a little category of food that you make to spruce up the other measly leftovers you're trying to stretch out. If I just have a little soup or leftover stew, I'll make a quick pan of biscuits. If I have some leftover meat and veg... or a few sausages... I want gravy.
Of course gravy is best made from meat pan drippings. But you don't NEED it. You can use the flavor you get from really cooking down some onions. You can use mushrooms too, if you have them. Here are the basics and I'll give you some flavor-building ideas you can use depending on your needs and what you have on hand. You can make this gluten-free, vegetarian, whatever. I'll give you what I do. But first, I want to share a nice cheater tip with you. I almost always have some home made chicken and beef stock in the freezer. But I also keep a little pot of this Better Than Bouillon paste in the fridge. It keeps forever, the ingredients aren't bad, and it makes a quick flavor booster when I haven't planned to thaw stock ahead of time. I use the beef one in gravy in a pinch, and even to stretch REAL gravy when I need to. If you want vegy gravy, use a vegetable bouillon or try stirring a teaspoon of Marmite in with the frying onions.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 medium onions, in thin, half-moon slices
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5-6 mushrooms, sliced (optional) (you can also use reconstituted dried mushrooms, just remember to save the soaking water to add later!)
- 2 Tbls flour (for gluten-free, we can come up w/ something else)
- 1/2-1 cup red wine (I don't know why you couldn't use white wine if that's what you had.)
- 2 cups of stock (or water, if that's all you have)
- 1/2 tsp of dried thyme or 2 springs of fresh
- 2 tsp. Worstershire sauce (optional, or Tamari, or Braggs Liquid Aminos)
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- First heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Use a pan that will hold about 2 quarts.
- Melt the butter, add the onions and salt. Stir them, cover, reduce heat to low and 'sweat' them for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid, turn heat back up to medium. Add mushrooms if you've got them as well as thyme. Saute your onions until they are nice and mushy and getting golden.
- Sprinkle in your flour, stirring it around to make a roux. Keep cooking for another minute, stir, 2nd minute, stir, 3rd minute.
- Add your red wine, stir the pan and let it cook until most of the boozy smell is gone.
- Add your stock/water, and bay leaves. Give it a good whisking and whisk every minute until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until it is nice and thick.
- Season w/ salt and pepper so you like it and serve.
For gluten-free gravy, I wouldn't make a roux with flour. Instead, take a tablespoon or 2 of arrowroot powder (or cornstarch... but I like the arrowroot powder), whisk it into your COLD stock or water, then pour it in AFTER you deglaze with the wine. That should thicken up just fine and taste great.
Serve this with sausages and mash. Some fried tempeh or a nut loaf. The next day, pour it over a thick slice of toast w/ your measly sausage leftovers. If you want to get all fancy, sprinkle some fresh parsley over the top. That'll give you a vegetable!