by Cat, Nov 2011
According to Wikipedia, “Gravy is a sauce, made often from the juices that run naturally from meat or vegetables during cooking”
Making gravy is an art. So much so, that many cooks buy canned gravy or powdered gravy mixes. This is especially true in many restaurants. But these products are loaded with things you don’t really want to put in your body, like MSG, gums, artificial flavors, and such. So if you are like me in wanting to avoid processed foods, then knowing how to make a good rich gravy without lumps is a real boon.
This recipe is adapted from FineCooking.com. The original starts with canned beef or chicken stock, but I prefer to use my own stock/broth. The original uses olive oil instead of butter and does not make a roux, but it does brown the mixture of veggies, bacon and oil to accomplish the same end. However, I prefer to mix flour and butter to make a roux before adding to the bacon-mushroom-sherry mixture, as it helps prevent lumps.
I’ve halved the recipe to serve 4.
Ingredients & Equipment:
Ingredients & Equipment:
- ½ cup homemade Beef or Chicken Stock/Broth
- ½ Tbsp hot water
- ½ Tbsp olive oil or butter
- 1 slice bacon, minced
- 3 oz mushrooms (to make 1 packed cups when sliced)
- ¼ cup minced yellow onion
- 1 Tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ Tbsp unbleached white flour
- unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ Tbsp dry sherry
- cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed saucepan
- Combine broth and hot water. Set aside.
- Clean and slice mushrooms about 1/8” thick. Mince the onion. Mince bacon.
- Mix butter and flour to make a beurre manie (‘kneaded butter’: kneaded to combine thoroughly, then shaped into tiny balls for optional thickener); set aside
- Heat oil/butter in skillet over medium heat. Add minced bacon and cook, stirring, just until the bacon is starting to crisp, 1 – 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, onion, and 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper. Cook, stirring often until mushrooms are cooked through and start to brown the bottom of the pan, about 5 – 8 minutes.
- Add sherry; stir to deglaze, releasing browned bits from bottom of pan. Add beurre manie and continue to cook, stirring often, until mixture has browned and is slightly dry and crumbly, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk in half of the broth mixture until the liquid is absorbed into the flour, about 30 seconds. Then whisk in remaining broth mixture and bring the gravy to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 – 10 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning, and thin with water as necessary.